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Ready Player One
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Readers Summer Book Club 2012 > Book #5; Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

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message 1: by Simon (last edited Jun 13, 2012 11:09AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Simon (savidgereads) | 449 comments Mod
The fifth episode of The Readers Summer Book Club airs on the 25th of June, we will be recording the first part of the show on Tuesday the 19th with Ernest Cline and we want your questions and discussion points. First of all here is the synopsis Ready Player One...

“It's the year 2044, and the real world has become an ugly place. We're out of oil. We've wrecked the climate. Famine, poverty, and disease are widespread. Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes this depressing reality by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia where you can be anything you want to be, where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. And like most of humanity, Wade is obsessed by the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this alternate reality: OASIS founder James Halliday, who dies with no heir, has promised that control of the OASIS - and his massive fortune - will go to the person who can solve the riddles he has left scattered throughout his creation. For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that the riddles are based in the culture of the late twentieth century. And then Wade stumbles onto the key to the first puzzle. Suddenly, he finds himself pitted against thousands of competitors in a desperate race to claim the ultimate prize, a chase that soon takes on terrifying real-world dimensions - and that will leave both Wade and his world profoundly changed.”

So what we would love to know from you is...

What would you like to ask Ernest about the book and writing it?
What were your thoughts on the book (the bad, the good and the indifferent)?
Were there any particular parts of the book you would like the panel to discuss?
Anything else you have to discuss?

Do let us know and we will get your questions to Ernest and the discussion panel, and you can of course get discussing the book below too...

Ruthiella | 272 comments I can’t think of any questions for Ernest. I have to say I LOVED this book, which really surprised me. It was so much fun to read. I have read a few reviews on goodreads which complained that the plotting and world building were weak and the characters were flat (complaints that I myself have made about other books. I might add); this may all be valid criticism, but none of it got in the way of my enjoyment of it.
I would like to know if any of the other readers found the book “addictive”, like the way video games are addictive? I am not a big gamer, but I did play arcade and video games in my teens and I found myself actually craving to read more of Ready Player One in the same manner as I used to crave playing PacMan or whatever.
I would also like to know if any of the readers found the 80’s references alienating. I was a teenager in the 80’s, so many of the references (but not all) were familiar to me. I wonder if the book would have the same effect for someone born in the 80’s or 90’s or someone who just isn’t that interested in pop culture.

message 3: by Tasha (last edited Jun 14, 2012 05:42AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tasha I enjoyed the book but I didn't find it addicting. I was a teen in the 80s too and had fun with the references.

Becky Yamarik | 74 comments This was one of my more memorable reads in the last several months. I'm 39 and not a real sci fi or dystopic fan, but this was addictive, just like a video game. The last time I really played video games was on my Atari machine in the '80s. . .

I wonder if the author thought of using the '80s stuff as a way to hook in older readers?
The concept of stacked up trailers is so interesting and terrifying, how did he come up with that, or do they really exist?

I thought the idea of people escaping into the video game has many references to all parts of life and how people escape from reality. I thought the message was very universal. The most haunting image was when he's being driven by the police and sees the people on the street in their gloves and visors just drifting about. Like street drug addicts.

I want to buy this book for my 43 yr old brother, my 18 yr old niece. . . it's just such a terrific book! Thank you Ernest Cline! I'd also like to hear about what he's working on next. . . and I'd like to hear from Gav if I liked this book, what other sci/fi books I might want to try. . .

This book was what made me decide I was going to do the reader's summer book club. . . I'd read it b/c Michael of BOTNS had recommended it, and I thought that if you put this book on the list, the others wd probably be good. . . and they have been!

Simon (savidgereads) | 449 comments Mod
Thanks Becky, lovely to hear how much you enjoyed it, and indeed how much you are enjoying the club, Gavin and I are too so its nice to know everyone else is so much.

It is weird how addictive this book was, like you have said, just like a video game. I will be keen to talk to him about that too.

Simon (savidgereads) | 449 comments Mod
Very last minute request BUT as Gavin and I are very, very, very busy this week recording two specials in London on Wednesday and Thursday this week, I move house on Friday and go to Florence for a few days on Saturday (busy, busy, busy) we wondered if any of you are free tomorrow at 2000 hrs BST to record the discussion show with us about Ready Player One?

If you are please email ASAP and you could be on the show, its dead easy and fun all you need is Skype!

message 7: by Celia (last edited Jun 19, 2012 09:09PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Celia (celiap) | 2 comments I really enjoyed "Ready Player One" - more than I thought I would actually, given that a lot of the 80s pop trivia stuff went over my head a little. (Which I didn't find alienating, to answer Ruthiella's question - although sometimes the sheer volume of trivia was a bit overwhelming). I'd be interested to know if that aspect of the book is based on Ernest Cline's own interests, or if he did a lot of research and game playing etc in order to flesh out those aspects.

It took me a little while to get into it, as initially I found the beginning to be over explaining things - I prefer to be dumped into a futuristic world - but it didn't take long for me to become really engaged with the story. I really enjoyed the audio version I listened to which was narrated by Wil Wheaton - I thought he had the perfect "voice" for this sort of book.

I was a bit disappointed by (view spoiler)

I thought there was a real lack of women characters, and I wondered if this was a reflection of Ernest's perception of gaming culture. (view spoiler)

However, despite those things it was a really enjoyable book and I got really into the quest - I did find it quite an addictive read.

Jenni (jennilukee) This was one of the books I was most looking forward to, and I wasn't disappointed. Most of the 80s trivia went over my head but that didn't matter at all, I enjoyed this book immensely.

It really was an addictive book. I found myself completely immersed in the story. Perhaps the characters were a bit flat, but OASIS isn't exactly a place where you would want to display all the sides of your personality, so I forgave that. I liked the world building of OASIS but I agree with Celia that the beginning of the book was a bit over explanatory.

An alarm clock that plays Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go is a wonderful idea. It's such an annoying song that I'd probably start getting up straight away instead of hitting the snooze button over and over again like I do now.

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