Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One by Ernest ClineRating: 5 / 5 stars
Format: Paperback
Published: 16th August 2011
Book Depository | Goodreads

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.

When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

So the first thing I’m going to say is part of the reason why I was so surprised by this book is that I picked it entirely based on the cover. I had not heard of Ready Player One, I was just in Waterstones looking for something to read on a long train journey. Ready Player One just happened to be in the ‘buy one get one free’ section, like literally the only reason I bought this book was because I would get it half price. I’m sure everyone knows that picking a book based on its cover is very hit or miss so I was amazed that not only was it better than I expected, it was about all the things I love.

I will fully admit that this is one of my all time favourite books, but it’s really not the greatest story. Large parts of it are based on other games and movies, there is even a chapter when Wade (our main character) plays Matthew Broderick’s role in Wargames. This is also a part of the reason why I think a movie adaption could be extremely difficult to make.

But I don’t think it’s good enough to say I like this book because it mentions nerdy stuff, I already liked that and would still like it if I hadn’t read this book. I think I like the fact that it acknowledges nerd culture and acknowledges the fact that nerd culture is becoming mainstream. I mean it’s now cool to like Star Trek and Doctor Who. I love the fact that people don’t have to hide that part of themselves and this book celebrates it. Being a nerd and knowing lots of stuff about movies and games makes you cool.

I love the fact that a huge part of this is set in an MMO and even mentions some of the downsides of being a gamer (weight gain and living in your parents basement). Though I am not a child of the 80s and sometimes didn’t know what Wade was referencing I still enjoyed those parts. I also really love how it comments on data privacy. Look if you’re a nerd and you like science-fiction, gaming and the 80s you will probably like it.

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30 thoughts on “Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

  1. Have you come across The Win-Up Girl? Paolo Bacigalupi’s new one, The Water Knife came out. Dystopian futuristic stuff too. I’m wondering if you’ve reviewed it?

  2. I personally believe that only people who’re into either gaming, or part of some fandom would appreciate the book very much.. Others might be a little meh about it.

  3. I read Ready Player One a couple of years ago and loved it for all the reasons you mentioned. Plus, I am a child of the 80’s and I got and loved all of the 80’s references (especially Wade’s DeLorean!).

  4. Really like this review!! This is probably one of my top books of all time. Being born at the end of the 80s I felt like I was able to relate to a lot of the games I had played as a child, but overall I just really enjoyed the story. I do agree that it may be hard to do a movie adaptation, but I would be the first in line if they did!

  5. Bring on the nerds! Love a nerd – I think after watching several seasons of Big Bang Theory, my son’s life ambition is to be one when he grows up (although I’m not sure real, full on nerds get as much lady action as the boys on BBT). We all watch Dr Who together – though I would have had Matt Smith as the Dr forever.
    I was always going to read this book, as my son bough it for my husband for Father’s Day (with a nudge from me!). Loved the premise from the off. This makes me want to read it all the more – thanks Emma 🙂
    Now, I just have to get husband to read it, as it’s still on his ‘to read’ pile. Is it rude to nick and read it before him? 🙂

    1. I dunno, I enjoyed BBT at first but it sort of has this “lets all laugh at the nerds” vibe.

      And yes, you should totally just nick it from his pile. He won’t notice. Will he?

      1. You’re right, their are many things about BBT that aren’t ideal, but as the actors have just had a huge row with production over pay, I suspect it won’t go on for much longer. As soon as the actors think they’re bigger than the show it only seems to continue for a couple more series! (Friends / Frasier etc)
        Husband might not notice me nicking the book, but he might notice me reading it – will have to cunningly hide it in a copy of the Beano or something 🙂

        1. Oh I didn’t know about that. Though its been on for at least 7 seasons so I could understand if it ends soon anyway.

          You’ll have to read it soon. I just saw a thing on reddit saying that the movie adaptation is being released in 2017!

          1. Only time will tell – though 7 series is pretty good going for any telly programme and as it’s still pretty funny, they should finish before it gets tired and old.
            2017? Oh, lor. My other half’s a slow reader too. I’ll have to drop him some serious hints … 🙂

          2. Yeah the last season was pretty good. At least the bits of it I saw wwere pretty good!

            Apparently Steven Spielberg is directing. Its going to be interesting to see how they do it considering the number of copyrighted works in the book. But yes. Drop massive hints. Or just buy your own copy 😛

          3. Spielberg, eh? That’s going to be massive, then. From your review, though, it sounds like a tricky one to film, not that that makes much difference to Hollywood as they often care very little for sticking close to the original source material. There are several Philip K Dick stories (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep {Blade Runner} being one) where film makers took the nub of an idea and threw in car chases, explosions, love stories where there were none. Interesting to see how they handle it.
            I could just chloroform husband every night so he doesn’t see me reading his book. At least he’d be guaranteed a good night’s sleep.

          4. I mean since its an adventure book I could understand if they change some of the puzzles and maybe update the refrences a little bit. But the whole point of the book is the nerdy stuff. I mean like Star Trek, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and just a bunch of other things get mentioned. Its been a while since I studied Copyright laws but just mentioning those things should be okay. But like the Wargames movie plays a huge part so its going to be interesting how they do that since its way more than just a reference.

            I like books and all that but I don’t know if I would go as far as to recommend someone use chloroform just so they can read a book.

          5. I’m guessing Warner has deep pockets – they must’ve been prepared to pay MGM a large amount of cash for the right to use clips/references. MGM may do well out of it – extra money, extra interest in Wargames.
            And I’m not sure I can get hold of Chloroform anyway, so don’t worry. I’ll have to make do with the sleep inducing power of Horlicks, I think 🙂

          6. Oh that makes it better 😛

            I imagine they will get something sorted out. Just like that terrible Pixels movie that just came out with Donkey Kong and Pac-Man in it.

          7. Yes, not seen Pixels but it does look awful. Too loud, too obviously trying to cash in on the popularity of big arcade games. And anything Adam Sandler is attached to these days is not great.

          8. Husband said it had been slated and he’s quite a film buff. I’ll give it a miss if at all possible, though my son fancies the look of it 🙁

  6. I’ve been seeing this book around! Your review is convincing me to finally get it cause I love nerdy things but I also love romance… Btw, your blog is really beautiful, Emma <3

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