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Ready Player One

Ready Player One

9.9/10

Ernest Cline

eBook, Paperback, Hardcover, Audiobook

384

A world at stake. A quest for the ultimate prize. Are you ready?

At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut – part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of 10,000 planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune – and remarkable power – to whoever can unlock them.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved – that of the late 20th century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt – among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life – and love – in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

Leaves the movie in the dust

As a child of the 70’s and 80’s, this was a book I anticipated reading, but put off until now because they were making a movie based on it. So many times I’ve seen the movie based on a book after reading the book, and been disappointed with the adaptation.

However, this time, I read the book after seeing the movie, and I’m glad I did.

The movie barely touched on many of the key plot points from the novel. Some were no doubt left out due to monetary and time constraints on movie makers. But, others that are key points in the novel were missing entirely from the movie, and in part, I suspect that was to get the rating the movie they were aiming for.

The characters might be more vividly painted on the big screen, but they pale compared to Cline’s descriptions and portrayals. Each of the characters goes through a much more intense series of events and I think the story is stronger for it.

As a result of the author’s passion for his characters, the setting, and the history they come from, I fell in love with this book on a level that the movie couldn’t bring me to.

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