“Going outside is highly overrated.”
Title: Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline
Why you should read this book: Because this is a journey inside one of the most wonderful virtual realities ever written.
Read the summary from Goodreads here
This is going to be one tough review to write because there are so many things I loved about this book but I have no idea how to put them into words.
This won’t be a traditional review, this won’t be a review at all; I won’t write much about the book but about what I thought while reading it. I just feel that if I start writing about the book then I would ruin all the fun for the first readers. I don’t want to be the party pooper of the situation. Just so you know, I loved it, it will stay with me forever and I will recommend it to people!
First of all I loved all the references, even the ones I didn’t get because I was too young during those years.
I was born in 1985 and I was lucky because I have a sister 6 years older than me that introduced me to so many things and gave me almost all of her videogames consoles when she was too cool for them. I am still not too cool for any of them; maybe now I’m only too lazy to give videogames much time. I was too little to know a lot of the 80s references that were used in the book not only because of my age but also because I didn’t grow up in the US but in Ecuador. Yes, we could watch a lot of US TV shows and movies but not everything, or at least that’s what I think because I don’t remember a lot of them.
“For a bunch of hairless apes, we’ve actually managed to invent some pretty incredible things.”
Every time the characters said something I knew I started grinning like a fool. I was so happy to relate to some of the excitement they felt! And when I didn’t know what they were referring to, I made my researches and now a lot of things are on my to-watch list. Just a few weeks ago I saw episode 0 of the new season of Mr. Robot and they were talking about Wargames and how the movie made people wonder if those hacks were truly possible and how it inspired the increment of security protocols. I found it very interesting and now I need to watch that movie: I really don’t know why I haven’t watched it yet.
Something weird is happening with my reading process. By sheer coincidence every book I read has something that I find in the book I start reading after finishing it. It’s a chain reaction I can’t seem to stop. Let’s see if this weird fate is going to repeat itself after this. This book had Vonnegut references and I came to know him from the last book I read and now there are a couple of his books I really want to read. How crazy is that? References, I just love them! I learn so many things from them.
“I was watching a collection of vintage ’80s cereal commercials when I paused to wonder why cereal manufacturers no longer included toy prizes inside every box. It was a tragedy, in my opinion. Another sign that civilization was going straight down the tubes.”
The whole looking for the “Golden Ticket”, the Halliday Egg, was intriguing and exciting. The “gunters” (the egg hunters) studied everything there was to know about the creator of the virtual utopia OASIS, to look for clues to find the egg. But OASIS is immense and Halliday liked so many things. I wonder how Wade (aka Parzival) found the time to learn, watch, listen, play and read everything. He also went to school and some of the things he liked best he did repeatedly. Are there enough hours in a day to do everything he did? That’s a miracle and Wade has my utmost admiration.
“No one in the world gets what they want and that is beautiful.”
It’s the future (a horrible one on top of that) but it has this nostalgia feeling and sometimes it’s hard to separate the two different eras. When this future didn’t remind me of the 80s, it reminded me of our time now. People living their lives through the internet, social networks, fake personas, scams, illegality, etc. In this future you create an avatar and that’s you. You can make it real or you can alter your appearance to be whoever you want to be, not really to deceive but mainly to feel better about yourself. Real life is ugly so you need your fake life to make you happy and if to do so you reduce your nose size, make yourself taller, thinner, prettier, so be it. You have the world and you don’t even need to get out of the house. OASIS is your everything, you don’t need anything else.
I’m not crazy about reality, but it’s still the only place to get a decent meal.
So take the virtual utopia everyone lives in, add a spectacular egg hunt with a multibillionaire prize, then add a very clever anti-hero with his virtual friends who are everything but perfect, complete everything with the evil corporation run by an evil villain who wants to rule the real and virtual world, and you have READY PLAYER ONE. The perfect combination of everything fun, smart and geek that will make you wish you were looking for the egg with Parzival, Art3mis, Aech, Shoto and Daito!
Are you ready?
Do I recommend it? Yes, read it now and love it forever.
☆: It made my “favourite books” list