Mar 19, 2012

Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline

This book got so much hype that I had no choice but to place it on a pedestal. Unfortunately, while it is a thoroughly enjoyable romp through GeekWorld, I didn't find it to be nearly as good as many had claimed it to be. It's probably best put into the YA section, but even then, it's a little simplistic. True to the games and movies it worships, this book is very black and white. The contrast between Good and Evil is stark and obvious. And to be honest, the obsession with 80s pop culture doesn't feel fresh or fun, due to my generation's hipster tendencies. Everything old is new again, as my mother says. Instead of feeling original and exciting, "Ready Player One" reads as dated and faddish.

The book starts off pretty slowly as we get to know Wade/Parzival's world. America has continued on its economic downward spiral and the entire planet chooses instead to spend all of its collective time inside the OASIS, a truly massive multiplayer online game. Once the action starts and the hunt begins, the book, picks up and becomes more engaging. I just wish it were a little, well, less geeky, I guess. I understand that being so would defeat the purpose of what Cline wanted to create, but it's frustrating that he mostly ignores the fascinating social and political aspects of the world he has dreamed up. Doing so would have made this a much more adult novel.

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