Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Awesome Book: Ready Player One

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is a book written specifically for me ... or at least it feels that way.  My wife asked, "So you're really reading a novel about ... playing video games?"  And I answered, "Yeah.  Isn't it awesome?"

The plot is very simple and easy to follow.  James Halliday was a gaming genius, multi-billionaire, and creator of the multiplayer online virtual reality world called OASIS.  The book opens with James' death.  In his will, he announces that he has hidden an Easter Egg somewhere inside of OASIS.  The first person to find the Egg will inherit his entire fortune.

What follows is a mad race to find the three keys that would open the gates to find the Egg.  Think It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World meets TRON.

The book also has thousands of 1980s references, which is understandable, considering that was the era during which computer gaming first became big.  So, not only did I enjoy the game, but I enjoyed reliving parts of my own past.  And I even felt proud for being a geek.

Because of the simple prose and simple plot, the book is a very fast, enjoyable read.  My only complaint is that it had to come to an end.  Though, there are a few hints near the end of a sequel.  Ernest is currently working on a different story called Armada.  Perhaps it will occur inside of OASIS, but we'll see when that book comes out.

As I read Ready Player One, I kept an eye out for a possible Easter Egg by Ernest himself.  My not-so-diligent search came up empty, but I learned after the fact, that he did indeed put in an Easter Egg.  Those who found it were led to a website where they were tasked to find three gates, and the person who finished first won a Delorean complete with a flux capacitor.  Dude!

I wouldn't recommend this book for younger children, as there are f-bombs (no more than 10) and a few brief adult situations mentioned, though I'm not sure why they were included.  Other than that, today's kids would love this book.

If you're an older geeky "kid" like me who loves video games, then this book is required reading.  Pick it up today and enjoy the read.


Erin Latimer said...

That actually sounds kinda fun! Have you ever watched "The Guild" before? It's a TV show about a massive, multi player game and the people that form a "guild" to play. Weirdly, it's really addictive.

Melvyn Windham said...


Thanks for the heads up. I'll look into it. It looks like it stars that girl from Eureka.