Book Club reader review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

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Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline Publisher: Century
Release Date: 18 August 2011 Price: £11.99

This book is outstanding.

The author is a self confessed supergeek and wrote and directed a film called Fanboys about obsessive Star Wars fans. George Lucas endorsed the film.

The writer realised that nobody was going to allow him to delve into the geek culture as much as he wanted too within a screenplay forum, and had all the ideas about a screenplay based on this story rejected, and so he decided to write this book instead.

The ironic thing is that on the strength of this book it has now secured film rights which were rejected as an original screenplay idea and the author will now write the screenplay as well.

I’m a bit hesitant to go into a lengthy review as I dont believe that anything I write can possibly put into words how great it is.

18 year old Wade Watts is an overweight supergeek that spends most of his life jacked into the Oasis, a virtual life that you access via a headset that displays the world directly onto your retinas and gloves (think Caprica visors). When the owner and creator of oasis dies he leaves a will stating that he has hidden 3 keys in the middle of his game that once gotten will give the winner sole ownership of the oasis.

As you can well imagine gamers all over the world go into a frenzy trying to discover the keys based on clues that the owner James Halliday had left and nobody finds anything for five years, until Wade suddenly discovers the location of the 1st key.

Wade is a tad obsessed with Halliday and has watched and read everything that James had ever mentioned on his website and so with the vast amount of research he has done into the owner Wade believes he has an advantage over the other Gunters (Egg Hunter Geeks).

The story then goes on about the rest of his journey to try and discover the rest of the keys and try and win the contest, all the while being chased by his best friend Aech who is also desperate to win, his cyber crush Art3mis and Japanese Brothers Shoto and Daito and they are all being trailed by the sixers, an evil clan of supergamers that work for Evil conglomerate IOI and will do anything to win, even assault and murder.

There are masses of Eighties pop and culture references, luckily as I was a teenager in the Eighties, all of this made sense to me and I laughed out loud at some of the cheesy references that I myself can distinctively remember.

For example, setting his alarm clock to wake him to Wham’s Wake Me Up Before You Go Go because he hates it and its the only way to get him out of bed.

Knowing every word to War Games, and Monty Python, all the Eighties cartoons etc the attention to detail is quite astonishing.

I firmly believe that this book will become one of those books that is always on the top ten list of the greatest books ever written, it really is that good.

The author is a genius as he has left me wanting more, it was so descriptive, so engaging that I didnt realise how much time was passing by as I read it, and I didn’t want it to end, and when I turned the final page I actually sighed Noooo out loud.

Please hurry up and write another one.