Thursday, April 19, 2012
Title: Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline
Narrator: Wil Wheaton
Published: 2011; Pages: 384
Audio Duration: 15 hrs; 46 min
Genre: Science Fiction
In Short: When James Halliday, the creater of the virtual/alternate reality world of The Oasis, suddenly dies, the quest of all quests begins as members of The Oasis embark in a hunt for Halliday's fortune. Wade Watts, a teenager who lives his life on The Oasis, makes a huge breakthrough in the Quest, but he realizes that his search for the fortune is going to cost much more than he bargained for.
Why I Listened: I consulted Twitter for an audiobook that I could not stop listening to and several piped up with Ready Player One. I was apprehensive because of the subject but their praise was overwhelming.
What You Wanted to Know:
Without being too spoilerish, what did you think of the ending? (Kailana)
Yeeep! I don't remember the ending. (But I discussed briefly with my coworker who just finished listening and he was really surprised). I have to hope that Wade's choice at the end makes him happy. I think it will.
Someone actually makes the Oasis a reality in our society, what are your thoughts on that? (Kailana)
The first time that I encountered reading about an Alternate Reality was when I read Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson a few years ago. It reminded me a lot of games such as SIMS, which I'm not entirely familiar with but I think that you play online with others using avatars? And of course there is a pretty big online gaming world. But the thought of a society that is mostly an alternate reality is very frightening to me. Which is a little ironic given how much time Bloggers can spend on the computer, but I also try to keep myself grounded and live in the here and now. But perhaps if we lived in a post-apocalyptic world, I'd want to stay holed up in my apartment living in a virtual world also? Nah--I imagine I'd want to be like Mila Kunis in Book of Eli.
I loved the book but I'm older than you so I wondered if it's still fun if you don't remember all the old computer games from the 1980s, etc. (Leeswammes) and related: Since you're younger than I am, did you "get" all the 80's references? (BermudaOnion)
Yes, I was a babe in the 80s, so I am more a child of the 80s who was shaped by the 90s. I did get a lot of the pop culture references, especially with movies and other random trivia. The parts where I didn't understand as much were more related to the gaming information. Other than my regular Nintendo and eventually Super Nintendo, I didn't play very many video games. I wish that I was able to understand these references more but it didn't hinder my enjoyment of the book.
Why in the world haven't I listened to it yet? @lithousewife
I don't think this was meant to be a question seriously addressed, but I'm going to anyway. I was a bit leery of the sci-fi, cyberpunk thriller premise of the book and have heard many others say the same. This is a common phrase: "This book was not something I'd normally pick up." Or "This book was way out of my comfort zone." But...I've seen very few people dislike it, so really--what are you waiting for? Plus there will be a movie, so why wait...
Bottom Line: If you are remotely interested in cyberpunk, science fiction, 80s trivia, gaming, or fast-paced adventures, this one is worth every bit of the hype it has received. Though this isn't something I would normally ever pick up in book form, I really enjoyed the listening experience.
A Note About the Audio: Wil Wheaton narrates Ready Player One and while I hadn't heard of him before listening (hangs head in shame), I can assure you he was the perfect choice. Well-paced, emphatic in all the right places, and tonality was perfect for the teenage boy he was narrating.
What's a book outside of your comfort zone that you read and loved?
On the Blog:
One Year Ago - Sunday Salon 43: Books I'd Love to Read Right Now
Two Years Ago - Hoppy Easter
Three Years Ago - The Outsiders and Sam's Letters to Jennifer
Four Years Ago - A Million Little Pieces by James Frey