Ready Player One


It’s always a good sign when I’m keen to get back to a book, or eager to find an excuse to continue listening, which is what happened with Ready Player One. That said, it’s probably not for everyone.

Set in a future where the real world has gone to crap so badly everyone spends most of their time logged into a simulated universe called the OASIS, it follows the hunt for one of the founder’s fortunes through a quest littered with 80s pop culture.

For someone of my age, who was around in the 80s and actually got some of the references, it was a nostalgic look back at movies, music and computer game classics that have been forgotten but which are slowly being revived and rebooted. As such the book probably hit at the perfect time.

If you’re too young to remember the times, old enough to have missed the pop culture fads, or have no experience with gaming, then the book may be a tougher sell, though everything is explained enough you don’t need to know the source material too well.

I found the tasks of the quest itself were often completed very quickly (perhaps to limit stepping into uber geek territory) and the story spent a lot of time on our protagonist’s life where nothing really happens, certainly in the middle of the book.

A few items were scattered in the story, a  bit like Q dishing out gadgets to Bond, where I found myself second-guessing when they’d be deployed. Some I got right, but some where still a surprise.

I was salivating at the start of the final section though, when the showdown begins and it all kicks off.

Overall, an entertaining read with a fascinating take on a future that doesn’t feel far-fetched and a includes a great reminder of youth and yesteryear for those of a certain age.

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This was an copy of the book

Reviewed: 7th July 2013