Title: Ready Player One
Writer: Ernest Cline
Publisher: Broadway Paperbacks (2011)
Bought at: Better World Books (USD 10.98)
It is the year of 2044 and the Earth becomes more and more hostile. Energy crisis, degrading environment and human moral problems, make the world a not so nice place to live anymore. Fortunately, there’s a virtual reality called OASIS, where people can create their own avatars and live in a whole new life in a utopian world, including go to school, battle a combat, collect money and treasures, and even find a girlfriend and get married- all without having to move from their chairs, using their OASIS consoles.
Wade Watts is one of the most dedicated OASIS users- not only because his life really sucks, but because he’s sure, the only thing he could do to get a better life is by winning the OASIS ultimate game, the Halliday’s Easter Eggs.
James Halliday, the founder of OASIS, left an unpredictable, crazy will when he died. He will leave his company (along with billions of dollars worth of shares and stocks) to the user who will be successfully finding his Easter eggs, and solving all the puzzles that were hidden somewhere in the OASIS universe. Because James Halliday grew up in the 80s and very into anything 80’s related- from pop culture like movies and songs, to the geekdom like games and techno things, the puzzles are also related to that era.
Considering that the OASIS universe is really huge and the users of OASIS are very eager to win this prize, Wade doesn’t seem to have too much chance. But he’s not gonna give up.
And along his journey, Wade also met with some incredible characters- some become his new friends and some are the worst enemies he’s ever known- especially when his life -not his avatar’s life, but his real life- is threatened by this ruthless enemy who doesn’t care if he needs to kill someone for the prize.
Ready Player One is a nerd galore, full of surprises and unexpected twists and turns. I myself grew up in the 80s, and know some of the references mentioned in this book. I played Atari with my brother, had a cute obsession with Pac Man, and I watched most of John Hughes’s movies. But even though there are things that I’m not familiar with in this book, I can still enjoy the story very much, because this book could relate with mostly everyone, especially all the nerds, bookworms, ans geeks out there 🙂
The puzzles itself are pretty good, and the solutions are satisfying. Wade is the underdog that every reader will root for because he reminds us so bad about ourselves, a nerd who just wants to have a better life (Revenge of the nerds mode on!).
Despite the fun storyline, Ready Player One also plays with more serious issues though- a contemplation for all of us, people who love virtual world more than our real life- people who use the utopia to run away from our own harsh reality. And I think it’s really really relevant for current days.
For me, a book that can combine the fun with some serious talks without being pretentious is a book worth of praise, and I can’t clap hard enough for Ready Player One. Very recommended.
As many bestseller books, Ready Player One will be adapted into the movie, with no other than Stephen Spielberg as the director. The movie will be opened in March 2018 and Ernest Cline -thankfully- will act as the screenwriter.
Looking forward to seeing this!