Ready Player One, bitches.

rpo

Erm…

This is weird.

You see,  never in my life, not even once, have I wanted to write a book review. I don’t know what came over me. I guess I’m weary of this constant effort to persuade others to read Ready Player One. So I figured I’d write a post  and send a link to this post every time I feel the urge to start babbling about it.
Don’t get me wrong. RPO is not a masterpiece. Far from it. It is written by and for adolescents. Yes, the author, Ernest Cline, is a 40 y.o. who writes like a 16 y.o. And yes, you will not remember this book for its unique literary style, its brilliant structure, its mindblowing plot twists. But that’s fine! Really, it’s fine!  There is no need for exceptional literary style, structure, or even, plot. The book does not need any of these things in order to be engaging. I absolutely, positively adored it. Even though I ‘ve never been a megafan of arcade games. Hell,  I ‘ve never even played RPG! But that’s the brilliance of RPO. You don’t have to be a megafan of all kinds of games in order to appreciate it.  It is so crammed with pop-culture references , fantasy, meta elements, cool sci-fi, and nostalgia for the 80s, that you ‘d have to be dead inside not to get excited. Seriously. Dead. What RPO lacks in literary style/structure/plot, it gains with its passion for all things geeky, nerdy, techy, sci-fi; with its love for all fandoms, all kinds of games, and most of all, the 80s era. In one single page you can find references to Battlestar Galactica, John Hughes movies, Buffy, 80s music, The Goonies, Carl Sagan, Space Invaders, Doctor Who, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Back to the Future, Ladyhawke…

IMG_20121208_151747

Ladyhawke is one of my favorite movies ever.

IMG_20121208_133119

Cosmos by Carl Sagan

Or even more obscure tv series, bands that no one has ever heard of, details of arcade games that only truly megafans know (I imagine).

Dude, seriously. *Frak, I say seriously a lot, don’t I?*

No, I mean, seriously.

SERIOYSLY.

Is it possible to read a scene where the protagonist pilots a DeLorean DMC-12 with a 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” added, and not have a smile tattooed on your face all day long? It’s not, right? Am I right?

Whatever, I know I’m right. If you don’t get it then you’re no fun and you should stop reading now.

And if you stopped reading, then you ‘ve just missed a chance to watch Ernest Cline’s vlog on how he built the aforementioned car. Yes, he really has a DeLorean DMC-12, and yes, he really has added all the extra geekery to it. I told ya, he is a fucking 16 y.o. You gotta love this guy!

It is impossible not to feel nostalgic about the 80s when you read RPO. And if you are one of those guys or galls  who get reaaally emotional and proclaim that it was “THE GOLDEN AGE FOR ALL THINGS GOOD AND COOL” you might want to consider lots and lots of paper tissues.

Now, the plot.

The story takes place in 2044, Our protagonist, Wade Watts, is an 18 y.o. who lives with his aunt in a trailer and spends most of his time in OASIS, a massive multiplayer online simulation game, a virtual utopia where your avatar allows you to be whoever or whatever you want.  In real life  you are most probably destitute, just like Wade, but in the world of OASIS there are tens of thousands of fantasy planets, and if you get enough credits you can visit all of them.

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Gotta love OASIS.

You can get a good education, find a job, even make a fortune.; you can make friends and fall in love; but most importantly, you can use all kinds of magical tokens, and, and,

I don’t know…

Fly maybe?!   The sky is not the limit, not  in OASIS.

The only limitation is that when you die in OASIS, you log off. And when that happens, you lose all the credits/tokens that you had collected thus far.

To me, one of the most interesting things in this world that Ernest Cline created was the OASIS school. I don’t want to spoil things for you, though. So I will only say that I would definitely attend OASIS school. It is my version of the ideal school. For those of you who know me well, I think you ‘ll know why when you read it.

Anyway. The story begins with the death of OASIS creator James Halliday. In his last will and testament, Halliday informs the humanity that he has left a game inside OASIS; clues and puzzles, that, when unlocked, a prize awaits. Whoever unlocks all the puzzles first, gets his company and his massive fortune. Wade is, of  course, obsessed with Halliday, and the quest for his massive fortune.

I wouldn’t want to spoil it  for you, so I will say nothing more on the plot.

I mentioned before how it is the love of sci-fi, fantasy, games, and a nostalgia for the 80s, that make this book such a fun and entertaining experience. But that is half-true.

It is the characters that make this a good book. It is the fact that they are so fucking relatable and likeable. From page 1, you are concerned for Wade’s well-being. You want him to start taking care of himself, not be so antisocial, not spend his whole life in a virtual reality. You want him to get the girl, and you want him to win the prize. If I didn’t care for the protagonist and his friends, I would never have read the book. Not for all the pop-culture references in the world.

In Ready Player One, I found myself relating to more than one characters, In fact,  at some point I felt like I related to all of them.

*Ok, I maybe a little bit more to Artemis, because she’s so shy but, at the same time, a total bitch. *

If you are not convinced already, here’s some geekery that, hopefully, will change your mind.

The covers:

185031_10151136883212515_1954794283_n 229924_10151136659627515_1590909320_n 284259_10150245803927515_7218463_n 389567_10151136661167515_1704932550_n 406921_10151136877957515_1892050430_n 578625_10151136660042515_1178592415_n cover 2

Ready Player One Book Trailer (Animation)

Unofficial Trailer for Ready Player One

A mixtape of every song mentioned or referenced in the book.

Ready Player One Mixtape

Ready Player One Mixtape

Ten months after the first edition of the book was released, Ernest Cline revealed that, much like Halliday’s eastern eggs hidden in OASIS,  he himself had hidden an eastern egg in the book. I’m pretty sure the word “meta” is not enough for what he did. Anyways, the clue lead to a series of video gaming tests just like those described in the book and the winner was awarded a DeLorean (although I am not 100% certain if it’s the one mentioned above in Cline’s vlog)

Finally, a link only for gamers. If I understood correctly from the nerdy discussion it is supposed to be a game based on the book. I have no idea what M.U.D clients are, and I don’t really know if this is a legit game, I just saw it on facebook a few months back and thought I’d share.

Ready Player One on Amazon

Ready Player One on Goodreads

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