Welcome to the Maribyrnong Library Book Club

Love to read? Love sharing your ideas about books and writing? Then you've come to the right place.

This blog is an extension of our book groups which we welcome you to attend on the first Tuesday of each month.

Contact Maureen on 9688 0290 for more information.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ready Player One – Ernest Cline

In a near future dystopia, an energy crisis has reduced the quality of living to the point where many people spend a great deal of their time in a simulated virtual reality world named OASIS.  OASIS was designed and owned primarily by James Halliday, now the richest man in the world, but with no heirs upon his death, Halliday instead leaves a public video will in which he states that the first person to find 3 keys that unlock 3 hidden gates within OASIS will inherit his fortune.  However, Halliday was obsessed with the 80’s and the quests to find the keys reference obscure 80's pop culture prompting a worldwide resurgence of 80’s fashion, music and movies as people and corporations around the world attempt to solve the riddles Halliday left behind.

3 years later, after all but the most die-hard contestants have written Halliday’s will off as a joke, Wade Owen Watts, or “Parzival”, discovers the first key, and suddenly the competition is on in earnest.

I love Ready Player One.  It’s the best book I’ve read this year, but reviewing it is more difficult for me than reading it, because I know that I’m very much the target audience.  Firstly, the book is very well written, characters are well drawn and the threat well established which gives the quest narrative weight.  And Ernest Cline knows his stuff.  Not just the 80’s pop culture references, but he understands the online world and the people who populate it.  He understands game systems and the games industry.  Recently we’ve seen a few attempts by other authors to write books that tap into this market, but this is the first one I’ve read that actually works as an engaging story.

Ten months after Ready Player One was released, Cline revealed that the book itself contains the first of a series of puzzles for readers.  The competition’s prize will be a fully kitted out DeLorean, if you don’t know what a DeLorean is, this might not be the novel for you.  If you do, I urge you to read this book.

The opinions posted here are my own and not those of Maribyrnong City Council.

Michael Lay

No comments:

Post a Comment