Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player OneReady Play­er One by Ernest Cline
My rat­ing: 5 of 5 stars

Add this book to the short­list of must-reads for every True Geek, right along­side Snow Crash. It’s a glee­ful homage to geek­dom and pop culture.

Wade explains to the read­er that he was born after human­i­ty wore the world out and escaped to OASIS, a mas­sive sim­u­la­tion that has replaced the inter­net and all oth­er forms of enter­tain­ment. Nobody seems to spend time in real­i­ty any­more because it sucks. There are mul­ti­ple wars going on over the few ener­gy sources that are left. Pover­ty, hunger, and home­less­ness are ram­pant everywhere. 

Most peo­ple who are for­tu­nate enough to live indoors at all are like Wade, who lives with his aunt and her lat­est boyfriend in a three-bed­room dou­blewide trail­er shared with 17 peo­ple. The trail­er is at least near the top of a stack, which is just what it sounds like: a stack of trail­ers 10 or so high, so many across and wide, so that 500 or more trail­ers are held togeth­er with rust­ed scaf­fold­ing, chains, and what­ev­er oth­er rein­force­ments peo­ple have added over the years. Stack col­laps­es are common. 

Wade spends most of his time in his hide­out, the back of an old van that’s parked in a junk­yard and crammed in a stack of vehi­cles. That’s where he keeps his com­put­er and oth­er equip­ment, so he can attend school (in OASIS, of course) and spend time research­ing The Con­test, which is the cen­ter of his life.

The cre­ator of OASIS, James Hal­l­i­day, cre­at­ed The Con­test in his will. Who­ev­er wins it will inher­it Hal­l­i­day’s vast for­tune and con­trol of OASIS. At the open­ing of the nov­el, it has been five years since Hal­l­i­day died and con­tes­tants are ridiculed in every­day soci­ety as obses­sive losers.

Wade’s quest through The Con­test and his fight to sim­ply sur­vive is far more inter­est­ing than I thought it would be. I’ll also admit to being enter­tained by the ’80s triv­ia that pops up through­out the book (inte­gral to The Con­test). I’m biased, as I was a teen dur­ing those years. 

I whole­heart­ed­ly rec­om­mend this book. It’s one of the very few that I’ll be sav­ing to re-read in the future.

View all my reviews

Cyn is Katie's mom, Esther's Mémé, and a Support Engineer. She lives in the Atlanta area with her life partner, Rick, and their critters. She knits, does counted-thread needlework, reads, makes music, plays TTRPGs, and spends too much time online.
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