Skip to content

abookaweek 2012: week twenty-nine

2012 July 22

Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline

Category: YA

Story: Wade lives in a future where everyone and everything is hooked up to OASIS, a computer system/game not unlike Second Life. His biggest goal in life is to hunt and find Halliday’s Egg in order to win an in-game contest set up by OASIS’s creator and Wade’s hero, James Halliday, which would make him the richest man in the US and OASIS.

Opinion: The first thing everyone says about this book is that it has a lot of references to ’80s pop culture. Some say it’s too much, others say it’s perfect. I wouldn’t say it’s perfect, but I think the way the references are used makes up for the overwhelming quantity of them; that is to say, they make up the foundation for the OASIS world and the contest, and without them this book just wouldn’t make sense. Only an ’80s-obsessed computer programmer would set up a contest like that, and therefore that contest could only be made up out of ’80s trivia and games. It would be a whole different story if the references were used in an indirect way (i.e. “my dad and I put aside our differences more quickly than Alex and Steven Keaton”), but they’re all really a part of the story.

And the story, let me tell you, is pret-ty awesome. I enjoy my fair share of video games and ’80s pop culture, but this book had me hook, line and sinker. It’s a thrilling plot, and the relationships are totally relatable for anyone from Generation Y onwards. The one thing I hated with the fire of a thousand suns was Cline’s repeated use of the name for an online auction site for passwords and hacks: L33t Haxorz Warezhaus. YOU CANNOT MAKE THIS STUFF UP.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS