Wunderkind PR sent me an advance reader copy (at no cost to me, full disclosure) of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One. I enjoyed his movie Fanboys, and started to read it as soon as possible. I’m very happy they sent it to me, RP1 is a book full of nerdy goodness.
From the synopsis on ReadyPlayerOne.com
It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.
Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.
And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune—and remarkable power—to whoever can unlock them.
This review was a hard one to write. I enjoyed so much about Ready Player One that I want to share it all with you. Like the part where [Spoiler Removed] and [Spoiler Removed]. Even [Spoiler Removed]! That was simply awesome.
If I had to describe RP1 without getting spoilery, I’d call it a novelization of Cracked.com. The only thing that’s missing is Teddy Roosevelt and a comment section where people can complain about research inaccuracy in a humor article. Oh… and bitch about how it’s not funny. (Fact: According to comments left on the site, 98% of Cracked’s regular readers have yet to find anything funny.) It’s like Ernest Cline went through all the articles about 80s Movies, Video Games, the Internet, Mega-Corporations, and Epic Douchebaggery and arranged them to form a story. Then he filled in the gaps with a thick layer of Science Fiction.
I loved Ready Player One. If it were any better I would have loved it in ways that are still illegal in 42 states.
I can only see a couple of possible problems.
I loved the book, partially because I knew a lot of the Geek Culture referenced. I won’t claim that I caught everything, but the bits that slipped past me were negligible.
Yes, I am a Giant Nerd.
Lesser Nerds will also enjoy the book, I’m sure of that. I am concerned that these “Normal People” I’ve heard about may miss most of the coolest bits, though there’s enough Pop Culture that even they won’t be entirely left out. The folks that wouldn’t get anything? I doubt they read anyway. They can watch the movie, which is already in the works.
The only other thing I didn’t love, I disliked nothing, was the ending. Apart from the reality that it had to end, which sucks, the last bit seemed like an odd fit with the rest of the book. The timing was off, for me at least. I thought it should have either ended a half chapter or so earlier or gone on to fill in some details. An epilogue would have fixed that up.
Ready Player One can be enjoyed by anyone, but will only be truly appreciated by those who were geeks, nerds, spaziods and those palest of basement dwelling gamers of various and sundry ilk.
You know… us.