Monday, June 16, 2014

Book Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Release Date: August 16, 2011
Info about the author: Goodreads - Twitter - Website
Publisher: Random House
Age group: YA/Adult
Pages: 374
Buy the book: Amazon - Book Depository

Description (from Goodreads):

It'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 fiendish puzzles that will yield 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 late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday's icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes's oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig. 

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 prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life -- and love -- in the real world he's always been so desperate to escape. 

A world at stake. 
A quest for the ultimate prize. 
Are you ready?

MY THOUGHTS:

From where can should I begin? I guess I should just go on and say that 'Ready Player One' by Ernest Cline is one of the best books I've ever read. The world Ernest Cline has created is so full of imagination, but at the same time it is something that could really happen in the near future. This fact made me both intrigued and a bit scared.

James Halliday, a creator of this big computer simulated world called OASIS dies and he hides this easter egg in to the vast simulation. Along with the easter egg, he hides three clues that need to be solved before the easter egg can be acquired. The one who finds the egg will receive the enormous fortune he left behind.

The main character of the novel is called Wade. His real life is not the best one possible, so he spends most of his time in OASIS, looking for Halliday's easter egg with his avatar Parzival. At OASIS he can also play video games, read books, watch films and TV shows and chat with people he considers as his friends but has never met in real life. There is Aech, the avatar he has been spending a lot of time with, just talking, playing games and watching films. And there is also Art3mis, an avatar he has a crush on and later on befriends during the hunt of the easter egg.

When Wade comes across the first clue, everything changes. He becomes famous in both the virtual and the real world. Everyone knows him as Parzival, and he wants to keep it that way. But when the Sixers, the big company hired gunters (the name of the ones looking for the egg) start to get closer to solving the problem as well, Wade/Parzival has to take risks in order to find the egg first and save the future of the OASIS.

The way Cline describes OASIS is incredible. It is basically this simulation you enter with your computer wearing these glasses and haptic gloves which allow you to actually feel the things you touch. Wade attends school in OASIS and the lessons are made interactive because while the teachers are teaching about, for example the space, they can take the students to an OASIS planet which is modeled after the actual outer space. The OASIS pretty much is this never ending simulation and the places you can visit vary from actual cities to places like Whedonverse (which is the place I would probably visit first on OASIS).

Reading this book was like being in a geek paradise. There are so many references to old games, books, television shows and films that it pretty much has something for everyone, depending on your interests. Since I am a huge film geek, I loved all the film references and while reading the book had to add a couple of films I had not yet seen to my watchlist.

The characters in this novel are also excellent. Wade in real life is a bit overweight, has a bad skin and is not good with the ladies or anything like that. In OASIS he has been able to fashion his avatar to look different than his real life identity, but despite the fact that he could also fashion a new personality, I loved the fact that Wade stays true to himself, even if he is Parzival for most of his time.

The portrayal of future in this book is something that could actually happen. People spend more and more time Online these days and usually have other lives in there in the sense that sometimes you share different things with your online friends that your real life friends. Sometimes your online friends become your real life friends. An example of this from my own life is that for example I have not shared this blog address or my Tumblr with anyone from my real life, except of course Iina. So the creation of an Online world where you spend most of your time has definitely already begun - this is clear from role playing games that can be found from the Internet.
It might not actually take long that an online world where you can do everything at a same place - study, read, watch films, play, socialize and even shop - is created. You can definitely do this all already Online, but not at the same site, at least not to my knowledge.

The film rights of the book have been sold to Warner Bros. I just hope that when this is adapted into a film, they manage to keep all the essentials in it and cast actors that fit to the characters - for example someone fit like Zac Efron or Josh Hutcherson playing Wade would not just do. For some reason, I see Jonah Hill as Wade. 

Have you read this book? If so, did you love it as much as I did? What are your thoughts about the film adaptation?



8 comments:

  1. I have read it, and it's one of my top 5 ever. It caught my hubby's eye at the library soon after it came out in 2011 and I asked to read the blurb about it. He handed it over and didn't get it back until I was done reading it. :) It's sooooooo great. I hope they do make it into a film but you never know. If they do, I'd love to see Wil Wheaton as a major role, he did a great job with the audio book!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a feeling that they are going to make a film - I'm just curious to see how it turns out. I think Cline has worked as a screenwriter, so I'm hoping that he'll do the script and thus edit the story the way he sees best fit for a cinematic adaptation. Wil Wheaton would be brilliant in some type of role, and I'm hoping that the casting for Wade is done following the characteristics of Wade rather than choosing someone who just looks good.

      Delete
  2. This book!! I loved this book so much! I really can't wait for Cline's next book. I am hoping it is just as good. I wish I would've listened to the audio of this week too.. since you know Wil Wheaton. I am a little nervous about this book going to film. It could be great it could be awful. I have the world pictured perfectly in my mind and not sure I want to see how someone else imagines it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't believe Armada comes out in 2015 - it's too long of a wait!
      I really want to listen to the audiobook as well at some point. And reread the book and check out all those film references etc - I had seen quite many of the films mentioned in the book, but I want to see them ones I haven't and maybe rewatch the ones I have.
      The film adaptation for this is an interesting concept, but I just hope they find a director who seems passionate about the story and adapting it as true to the novel as possible.

      Delete
  3. This book is great- loved all the references (and I got most of them too- not sure if that's good or bad LOL). I totally cracked up at JOUST- I remember seeing that old game and liking it in a very old school way. :) Anyway the book is great and I agree w/ your review- that future may not be too far off. Looking forward to his next one for sure...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I got quite a lot of the references as well, mostly the film and TV ones :)

      Delete
  4. I recently read this and also loved it! I didn't realize the film rights had been sold-how exciting!
    Just found your blog and I'm now a new follower through bloglovin :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm hoping they do the film in a way that compliments the book :)
      Thanks for following :)

      Delete