Weekend Reads: Ready Player One

Ready Player One, Ernest Cline

ready player one review book recommendation ernest cline steven spielberg wade watts weekend reads parzival

© Penguin Random House

Although Ready Player One has been out since 2011, Ernest Cline’s sci-fi novel has definitely enjoyed a second coming after Steven Spielberg picked it up. The Ready Player One movie is out March 2018, which gives you plenty of time to read the book. If, like me, you missed the boat the first time around, here’s a quick snapshot of Cline’s 80s pop culture extravaganza:

The Premise

The year is 2045, and Trump’s climate change denial has finally led the world straight into an environmental collapse. Millions of civilians now spend most if not all of their time logged into a virtual reality known as the OASIS. In this giant online platform, users can attend school, make friends, go on adventures, and even make money. (Yes, they can do adult stuff, too). However, following the untimely death of OASIS creator James Halliday, a hunt for a hidden Easter Egg commences.

The winner of the platform-wide contest will automatically inherit billions, as well as complete control over the OASIS. It is then up to average Joes like Wade Watts, alias Parzival, to find the Egg before fascist corporation IOI beats them to it.

Why You Should Read It

Ready Player One has its issues. Mostly that it’s told from the perspective of a pubescent and deprived dude, and sometimes his way of seeing the world rubs readers the wrong way. If I’m being honest, I didn’t find much of the book particularly problematic. That Wade can be ignorant and misguided at times is the least you can expect. The guy has spent most of his life living in an overcrowded trailer with his tyrannical aunt.

All in all, I found that Ready Player One can be exciting for people who are loosely affiliated with gaming. (Avid gamers don’t like the implausibilities found on the OASIS). It’s also for older Millennials who are looking for that 80s nostalgia high. But it’s ultimately for anyone looking for an entertaining read that’s both light and gripping.

I will warn you, though. The book will say, “[M]y brain began to feel like Aquafresh toothpaste.” And, dear reader, you’ll have to make what you will of that.

ready player one review book recommendation ernest cline steven spielberg wade watts weekend reads parzival

© Florian de Gesincourt via ArtStation

Weekend Reads is a Friday column of The Nerd League featuring nuggets of wisdom on the literary world. Our in-house galley virtuoso tends to have the scoop on stuff before it’s even out. To keep up with this week’s pick click here.   

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