[546]: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline


GOODREADS SUMMARY | Crown | Hardback, 374 pp. | January 1st, 2011 | Adult Fiction | Science Fiction | Rating 5 out of 5 Stars

It’s funny. This book sat in my shelves for at least a year before I got the motivation to read it. The first thing I did after I woke up from my reading stupor was look at the copyright page . It says the book was first published in 2011, but I was under the impression that this was published way before that. I kept hearing this book was a literary gem ahead of its time so my first thought was this book was written in the 90s or something. 2011! Where the hell was I? I mean, I was already a member of Goodreads in 2010. And I’m sure this book must’ve gotten enough hype at the time for it to reach my hapless attention. Sadly, I was probably ensconced in a lot of shit-books then. That’s not to say I regret ever reading them. I’m just saying that  sometimes, we have to clear a mountain of rubble before we find the  jackpot, yanno?

The second thing I did was look at the book jacket for the author’s bio. Because I have this thing. I need to put a face to the person who wrote the work I just read. There, I found Mr. Cline, lounging in front of an iconic DeLorean. Back to the Future DeLorean.  I grew up in the 80s, but my knowledge of that era is sadly confined to the music. Some movies, some video games. But most of the references from this book bordered on obscure and only known to kids who were rabid fans of the era.

I never would’ve guessed I’ll be the type of girl who’d enjoy a book about gaming, but there you have it. There’s a first time for everything. This book is filled with references about a decade I’d soon forget. One of the best things about this book was that it was set way into the future (2044). The world is in shambles; poverty, hunger, famine, and disorder abound. In Ohio, we meet our narrator, Wade Watts, aka, Parzival in virtual reality world. Parzival’s only hope of getting himself out of poverty is to find James Halliday’s legacy worth billions. The brilliant inventor of the game died and left a puzzle for all to solve, which consequently set the world in a furor to find his “egg”. Five years after his death, Parzival finds the first key, which made him an instant target for treasure hunters and criminals willing to do anything for Halliday’s billions.

The game itself is a buffet of goodies to those who are avid players of retro arcade and video games. But winning isn’t as easy as scoring the highest scores. Most of the time, a clue and a puzzle needs to be solved. As a result, readers will not have idle moments while in the grips of the book. The problem some may have is it’s a bit heavy on the narrative. In which case, I suggest you download the audio book. I hear it’s narrated by Wil Wheaton. Bonus!

This book is innovative, funny, witty, addictive and so much fun. Unfortunately, it is probably a foretelling of the consequences of our addiction to technology. Ready Player One might just be the one Sci-Fi book that will prod me into reading more novels in this genre. I know I’m ready to go back to Seveneves which I dropped a week after I decided to read it. Sigh.

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