[546]: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

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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.

  • I am so glad you loved this one so much! To be honest, I didn’t realise that this one was so recently published as well. At least I am not the only one who assumed it was a classic or so xD I am definitely looking forward to it though and already have it on my TBR. I am not such a video gamer but well, I have seen a lot of non-gamers liking it so I think there is a lot more to the story.

    • So I bought this one and now I should be reading it soon!

  • I recently read Armada but wasn’t too impressed, however RPO sounds absolutely amazing. Sounds like the kind of book to bring my partner out of his reading slump as well. Thanks for reviewing!

    Aentee @ Read at Midnight

  • Girl, you had me with DeLorean!! lol I love those movies, watched them with my Dad and now Hubby and kids! Always fun!
    Glad you loved this book despite not knowing much about gaming. It sure sounds interesting!

    Naomi @ Naomi’s Reading Palace

  • I’m not much into sci fiction when it comes to books, but this sounds really good. It sounds as if it would be a great movie too which I would love to watch.

    • I’m not much of a Sci-fi reader either, but this one was so good I’d forgotten that it was a Sci-fi. Lol.

  • Oh man, I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH. I just loved all of the 80s references and the charm and the wit and EVERYTHING. It makes me so happy that you enjoyed it too Joy! AND WIL WHEATON narrating the audiobook is just perfect!

    • You get it. YOu really, really get it, Jeann. You’re a gamer so you must’ve been over the moon!

  • Jazmen

    I heard good and bad things about this one but it’s definitely one of my future reads. It sounds like something I can’t miss out on. Great review!

    • Could be the book that pulls you of your slump! Who knows? 🙂

  • I’ve had this internal conflict about whether to buy this one or not. But now I really need to get this one up especially since it’s about retro gaming 😀

    • Borrow it from the library. Seriously worth your time, czai!

  • Seeing as you loved this, and this isn’t contemporary, I’M GOING TO TAKE YOUR WORD FOR IT. And it’s funny because this has also been on my shelves forever, and it’s not even mine hahah! I think what’s putting me off is the cover, because it’s red and yellow. And my cover specifically is orange (bleh). But it does have to do with gaming, so I will get to it soon 🙂

    Awesome review Joy!

    • Ack! I hope you’ll enjoy this, Val. Oh the pressure of recommending a book. But hey, you heard it from Kelly first! Lol.

  • I loved this book. EFFNG. LOVED. IT.
    I’m married to a gamer, I was brought up in the eighties and if ever there was a book for me, this was it. I read it way back in 2012 and it completely blew me away. #nerdgasm. I must admit, I understood most of the references, especially growing up in that era with older siblings too. Did you see that twist coming towards the end? This still remains one of my top 5 favourite reads. I’m desperate to get my hands on a copy of Armada, boy, Ernest Cline has a lot to live up to with that one. I’m totally stoked you loved this Joy, brilliant review! <3 <3

    • Love that you’ve got someone at home to share the love for this book! I wish my hubs is into it as well. Definitely not saw that coming. Heck, this book is one hell of a twist. Lol.

  • Gorgeous review Joy 😀 I’m so happy that you loved this book so much. I have not heard about it before, but you make it seem pretty amazing 😀 Yay for finally having the want to read it ;p Thank you for sharing your thoughts about it. <3

  • This sounds like a fun filled read! Awesome review!

  • Bibliotropic

    I loved this book. It was a lot of fun! Even when I didn’t get all the references from personal experience, the atmosphere of the book was just such an enjoyable thrill-ride that not having seen a movie here or there didn’t detract from my reading experience in the slightest. Great review!

    • Outstanding, outstanding book! I can’t believe I almost missed out on it. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  • I love 80’s music! They don’t make those kinds of beats anymnore. This sounds good except for the gaming part, will I still get “it” even if I’m not a gamer?

    • I’m no gamer, but I still got it. I hope you’ll give it a chance someday, B. 🙂

  • Fabulous review – this sounds like a must-read! I was under the same impression as you – thought this was published WAY before 2011. If I’m not mistaken, the author recently released another book?

  • Patrick C.

    GREAT REVIEW JOY! I still have not picked up this book, I’ve been delaying it SOOO MUCH! But I am determined to pick this one up!

    Happy Reading
    Patrick @ The Bookshelves

    • Great! I hope you’ll enjoy it, Patrick!

  • 2011 surprises me, too. I think I first heard of this book and author about 6 months or so ago, I’m asking myself the same question as you – “Where was I???” After I first heard these raves, I bought it on Kindle, but I still haven’t read it yet. I love gaming, I love futuristic settings, so I need to read this soon.

    Are you saying you’re not loving Seveneves??? I loved that book. Stick with it!

    • right? turns out, we’re not the only ones! And yes, can’t get into Seveneves for some reason. Bah. I’m still chopping away at it. Lol.

  • kindlemom1

    This is the first I am seeing of this at all so don’t feel bad!
    I love that this wasn’t your typical read yet you really were able to get into the story and enjoy it! Wonderful review and I hope you have a fabulous weekend! 😀

    • Thanks, Ali! It was a surprisingly enjoyable read!

  • Well dang girl I’m confused then. I thought this book was recently published because I’ve been seeing a ton of blogs reviewing this book as of late. Or is there a recently published sequel to it? Idk. Teehee BUT this book is on my shelf to read so I can’t wait to get to it since you liked it so much. ♡

    • I guess I wasn’t the only one under that misconception. Lol.

  • Fun and witty sounds wonderful. I have read a few about gaming, some I have liked and others not so much

    • These kind of books are typically hard to get into for me. But this one is a rarity!

  • Great review Joy! 🙂 I’ve heard a lot about this book lately… I’m not sure whether to try read it, it sounds like it has a lot of tech in it and tech and I don’t get on well. But the video game aspect sounds facinating, I think my husband may like this, so I’ll get him to read it first. 🙂

    • It could be daunting at times, true. It manages to be fun, for me at least.

  • I have been meaning to read this forever. I did download the audio from my library and Wil Wheaton was great, but for some reason this is a book I need to read in print. I stopped listening because I was having trouble following the puzzle aspect on audio. But you’ve reminded me I need to track down a hard copy!
    Jen @ YA Romantics

    • I can see that. I feel the same way about Seveneves – another Sci-Fi monstrosity. lol.

  • I’ve been hearing a lot about this book and Armada lately! I haven’t read it either, but I’m definitely curious. It sounds pretty awesome and 5 stars from you!! I haven’t read many books with video games in it, so I’m interested for sure.
    Great review, Joy!

    • Oh I hope you’ll give it a chance someday, Nick. Both books are awesome! And you know I need romance in my life, but both books are really light on those.

  • I have not idea whether I would like this or not

    • I had no idea it would be for me as well, until I dove in head first. 🙂

  • Melliane

    The idea is very interesting there, nothing I have read yet. It’s nice to see you had a good time, now I’m sure you’re happy you finally had the motivation to read it lol

    • Yes! Isn’t it funny how that goes? Like this treasure just sitting there waiting to be read. 🙂