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Ready Player One

E to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them But when Wa ETA At the risk of getting this attention by editing it I'm no longer responding to comments made on this review It's four years old and while I stand by what I wrote I'm not interested in discussing it either positively or negatively And I'm really glad they made it into a movieSo disappointing The premise of a treasure hunt inside a gigantic immersive online environment is interesting I like the idea of the people of 2044 being fixated on '80s culture for clues to solving the puzzle The execution simply doesn't live up to the promise The writing goes like this interestinginterestinginterestingINFODUMP interesti BIGGER INFODUMPand so forth I honestly don't know who the intended audience is The author overexplains all the '80s references as if he expects readers to be too young or too disconnected from geek culture not to get them but my experience with SF fandom is that no element of fandom however old ever completely dies out; all of us old farts who were teens in the '80s and interesting fact the creator of the book's treasure hunt has the same birth year I do make sure the young sprouts experience all the golden oldies This is a first novel and I make allowances for first novels but this stretches my tolerance uite a bitMore difficult for me to get past was the poorly conceived dystopian future from which the story arises; to the bugaboos of environmental destruction overpopulation and economic collapse is added the fear of giant evil corporations This despite the fact that the guy who set up the enormous online multiverse AND created the treasure hunt did so by creating an enormous corporation of his own His online creation is lauded in one of those massive infodumps as being so egalitarian because they don't charge anything for access just for the things you buy inside it but the corporation couldn't have set it up in the first place without needing a grundle of cash My computer programmer friends will fall on the floor laughing at the idea that all of those virtual items people buy are pure profit for the company because they don't cost anything to make Every time I started to get interested in the story I came up against some background element that only made sense in a tautological way it is because it's said to be soBut what really killed it for me what caused me to finally give up about halfway through has always been a deal breaker for me in any work of speculative fiction I don't like books that seem to exist independently of the great body of work that has explored the same issues or ideas In this case it's as if the author has never heard of Tad Williams' Otherland or despite the hero's homage to Stephenson The Diamond Age and Snow Crash These books I except Stephenson's recent book Reamde because it was released the same year as Ready Player One raised and evaluated issues with virtual reality and yet Ready Player One does a lot of unnecessary reinventing of the cybernetic wheel And yes I do think this is a valid criticism; science fiction is interconnected to a degree that trumps any other genre except possibly experimental literary fiction There's an expectation that readers will be familiar with concepts raised elsewhere and have than a passing familiarity with other SF novels Ready Player One doesn't do much than revisit ideas that other authors have explored and the addition of a high tech fantasy uest an admittedly very cool idea isn't enough to elevate it beyond the ordinary

Free download Ready Player One

De stumbles upon the first clue he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize The race is on and if Wade's going to survive he'll have to win and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escap Back in 2011 Ready Player One was perhaps the year's most well reviewed book It received glowing commendations from the likes of NPR The New York Times Wired John Scalzi Patrick Rothfuss and many many It maintains a 43 average score on Goodreadscom a significant accomplishment given its 20000 reviews and you'd be hard pressed to find a negative review in any major publicationIn no way can I make any sense of this Please believe what I am about to write as it is not even close to hyperboleReady Player One was the most disappointing reading experience of my entire lifeIt’s the year 2044 and the real world is an ugly place Like most of humanity Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets 

And like most of humanity Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world For somewhere inside this giant networked playground OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of puzzles that will yield a massive fortune—and remarkable power—to whoever can unlock them 

For years millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved—that of the 1980s And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle Suddenly the whole world is watching and thousands of competitors join the hunt—among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prizeAnd with that you've just read the best that Ready Player One has to offer its synopsisI should preface the rest of this review by stating that I am and have always been a geek at heart I am as much a byproduct of the 1980s as anyone I've been a lifelong gamer a pop culture obsessive and I once thought I'd married for real Princess PeachReady Player One has been hailed by its author Ernest Cline as a love letter to anyone who grew up geek a sentiment that has been confirmed by every review in every publication all over the world And yet the Ready Player One that I read was less a love letter to geeks than it was a pat on the back to an 18 year old Cline a Stephanie Meyer eclipsing Mary Sue that attempts to justify the behavior of an overweight socially awkward virginal nerdI'm not being mean It's literally what it isAt its core Ready Player One is a fairy tale a treasure hunt Albeit one designed by an 80s obsessed ultra nerd whose entire life was steeped in nostalgia Evidently human creativity peaked with Zork and Legend So Wade's hunt for Halladay's easter egg is one long excuse for a constant—and I do mean constant—barrage of 80s referencesActually scratch that It's not so much referencing as it is name dropping 95% of it serves no actual purpose aside from simply mentioning it At first the references reinforce the story helping to create a framework that grounds the reader in the world Cline has created with OASIS But after the first chapter yes the first chapter these devolve into ceaseless meaningless throwbacks The novelty lasts all of ten minutes until you realize that it's all just an annoying form of telling not showingIf the point is to re enact sections of DD modules and 80s cult classics then your readers are just getting third hand retreads of things that aren't even important to begin with It's sort of like when your socially awkward friend resolutely recounts a super sweet TV show for you word for word and all you can do is just sit there and wait until he's finished Pay 20 for that experience and you get Ready Player OneWhat makes Ready Player One so disappointing is that these references seem to the be the sole purpose of Cline's writing The novel doesn't say much of anything Sure there are a handful of introspective moments—limp attempts at social commentary—but they're of so little conseuence they seem thrown in to fulfill some delusion of grandeurYes reality really is better and meaningful than virtual reality We've been told this in almost every VR based story known to man And yet that's Cline's one takeaway Oh and you should love people for who they are on the inside even if they have a birthmark on half their face Thanks ErnestWhat's confusing about the 80s obsession though is the fact that Ready Player One is at best a YA level read Cline would sit very comfortably beside the likes of Rick Riordan and Suzanne Collins Ready Player One is inelegant and shallow at the best of times and yet this novel is clearly targeted at the 30 year old and up crowd if you're any younger much of the subject material is simply too obscure This subjectreading level conflict then makes the whole mess inherently problematicAnd what's worst—no I haven't even gotten to the worst part yet—is how the entire thing reeks of elitism Yes you read that correctly This is a book about an overweight unattractive lazy delusional uber geek elitist who believes—truly believes—that his knowledge of 80s trivia makes him superior And Cline basically affirms this Some guys buy cars others put socks down their pants Cline writes 80s trivia novelsThere is a scene in chapter 3 in which Wade or Parzival as his handle goes engages in a nerdy rat a tat tat with another OASIS player to see who has knowledge of 80s pop culture It is the singularly most embarrassing thing I have ever read from a professional It's just this much above fan fiction Actually fuck that I've actually read fan fiction entertaining than this It was absolutely ridiculousAdd to all this the fact that Cline's characters are uniformly flat Wade our narrator is blatant author wish fulfillment and his lessons are trivial at best His love interest is present only to represent Wade's true victory her heart The unknowable best friend who harbours a secret you'll never guess meaning you absolutely will And the villain a one dimensional nearly faceless corporation as uninteresting as a rival boyfriend in a John Hughes movieIf it's a great book I want to luxuriate in its greatness And if it's crap I want it to magically transform itself into genius This book just stayed crap – Amy a reviewer on comReady Player One exists solely to glorify hollow pop culture from the 1980s and yet Ernest Cline does absolutely nothing to convince the reader that the 80s were cool if heshe didn't think so already The plot is overly simplistic and plods along with inevitability making The Da Vinci Code read like a Pulitzer Prize winner Cline's hero Wade is the trivia euivalent of Superman where he is so overpowered his uest becomes tedious rather than uplifting And at the end of the day Wade is just an arrogant elitist prick He describes his abject poverty and lack of real world opportunities as like being in the world's greatest video arcade with no uarters Seriously fuck you WadeEvery time I think about this book I want to make my rating lower It started as a 2 then dropped to a 15 and by the end of this review I feel I have no choice but to give it a 1 I hated this book with every fibre of my being and it escapes the dreaded 0 only because Cline managed to form actual sentencesNever again will I read Ernest Cline You can count on that

Free read ê PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook í Ernest Cline

Librarian's note An alternate cover edition can be found hereIN THE YEAR 2044 reality is an ugly place The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS Wade's devoted his lif This book is a geek fantasy A nerd utopia Speaking as a formerly addicted World of Warcraft player among others I loved itI believe you can tell the author's passion from what he's written and it is clear from this book that Ernest Cline is a fellow gamer and geek I salute him His ardor for games is so clearly felt within this book A fellow fangirlfanboy can sniff out a fake one like a dead fish within a Bath and Body Works ok that may be a bad example but you catch my drift Ernest Cline is a real deal fanboy I salute you sirThis book is for fanboys and fangirls There are those who don't like it There are those who feel that there are needless references inserted solely for a wink and a nudge from the author to the reader To those people I say SO WHAT? I welcomed those references It makes me feel good because I know what they are Is there something wrong with feeling good and getting an innocent giggle out of understanding a reference? GSS had also licensed preexisting virtual worlds from their competitors so content that had already been created for games like Everuest and World of Warcraft was ported over to the OASIS and copies of Norrath and Azeroth were added to the growing catalog of OASIS planets Other virtual worlds soon followed suit from the Metaverse to the Matrix The Firefly universe was anchored in a sector adjacent to the Star Wars galaxy with a detailed re creation of the Star Trek universe in the sector adjacent to that IN ONE PARAGRAPH HE REFERENCED SO MANY THINGS THAT I LOVE How could I hate the references? I have a soul I get excited ok?So here's what I liked about this book1 I liked the main character2 I liked the future world3 I liked the realistic feeling of an online gaming sceneWade is a good kid He's had a rough life He's depressed but he never reaches martyr status The year after my mom died I spent a lot of time wallowing in self pity and despair I tried to look on the bright side to remind myself that orphaned or not I was still better off than most of the kids in Africa And Asia And North America too I’d always had a roof over my head and than enough food to eat And I had the OASIS My life wasn’t so bad At least that’s what I kept telling myself in a vain attempt to stave off the epic loneliness I now felt He's nothing special He's an overweight and simultaneously malnourished kid He doesn't do too well in school He could be any of my friends who have played gamesHe is a nice kid He doesn't blame people for circumstances that are beyond their control It would have been the easiest thing to hate his mom for being drug addicted yet he doesn't I never blamed my mom for the way things were She was a victim of fate and cruel circumstance like everyone else Her generation had it the hardest She’d been born into a world of plenty then had to watch it all slowly vanish It's a shitty world People have to survive the best way they know how sometimes those ways are self destructiveA lot of the problems with dystopian fiction is that they're too drastic Barely 100 years into the future the world has created a new society etc The world in this book is set in 2044 and admittedly it is pretty grim but I still found it believableThere's been an energy crisis there's global warming civilization is decline but not completely in the shithole yet Life is crappy I've always thought that life would be awful for my grandchildren and this book pretty much tells it how I believe it could be And god help us if Trump is elected presidentI also love Cline's explanation of the way online gaming works down to its community He clearly knows his shit from user names to avatars There are some funny tidbits Students weren’t allowed to use their avatar names while they were at school This was to prevent teachers from having to say ridiculous things like “PimpGrease please pay attention” or “BigWang69 would you stand up and give us your book report?” But really it's the nostalgia of my gaming days that clinches this book for me The online camaraderie The late nights gaming together the bonding that takes place over Ventrilo after defeating a difficult challenge I got to know many friends whom I wouldn't ordinary have talked to in the real world It's a bonding experience that is as much a part of the game as the game itself Often it's community that truly makes the experience memorable And yes the online romances This book portrays all of that and so what if it banks on my nostalgia? I'll take itGranted it is overly long and too detailed at times It does lack complexity and would be of a middle grade book if not for its length and content but overall it was a solidly good book


About the Author: Ernest Cline

ERNEST CLINE is a novelist screenwriter father and full time geek His first Ready Player MOBI :à novel Ready Player One was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller appeared on numerous “best of the year” lists and is set to be adapted into a motion picture by Warner Bros and director Steven Spielberg His second novel ARMADA debuted at on the NYT Bestseller list and is being made into a film by Univers.



10 thoughts on “Ready Player One

  1. says:

    I originally gave this book 3 stars as harmless lightweight fun but my opinion of it declined as time went by Then after reading Armada I fully realized what a talentless one trick hack that Cline really is so I changed this rating Plus his outraged hardcore fans kept coming on here and telling me that I missed the point since I didn't give it 5 stars so I might as well give them something to really be mad about If you're one of those Cline fans who wants to whine about it in the comments I will just delete it and block youAdventures in Time Mowing After my laptop fused to my lawn mower due to a freak lightning strike I discovered that I could use it to travel through time“Wow where’d you come from?”“I’m from 2011 Got a time mower and decided to come to the future I’ll spare you the full origin story My name’s Kemper”“I’m Wade Watts Welcome to 2044”“Thanks I gotta say things are looking kind of grim around here Are those mobile homes stacked up like hillbilly skyscrapers?”“Yeah I live in one of them We’ve had a lot of problems once the cheap fossil fuels started running out Life kinda sucks ass these days Fortunately we’ve got the OASIS”“What’s that?”“It’s this virtual reality that’s kind of a combination of the Internet and the biggest MMORPG ever made Here put this on and I’ll show you”“Hey this is pretty sweet Wade But what’s with all this old stuff here in your virtual room It looks like the ‘80s vomited in here”“Oh it’s part of my research for the contest See the guy who invented the OASIS was this old nerd named James Halliday He left an Easter egg hidden somewhere in the OASIS and whoever finds it wins the prize He was totally obsessed with the ‘80s and nerdly stuff like computers sci fi cartoons movies comics and video games He left three keys to three gates hidden in here and the clues have to be stuff that he loved So a lot of people like me have to know all about the '80s to hunt for the egg“How long has this been going on?”“For years now Nobody has found the first key yet”“And you what? Watch movies from the ‘80s? Listen to the music? Read his favorite books? Play old video games?”“It‘s even bigger than that Because of the contest the entire world is obsessed with the ‘80s The clothes and hairstyles are considered cool again”“Really? Well I gotta get the hell out of here then Thanks for showing me this Wade How do I log out?”“You’re leaving already? Don’t you want toOh my god You said you were from 2011? And you’re in your 40s right?”“Well just barely”“So you actually lived through the ‘80s?”“Afraid so High school class of 1988”“That’s awesome You gotta tell me all about it Kemper”“Kid why would you want to hear about that? You’re sitting here with enough computer power to download everything from the collected works of Shakespeare to the entire run of The Wire and you want to hear about the ’80s? Just for a contest?”“I love the ’80s It was the coolest time ever”“Uh not really In fact I think the ’90s beat the shit out of them That not worrying about the Cold War thing was a relief and the music was a lot better Plus we got to wear flannel That was fun”“But you got to play the old video games in the actual arcades and you saw the first generation of home computers come out Plus music videos and John Hughes movies and Rubik’s Cubes and Michael Jackson’s Thriller album and”“Yeah Wade I lived through it all I remember when MTV played music videos and when Eddie Murphy was funny But you’re making me sad kid”“Why?”“Lemme tell you a story Wade About ten years after I got out of high school an old buddy I had stayed in touch with had a birthday bash and invited a bunch of us that used to run around together So we’re at his house drinking and playing cards just like the old days and catching up and playing ‘Remember when?” It was a lot of fun but we’d been listening to hair metal and classic rock all night and at one point I was flipping through the CD’s”“Actual CD’s Not downloads?”“Hell I’m so old even my post high school stories are dated now Yes Wade real CD’s Anyhow I found a new Foo Fighters album and I put it in And this one guy made a face and asked me why I had taken the Guns n Roses out And I said something like the nostalgia had been fun but I needed something from that decade Being completely serious he said that he didn’t know how I could listen to that stuff and that he still listened to the same exact music we did in high school He had just replaced his old cassettes with CD’s The guy had completely managed to miss grunge and was perfectly happy with the same play list in 1998 that he’d been listening to in 1988 And that was one of the saddest things I ever heard Wade”“But maybe he just really liked that stuff”“I liked it too once upon a time And I can still belt out a pretty good version of Relax when Frankie Goes to Hollywood comes on the radio but it was a certain time and place Now it’s done I find it depressing that someone of Gen X would want to be stuck there and never moved on to anything new But it got worse after that Wade Because we got older and then the media started catering to us by going for nostalgia trips on everything from trying to remake the Knight Rider TV show to shitty movies like The Transformers and GI Joe to the goddamn Smurfs I’m tired of it in 2011 Wade I don’t want a new Indiana Jones movie I want the NEXT Indiana Jones But no one is working on that because all of us got obsessed with regurgitating our childhoods over and over”“That is kind of sad Kemper”“What’s even sadder is seeing it happen to a generation that didn’t even live through it When I was a teenager I got sick to death of baby boomer nostalgia and there’d be these kids my age who tried to be like damn dirty hippies by wearing tie dye shirts and going to listen to Grateful Dead tribute bands They were nostalgic for an era that wasn’t even theirs and I always thought it was a waste Don’t be like that Wade You seem like a nice kid Don’t sit here watching Family Ties reruns and playing Space Invaders and making jokes about Ewoks That was then This is now It’s your time and you should be out there trying to find the stuff that will become part of your own memories of growing up not rehashing ours”“Gee Kemper That’s a really good point You’ve opened my eyes Thanks a lot”“You’re welcome Wade By the way what the hell was this prize that was so good that it got the entire world doing the safety dance again?”“Oh the winner gets the controlling interest in Halliday’s company and his personal fortune which is about 240 billion dollars”“Did you say 240 billion? Dollars?”“Yes so how about we log off Maybe I’ll take a walk and see if I can find this girl I like I’ve been”“Screw that Fire this rig up Wade Put on some Def Leppard and find me a pair of acid washed jeans and some high top Reeboks Let’s start looking for clues For 240 billion I’ll live through the ‘80s again”I didn’t actually hate this book It did a lot of very clever stuff regarding an entire virtual universe And for a member of Gen X it was a fast and fun romp down memory lane It was kind of like Snow Crash meets the Scott Pilgrim Vs The World movieBut I’ve got a personal pet peeve against people trying to live in the past and since this book is nostalgia porn the basic premise did rub me the wrong way The idea that the kids of the 2040s are just watching episodes of ‘80s TV shows and playing Donkey Kong really kind of depressed me I stole that phrase from Flannery’s review Sorry Flannery It was just too goodI might have been able to get past it a little easier if at least one of the kids said something like “Jesus I hate this ‘80s bullshit I can’t wait until his freakin’ contest is over so I can live in the here and now” But instead all of them treat it like it’s the greatest entertainment ever So even though a few post ’80s things like Firefly or the Lord of the Rings movies get mentioned we’re supposed to believe that nerd pop culture reached a zenith in the ’80s and nothing worth geek obsession happened between 1990 and 2040? Sorry but that seems kind of unlikely and the kind of wishful thinking that an aging Gen Xer would write as he pines for his glory days


  2. says:

    This book is a geek fantasy A nerd utopia Speaking as a formerly addicted World of Warcraft player among others I loved itI believe you can tell the author's passion from what he's written and it is clear from this book that Ernest Cline is a fellow gamer and geek I salute him His ardor for games is so clearly felt within this book A fellow fangirlfanboy can sniff out a fake one like a dead fish within a Bath and Body Works ok that may be a bad example but you catch my drift Ernest Cline is a real deal fanboy I salute you sirThis book is for fanboys and fangirls There are those who don't like it There are those who feel that there are needless references inserted solely for a wink and a nudge from the author to the reader To those people I say SO WHAT? I welcomed those references It makes me feel good because I know what they are Is there something wrong with feeling good and getting an innocent giggle out of understanding a reference? GSS had also licensed preexisting virtual worlds from their competitors so content that had already been created for games like Everuest and World of Warcraft was ported over to the OASIS and copies of Norrath and Azeroth were added to the growing catalog of OASIS planets Other virtual worlds soon followed suit from the Metaverse to the Matrix The Firefly universe was anchored in a sector adjacent to the Star Wars galaxy with a detailed re creation of the Star Trek universe in the sector adjacent to that IN ONE PARAGRAPH HE REFERENCED SO MANY THINGS THAT I LOVE How could I hate the references? I have a soul I get excited ok?So here's what I liked about this book1 I liked the main character2 I liked the future world3 I liked the realistic feeling of an online gaming sceneWade is a good kid He's had a rough life He's depressed but he never reaches martyr status The year after my mom died I spent a lot of time wallowing in self pity and despair I tried to look on the bright side to remind myself that orphaned or not I was still better off than most of the kids in Africa And Asia And North America too I’d always had a roof over my head and than enough food to eat And I had the OASIS My life wasn’t so bad At least that’s what I kept telling myself in a vain attempt to stave off the epic loneliness I now felt He's nothing special He's an overweight and simultaneously malnourished kid He doesn't do too well in school He could be any of my friends who have played gamesHe is a nice kid He doesn't blame people for circumstances that are beyond their control It would have been the easiest thing to hate his mom for being drug addicted yet he doesn't I never blamed my mom for the way things were She was a victim of fate and cruel circumstance like everyone else Her generation had it the hardest She’d been born into a world of plenty then had to watch it all slowly vanish It's a shitty world People have to survive the best way they know how sometimes those ways are self destructiveA lot of the problems with dystopian fiction is that they're too drastic Barely 100 years into the future the world has created a new society etc The world in this book is set in 2044 and admittedly it is pretty grim but I still found it believableThere's been an energy crisis there's global warming civilization is decline but not completely in the shithole yet Life is crappy I've always thought that life would be awful for my grandchildren and this book pretty much tells it how I believe it could be And god help us if Trump is elected presidentI also love Cline's explanation of the way online gaming works down to its community He clearly knows his shit from user names to avatars There are some funny tidbits Students weren’t allowed to use their avatar names while they were at school This was to prevent teachers from having to say ridiculous things like “PimpGrease please pay attention” or “BigWang69 would you stand up and give us your book report?” But really it's the nostalgia of my gaming days that clinches this book for me The online camaraderie The late nights gaming together the bonding that takes place over Ventrilo after defeating a difficult challenge I got to know many friends whom I wouldn't ordinary have talked to in the real world It's a bonding experience that is as much a part of the game as the game itself Often it's community that truly makes the experience memorable And yes the online romances This book portrays all of that and so what if it banks on my nostalgia? I'll take itGranted it is overly long and too detailed at times It does lack complexity and would be of a middle grade book if not for its length and content but overall it was a solidly good book


  3. says:

    For most of the first half of this book I was unimpressed The writing was flat and the story was unremarkable The book gets hype because of its pervasive use of 1980s popular culture particularly its references to science fiction fantasy and video games The problem was that most of these references served no purpose Something would be described by pointing out its resemblance to something from a film or television show—a particularly annoying form of telling rather than showing given that a reader of the wrong age or background won't know the reference—but said reference would add nothing to the events at hand Either that or the reference would be carried to cringe worthy fan fiction grade extremes For instance in one scene the online avatar of the main character Wade Watts known online as Parzival pilots a DeLorean DMC 12 resembling the one used in the Back to the Future films except for the addition of the computerized voice and sweeping red light of KITT from Knight Rider a pair of Ghost Busters logos adorning the doors and a license plate reading ECTO 88 Whether mentioned in passing or over the top like the aforementioned mash up car however virtually all of these allusions are brought up and then dropped in the space of a sentence The DeLorean for example takes up a couple of paragraphs and is then never used again Ready Player One doesn't draw from 1980s popular culture; it just name drops it all over the place Sometimes it seemed the only purpose for these references was that the author and reader could share a knowing self congratulating smileThe notion of a massively multiplayer online role playing game becoming the human race's main form of entertainment presents some amusing possibilities though and Ready Player One doesn't completely suander its potential The moment when I started to enjoy the book came about halfway through in a chapter describing a day in Wade's life some time after his view spoilerbreak up with Art3mis Cline shows him putting his life in order rescuing his health and habits from the pallid flabby state a life online had put them in His avatar Parzival previously a penniless high school student becomes one of the coolest most powerful characters in the OASIS But then at the end of the chapter in a moment of insight Wade realizes that all the good things in his life only exist inside in a world that isn't real Despite his accomplishments he lives alone in a featureless one room apartment never going or even looking outside Cline takes the familiar narrative arc of boy meets girl boy loses girl boy falls into depression boy turns his life around and twists it in a way that I found interesting hide spoiler


  4. says:

    ETA At the risk of getting this attention by editing it I'm no longer responding to comments made on this review It's four years old and while I stand by what I wrote I'm not interested in discussing it either positively or negatively And I'm really glad they made it into a movieSo disappointing The premise of a treasure hunt inside a gigantic immersive online environment is interesting I like the idea of the people of 2044 being fixated on '80s culture for clues to solving the puzzle The execution simply doesn't live up to the promise The writing goes like this interestinginterestinginterestingINFODUMP interesti BIGGER INFODUMPand so forth I honestly don't know who the intended audience is The author overexplains all the '80s references as if he expects readers to be too young or too disconnected from geek culture not to get them but my experience with SF fandom is that no element of fandom however old ever completely dies out; all of us old farts who were teens in the '80s and interesting fact the creator of the book's treasure hunt has the same birth year I do make sure the young sprouts experience all the golden oldies This is a first novel and I make allowances for first novels but this stretches my tolerance uite a bitMore difficult for me to get past was the poorly conceived dystopian future from which the story arises; to the bugaboos of environmental destruction overpopulation and economic collapse is added the fear of giant evil corporations This despite the fact that the guy who set up the enormous online multiverse AND created the treasure hunt did so by creating an enormous corporation of his own His online creation is lauded in one of those massive infodumps as being so egalitarian because they don't charge anything for access just for the things you buy inside it but the corporation couldn't have set it up in the first place without needing a grundle of cash My computer programmer friends will fall on the floor laughing at the idea that all of those virtual items people buy are pure profit for the company because they don't cost anything to make Every time I started to get interested in the story I came up against some background element that only made sense in a tautological way it is because it's said to be soBut what really killed it for me what caused me to finally give up about halfway through has always been a deal breaker for me in any work of speculative fiction I don't like books that seem to exist independently of the great body of work that has explored the same issues or ideas In this case it's as if the author has never heard of Tad Williams' Otherland or despite the hero's homage to Stephenson The Diamond Age and Snow Crash These books I except Stephenson's recent book Reamde because it was released the same year as Ready Player One raised and evaluated issues with virtual reality and yet Ready Player One does a lot of unnecessary reinventing of the cybernetic wheel And yes I do think this is a valid criticism; science fiction is interconnected to a degree that trumps any other genre except possibly experimental literary fiction There's an expectation that readers will be familiar with concepts raised elsewhere and have than a passing familiarity with other SF novels Ready Player One doesn't do much than revisit ideas that other authors have explored and the addition of a high tech fantasy uest an admittedly very cool idea isn't enough to elevate it beyond the ordinary


  5. says:

    I got to read an ARC of this and it appealed to every geeky part of me I'll probably write a blog about it later but for now a brief review Simply said? This book was fucking awesome


  6. says:

    That one star is probably misleadingI thought this was going to be a 4 5 star book for a good portion of the time I spent reading it The 80s pop culture references are so pervasive and so relevant to my life that at times the book felt like it been written specifically for me The love interest is described as being like Jordan from Real Geniusc'monButAll of the Star Wars Ferris Bueller and Highlander references in the world can't hide that this story is at best empty and at worst ugly Rote plotting un earned dickensian coincidences clumsy deus ex machina I still don't know how to pluralize that term the worst kind of tokenism disguised as actually valuing diversity a profound neglect of the complexities of the realvirtual world dichotomyCline has adopted some of the style of Gibson and Stephenson but none of the substanceIn a nice manifestation of the novel's lack of self awareness Cline at one point derides the villains of the book for simply using Johnny 5 style robots from Short Circuit instead coming up with their own design This appropriation he explaines demonstrates a lack of imagination a valid criticism that only too accurately applies to the ostensible heroes of the book as well as to Cline himselfUpdate The plural of deus ex machina is dei ex machinis Thanks The Awl


  7. says:

    Back in 2011 Ready Player One was perhaps the year's most well reviewed book It received glowing commendations from the likes of NPR The New York Times Wired John Scalzi Patrick Rothfuss and many many It maintains a 43 average score on Goodreadscom a significant accomplishment given its 20000 reviews and you'd be hard pressed to find a negative review in any major publicationIn no way can I make any sense of this Please believe what I am about to write as it is not even close to hyperboleReady Player One was the most disappointing reading experience of my entire lifeIt’s the year 2044 and the real world is an ugly place Like most of humanity Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets 

And like most of humanity Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world For somewhere inside this giant networked playground OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of puzzles that will yield a massive fortune—and remarkable power—to whoever can unlock them 

For years millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved—that of the 1980s And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle Suddenly the whole world is watching and thousands of competitors join the hunt—among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prizeAnd with that you've just read the best that Ready Player One has to offer its synopsisI should preface the rest of this review by stating that I am and have always been a geek at heart I am as much a byproduct of the 1980s as anyone I've been a lifelong gamer a pop culture obsessive and I once thought I'd married for real Princess PeachReady Player One has been hailed by its author Ernest Cline as a love letter to anyone who grew up geek a sentiment that has been confirmed by every review in every publication all over the world And yet the Ready Player One that I read was less a love letter to geeks than it was a pat on the back to an 18 year old Cline a Stephanie Meyer eclipsing Mary Sue that attempts to justify the behavior of an overweight socially awkward virginal nerdI'm not being mean It's literally what it isAt its core Ready Player One is a fairy tale a treasure hunt Albeit one designed by an 80s obsessed ultra nerd whose entire life was steeped in nostalgia Evidently human creativity peaked with Zork and Legend So Wade's hunt for Halladay's easter egg is one long excuse for a constant—and I do mean constant—barrage of 80s referencesActually scratch that It's not so much referencing as it is name dropping 95% of it serves no actual purpose aside from simply mentioning it At first the references reinforce the story helping to create a framework that grounds the reader in the world Cline has created with OASIS But after the first chapter yes the first chapter these devolve into ceaseless meaningless throwbacks The novelty lasts all of ten minutes until you realize that it's all just an annoying form of telling not showingIf the point is to re enact sections of DD modules and 80s cult classics then your readers are just getting third hand retreads of things that aren't even important to begin with It's sort of like when your socially awkward friend resolutely recounts a super sweet TV show for you word for word and all you can do is just sit there and wait until he's finished Pay 20 for that experience and you get Ready Player OneWhat makes Ready Player One so disappointing is that these references seem to the be the sole purpose of Cline's writing The novel doesn't say much of anything Sure there are a handful of introspective moments—limp attempts at social commentary—but they're of so little conseuence they seem thrown in to fulfill some delusion of grandeurYes reality really is better and meaningful than virtual reality We've been told this in almost every VR based story known to man And yet that's Cline's one takeaway Oh and you should love people for who they are on the inside even if they have a birthmark on half their face Thanks ErnestWhat's confusing about the 80s obsession though is the fact that Ready Player One is at best a YA level read Cline would sit very comfortably beside the likes of Rick Riordan and Suzanne Collins Ready Player One is inelegant and shallow at the best of times and yet this novel is clearly targeted at the 30 year old and up crowd if you're any younger much of the subject material is simply too obscure This subjectreading level conflict then makes the whole mess inherently problematicAnd what's worst—no I haven't even gotten to the worst part yet—is how the entire thing reeks of elitism Yes you read that correctly This is a book about an overweight unattractive lazy delusional uber geek elitist who believes—truly believes—that his knowledge of 80s trivia makes him superior And Cline basically affirms this Some guys buy cars others put socks down their pants Cline writes 80s trivia novelsThere is a scene in chapter 3 in which Wade or Parzival as his handle goes engages in a nerdy rat a tat tat with another OASIS player to see who has knowledge of 80s pop culture It is the singularly most embarrassing thing I have ever read from a professional It's just this much above fan fiction Actually fuck that I've actually read fan fiction entertaining than this It was absolutely ridiculousAdd to all this the fact that Cline's characters are uniformly flat Wade our narrator is blatant author wish fulfillment and his lessons are trivial at best His love interest is present only to represent Wade's true victory her heart The unknowable best friend who harbours a secret you'll never guess meaning you absolutely will And the villain a one dimensional nearly faceless corporation as uninteresting as a rival boyfriend in a John Hughes movieIf it's a great book I want to luxuriate in its greatness And if it's crap I want it to magically transform itself into genius This book just stayed crap – Amy a reviewer on comReady Player One exists solely to glorify hollow pop culture from the 1980s and yet Ernest Cline does absolutely nothing to convince the reader that the 80s were cool if heshe didn't think so already The plot is overly simplistic and plods along with inevitability making The Da Vinci Code read like a Pulitzer Prize winner Cline's hero Wade is the trivia euivalent of Superman where he is so overpowered his uest becomes tedious rather than uplifting And at the end of the day Wade is just an arrogant elitist prick He describes his abject poverty and lack of real world opportunities as like being in the world's greatest video arcade with no uarters Seriously fuck you WadeEvery time I think about this book I want to make my rating lower It started as a 2 then dropped to a 15 and by the end of this review I feel I have no choice but to give it a 1 I hated this book with every fibre of my being and it escapes the dreaded 0 only because Cline managed to form actual sentencesNever again will I read Ernest Cline You can count on that


  8. says:

    WARNING UNPOPULAR OPINION BECAUSE I DIDN'T FUCKING LIKE READY PLAYER ONEanyone I saw writing a negative review for this got like abused in their comments BUT Im going for it anyway unmarked spoilers ahead ft appearances from the voices of adele and beyonce sum up Ready Player One in a single word? wankyreplace with that 400 page book which used 80s references to condescend people not invested in that culture was incomparably wankyokay I'm going to start with the good stuff• the worldbuilding around the OASIS and the setting was really good I thought that the way that OASIS was built described and functioned within this world was very well thought out and clever It was definitely something high tech enough to be interesting but also realistic enough to be plausible The setting in 2044 and the way the Earthliving standards are set up are well thought out • The other tech industry was a good villain in that I thought their motivations were plausible and the interaction between them and the OASIS made sense The gamers motivations to prevent the Sixers from winning and ruining OASIS were believable and the worldbuilding was intertwined with the motivations of characters which I liked• It was reasonably fast paced • OG WHAT A GUY HIS NAME IS FUCKING OG THE GREAT AND POWERFUL IM LAUGHINOKAY AND NOW I GET SALTYFirst things first back to my point about it being wanky I KNEW I was coming into this book to get lots of 80s references I was fine with that I was excited for it I wanted the nostalgic feel of Stranger Things because thats what people told me I'd get I wanted that homage • things I didn't get that What I got instead was a gate keeping attitude in which any personcharacter who didn't have enough knowledge of the 80's was deemed not smart enough and not cool enough The overabundance of 80s references reached the point of insanity I can't get over this bit when Art3mis orders some drink and Wade is like 'OH SHE'S GETTING THAT BECAUSE IT'S THE SAME AS CHARACTER DRINKS SO COOL SHE'S WORTHY'The 80's references were so oversaturated I couldn't actually separate them from their characters Like these characters literally WERE 80's references the whole time it just felt like the author was leaning over me like yeah yeah i know so many references mhhm another one another one YOU THINK I don't have ? HAHA fooled Have another have ten I know everything there is to know about the 80's don't test me kid you don't know explicit detail of every spider man comic ever released FAKE FAN FAKE FAN' Anyway it was really fucking annoying It should have been a nice throwback to the 80's not a fucking wank fest in which everyone loses their fucking mind and can't keep it together over pac man But seriously the condescending tone about people who don't LIVE THE EIGHTIES annoyed me so fucking much Right next up characters Wade was so fucking annoying First of all his attitude sucked But that aside his charactersation was just not good His knowledge of the 80's was just unbelievable He mentions at least a dozen shows that he's watched a dozen or so times now I'm struggling to believe he actually had time to watch the amount of shit he has that many times His knowledge was all consuming and it was just unrealistic He has literally no flaws his main flaw ? he's overweight and a geek boy who can't get girls Well do not worry Welcome to Wade's Biggest Loser Story I spent 4 weeks doing pushups in the morning and now I look like an Abercrombie model You're a geek boy? well don't worry you're superior to all those other boys anyway You're a nice boy and anyway beyonce voice who run the world ? geeks geeks Wade owns 5 fedoras JFGHFJG HE JUS ANNOYED ME SO MUCH ALWAYS BITCHING ABOUT HOW GIRLS FIND HIM WEIRD WELL MAYBE YOU SHOULDN'T LIKE STALK THEM FAM Wade honestly felt like such a self insertwish fulfilment type character He annoyed me so fucking much he was just rude and weird and his obsession with Art3mis wasn't healthy His obsession with Hallidays and OASIS genuinely wasn't healthy The female characters were so ghdh WE DESERVE BETTER Art3mis had potential to be a great character but she was ultimately reduced to a love interest She tried to separate from Wade to focus on the Easter Egg but then he stalks her and she ends up with him ??? Also I found it annoying we were supposed to give Wade Nice Boy Points for thinking her curvy avatar was hot when we ALL KNOW it was the KimK type curvy and SHE LITERALLY IS TINY THIN IRL ANYWAY Aech is so ?? adele voice WE COULD OF HAD IT ALL Representation is NOT real when it's a twist It's so disappointing Aech was a black female lesbian and we didn't get to see that AT ALL We get 1 chapter before she goes back to being a 'male' in the OASIS Urgh it's just annoying I know Ernest Cline was trying to do a oh look you treated this person a certain way thinking they were whitemalestraight now treat them the same when u know they're blackfemalegay BUT IT WOULD HAVE JUST BEEN WAY BETTER IF WADES BEST FRIEND WAS REPRESENTED AS A GAY BLACK GIRL You can't even say this is a diverse book because thats a spoiler urrhtgtjhgkjalso fml because Kira is also the reason Og and Halliday stopped being friends like why do they only exist for male relationships angst urghThe main evil guy in the evil corporation who's name I can't remember was so plain? He was such a stock villain and he just ??? died ???Deus ex Machina• Can't pass a level? Don't worry I will magically whip some obscure knowledge out my ass to save the day• Party got crushed by a sinister army? lucky some guy at this party happens to be able to fight them with unbelievable rule defying levels of power• don't have somewhere to stay? NO WORRIES a random billionaire is gonna show up in a space thats supposed to be barred to all characters to offer you sanctuary? didn't the rules of this universe establish this was a private chat room yeah they did but turns out there's this other rule where thats not true SURPRISE• Died? Well no worries Turns out you're the first person in history to get a FREE LIFEit annoyed me how convenient some plot points wereOTHER STUFF I JUST DIDN'T LIKE• There is a bit when a character calls paraplegic people repulsive• YOU CAN'T GO FROM OBESE TO MUSCULAR IN 8 WEEKS FROM DOING 20 MINUTE EXERCISES ACTUALLY FUCK OFF IDK WHY THIS ANNOYED ME SO MUCH BUT IT DID• the fact he's called Wade like Wade Wilson it says alot tbh• stalking stalking stalking• the fact I had to read an entire chapter of Wade talking about the sex he had with a doll and masturbating and how it's like THE COOLEST BOY THING EVER• TOO MUCH detail it felt like a slog I was skimming entire pages of irrelevent detail about exactly what model of haptic suit Wade decided to buy that daySo yeah overall I just didn't have a good time with this book it was just so obnoxious and annoying I couldn't get into it at all lmfao worst hype ever aaaaanddddd


  9. says:

    ladies and gentlemen from this day this book is my life and I will obsess over it constantly


  10. says:

    This book is nostalgia porn If you grew up in the 80s enjoy video games or go crazy for popular culture you will devour this one I was supposed to be reading this with a friend but I couldn’t stop I read the beginning and thought “what’s the big deal with everyone’s obsession?” Then Ernest Cline got his meat hooks into me and I read it while I was making dinner while I was eating dinner and then afterward until I’d finished it I think I am just a few years shy of this books prime audience but I can see how it will appeal to most of my fellow geek friends Ready Player One is set in a future where we have depleted our resources to the point where many people lives in Stacks which are basically just trailer homes piled 20 high and many people struggle to make ends meet Wade Watts the protagonist attends school in OASIS like many of his peers OASIS an online world created by James Halliday contains thousands of different worlds including copies of many famous sci fi verses—I’m sure you could spend most of your time in Sunnydale or on Dune if you wanted to In a very Westing Game move Halliday leaves his entire 250 billion fortune to the player who can find the Easter egg hidden in OASIS The book is set five years after his death and no player has gotten even one step closer to figuring out Halliday’s mystery And the kicker? Halliday’s obsession besides video games was the 1980s All the kids and adults alike are well versed in all things 1980s from fashion to music to games to computers These characters know about the 1980s than most people who lived through them Wade Watts has spent years playing through all of Halliday’s favorite games and songs trying to figure out the first step When Wade figures out the first move his name shoots to the top of a previously empty high scorers list and the world goes into a frenzy The entire rest of the book follows Wade and his fellow contestants through the game in their attempts to reach the goal first It seems like every person in the world is up against each other—especially the “gunters” egg hunters and the “sixers” Corporately sponsored hunters who want to take over the OASIS for monetary gain so called because their avatar names begin with the number 6 My adrenaline ran high for the whole book In fact I actually kept speaking to Wade aloud “Wade what the hell are you doing? You are past the first gate Pull your head out of your ass and stop spending your time at dance parties” “Art3mis is so much smarter than you Wade” Wade’s fellow gunters include his long time online crush Art3mis and his BFF Aech pronounced like the letter H They were seriously awesome side characters with distinct personalities which I especially enjoyed considering I have several friends on Goodreads whom I’ve never met in real life but I feel like I know pretty well view spoilerBut if one of you is completely lying to me I’m a’gonna be pissed hide spoiler


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