SPOILER WARNING: I am gonna talk about this book and maybe there will be the minorist of minor spoilers and for that I apologise.
Last week I was sat in Mallorca with my girlfriend somewhere on the east coast of the island chillin in that sun with absolutely NO desire to come back home to sunny England. One of the things which will give me a fond memories of this holiday, apart from it being fucking fantastic anyway, is this is the time I decided to finally get round to reading the incredible Ready Player One, a book which has been out since 2011 and in my possession since 2014 or so. I like reading and everything but I wouldn’t call myself a bookworm, I absolutely adore Stephen King’s Dark Tower series for example but I have only read 3 (out of a possible 8!). Before I go any further, I also took my 3DS and this book stopped me from playing Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, and I’m a man who loves my Castlevania.
The rigmarole of Ready Player One is that it is a dystopian sci-fi novel written by Ernest Cline which at the time was his first novel, (he’s since released Armada in 2015). The year is 2044, the earth is poverty stricken, fossil fuels are at an all time low and the consequences of global warming are becoming all the more clear, the book’s protagonist Wade Watts is currently living with his Aunt in the “stacks”, which are trailers stacked up on top of each other to preserve as much space as possible. He lives just outside of Oklahoma City spending every ounce of free time he has the same as virtually everybody else on the planet, inside the biggest videogame on the planet. An MMORPG called OASIS. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept OASIS is pretty much World of Warcraft but it’s a complete universe with several users working, making friends and even getting married in the OASIS. When word gets out that the creator of the OASIS, James Halliday has died with no heir, he leaves an easter egg (literally an egg) within the game awarding the person who finds it with all his assets, an asinine amount of money and the OASIS itself, the key to getting the prize is brushing up on your 1980’s nerd trivia, where Halliday was a massive fan. Thus begins one of the biggest scavenger hunts in history, with people wanting to use the money for good and people wanting to monetise the OASIS for their own personal gain and ready to literally kill for the prize.
The novel is a breeze it has absolutely no filler in it (I’m looking at you, George RR Martin), Cline has a way of writing which is straight to the point but you get the idea in your head very quickly, I like it a lot. Wade Watts has a lot going on in his life, like Halliday he is obsessed with 1980’s nerd culture such as old games, films and even music. If I was to list all of the references to nerd culture I would be here all day, so I’ll just say there is a lot. It satisfied me in a way only stuff like this can, those that don’t understand what I mean by that probably won’t ever by this point. I consider myself an uber nerd of some sorts but even a few of the references went over my head. An absolute endless amount of 1980’s references all mostly relevant to the plot which is fucking awesome.
I know I say I hate the term “gamers” but this book has a specific audience and every single one of them should read it, I have no idea why it took me so long. But if it’s taken you this long then I’ll forgive you for waiting for the film adaption which is due out next year, directed by Steven Spielberg (referenced a load in the book), so that’s gotta be good.
A 10, if you want to put a number on it.