Monday, October 31, 2016

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One (2011) by Ernest Cline is a fascinating commentary on humans and Western civilization and a brilliant, exciting love letter to geeks, video games, and pop culture.

Set only a few decades in the future (scary in itself), after civilization has mostly fallen apart and 'society' exists only in virtual spaces, the story kept me interested, engaged, and slightly tense the whole way through. Cline does an amazing job of creating interesting characters and putting them in situations that really keep you guessing.

I loved the idea of living 'in' a video game, and the virtual reality setting certainly gave Cline extensive leeway in what he could do in certain scenes, untethered as his world was from actual reality.

Though I'm sure most people who don't consider themselves geeks or nerds might initially dismiss this book as not for them, I would urge anybody to give it a shot -- it's that good. It does a great job of showing both the advantages and disadvantages of increasing reliance on continually improved technology, and while knowing all the pop- and geek-culture references probably brings more amusement and enjoyment to the reader, not knowing every one does not take away at all from the main themes of the story. In the end, the book is about what it means to be human, which applies to us all.
“Whenever I saw the sun, I reminded myself that I was looking at a star. One of over a hundred billion in our galaxy. A galaxy that was just one of billions of other galaxies in the observable universe. This helped me keep things in perspective.”
“Dilettantes,’ Art3mis said. ‘It’s their own fault for not knowing all the Schoolhouse Rock! lyrics by heart.” 
Keep reading! Beth

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