Ready Player One is the debut novel by Ernest Cline released in 2007. These days there is a lot of talk about it because of the film directed by Steven Spielberg just released in theaters.
The book is
a kind of young adult sci-fi. Set in 2045, where the world is destroyed: it is polluted, people struggle to find a job and eat. But there is this video game, Oasis, which is a real virtual reality, where people take refuge because the real world is dying. It happens that the creator of this fantastic video game, Halliday, dies without heirs with a fortune of one hundred and three billion dollars, or so. Therefore, before dying, Halliday created a Hunt: he hid an Easter Egg in the game and left three keys scattered in the world of Oasis that will lead to that Easter. Who will find it first will have its assets. So everyone goes in search of this Easter, thus becoming gunter. Some join in tribes, others get hired by a multi-national who wants Halliday’s money mostly out of desperation. Some, like our protagonist, work alone.
The protagonist is Wade Watts, a seventeen-year-old video game lover and a great fan-lover of Halliday. He knows everything about him and he will find the first key, after five years from the beginning of the Hunt. From here it will leave an increasingly fierce hunt that will end in a few weeks. What I told you happens in the first five pages, so it’s not a spoiler.
Let’s move on to the book. I really liked it. It glues you up because you want to know what happens. Of course, it’s a simple book, a simple reading and a simple story with a few trash- some quarrels and some love stories- but overall nothing so bad. The big problem is that it’s a bit too superficial. It is not a book that deals with who knows what, even if someone is there and perhaps leaves a bitter taste on some issues, indeed, without perhaps. The videogame, Oasis, is for Cline to talk about life, in a sense, and he does not do it in full. Everyone takes refuge in this game to escape the real life, because there can be anyone there and there is less chance of being teased (theme identity?), But how to escape from the problems solve them? The book wants to reflect on this question, the problem is that it completes in a slightly superficial, obvious, and hasty way. Also because it is a subject that Cline immediately opens, but remembers almost at the end of having opened it. This was a bit disappointing.
However, this book is a bit of a revenge for the nerds. A great tribute to the pop culture of the ’80s, a period in which Halliday grew up and who loved the madness, so Wade loves them too. Of course, I repeat, this is a tribute to the era in which Cline also grew up, and to the things that he liked, then pop culture, a culture always mistreated because popular, commercial but in the end touches everyone and becomes cult. Sometimes, however, many horrible things become cult.
But dear Ernest Cline there is something that stinks a lot. Your character is 17/18 years old, so I challenge you to watch all the 80s movies, all the TV series, and read all the books that were Halliday’s favorites. I already dare to see one after the other and that would be enough, add also the fact that he saw all the films at least two hundred times. Come on, it’s not credible.
Finally I must say that I appreciated the writing of Cline. It is not so complex, it is very simple, but it manages to capture you and this is a great gift for a writer.
So yes, it was not a waste of time and I recommend the book to you too.
The review ends here. I remind you to like and to comment on anything you want to say and follow my blog: you can do it with wordpress, e-mail, or putting I like the facebook page. Hi 😉
P.S. I’ll go see the movie (I do not know when, though)