Thursday, January 26, 2012

CBR IV: Book 2: Ready Player One - Ernest Cline

This is the first book I read on my Kindle. It seemed oddly appropriate since it is a techno-noir. Ready Player One is the story of Wade Owen Watts, AKA Parzival, a 17 year old kid in the year 2045. Most fossil fuels have been burned up, people live in "stacks" (trailers stacked on top of each other), and nearly everybody spends their entire lives sucked into the OASIS. The OASIS is a virtual world where teens can go to school, adults can go to work, and everyone can shop and hang out. Think The Matrix combined with World of Warcraft. Everyone has an avatar that they can use to interact in the OASIS. While connecting to the OASIS is free, traveling off worlds and weaponry costs real, actual money. Nearly everyone in the world is on the same quest; trying to find the Easter Egg that James Halliday, the creator of the OASIS, hid when he died. Whoever finds the egg wins the entirety of Halliday's multi-billion dollar fortune, and creative control of the OASIS. Parzival is finishing High School, and in his free time, he is an egg hunter or a "gunter". Halliday was an eccentric Steve Jobs-type character who was obsessed with 1980s pop culture and video games, so Parzival is obsessed with the 1980s as well.

While I wouldn't call this book the greatest literary find of our generation, I really enjoyed the Hell out of it. I couldn't put it down. It was a fast-paced adventure that really kept me on the edge of my seat. I laughed my ass off at a lot of the 80s references and in-jokes. You probably need to be at least 30 for me to recommend this book. Otherwise you probably won't get the references. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

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