Ready Player One! (Or Every Geeks Wet Dream)

Ernest Cline is a genius.  That is honestly putting it mildly.  A friend of mine from work gave me this book to read.  From the moment I opened the RV and mobile home pictured cover, I was completely enamored.  Cline has given true homage to the era of the 80’s.  Anyone who grew up during that time will be have their memories tickled by all the throwbacks in this book.  Those of you were too young to remember, or were born after that decade (please stop making us feel old) will get a glimpse into the world so many grew up in.  It was a time of first video games, big hair, parachute pants, acid wash jeans, spandex, fantastic movies, and great music. 

In a futuristic society, where the world has become so crummy from the fuel crisis, food shortage, and overpopulation, one man was able to create a world in which people got a reprieve from reality.  The OASIS.  A fully functional, 3D simulation where people spent most of their time.  To many, the OASIS was more of a reality than the real world.  People would spend every waking moment inside of this simulation.  It’s how they make money, go to school, do business deals, meet people, get married, and enjoy life. They can be humans, elves, demons, magic casters – anything that has been created from anyone’s imagination is there for the taking.  There is nothing that is out of reach within the OASIS – provided you have the money to pay for it.

The story begins when James Halliday – the creator of the OASIS, dies.  His will his broadcasted everywhere.  Halliday explains that since he has no children or heirs, his billions will be left to the the first person to find the easter egg he’s hidden somewhere within the OASIS.  The race is on as Gunters (Halliday fanatics who are looking to find the egg in the spirit of the game, and as tribute to the worlds greatest video game creator) and Sixers (those who want the game in order to change Halliday’s legacy into something that now has to be paid for, thus destroying the deceased man’s greatest vision) attempt to find the first of three keys.  Halliday only left one obscure clue – one that wouldn’t be solved until five years later by Wade Owen Watson.  The game, that had died off after so long, is now back on with a force as people begin feverishly searching for the keys.  The Sixers are ruthless in their attempts to become the owners of the OASIS.

Cline’s vivid description, attention to detail, and throwback to the 80’s will have anyone, who is even a little bit of a geek, completely engrossed within it’s pages.  Like the OASIS you won’t want to put it down until you’re eyes are red rimmed and watering from a mixture of a lack of sleep, too many words, and not blinking nearly enough as you pour over the book.  This book is definitely worth five out of five stars.  Bravo Mr. Cline, Ready Player One is the best book I’ve read since The Night Circus.  Both of these books are two of my all time favorites.

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