Ready Player One - Fun summer read for Gen Xers.

Ready Player OneReady Player One by Ernest Cline
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a great vacation read for anyone who was born in the late 60's up until the late 70's. If you fall into this group your brain will be continuously tickled with references to things you loved as a kid or in junior high. Lots of early video game references, RUSH songs and John Hughes film memories. The author is basically obsessed with this era and he has crafted an adventure/mystery story with an insane amount of shootouts to Atari, Dungeons & Dragons and all things 1981.

The story itself is enjoyable if not predictable. The setting is a relatively dystopian future where everyone spends most of their time in the virtual world instead of the misery of their real world. This isn't entirely unfathomable as something that could actually happen. Mr. Cline does a decent job of exploring this concept, but he doesn't delve to deeply into the psychological, sociological and spiritual ramifications of this predicament because he is mostly intent on telling the story which is like a giant video game mashed up with a D&D quest and then combined with a VH-1 episode of "I Love the 80's" all set to a soundtrack from the heyday of MTV (when they actually showed music videos). If you enjoy all of those things then you'll love reading this book. If you were never nerdy at all, you probably won't make it through this book.

With all of that in mind, I enjoyed it immensely as a piece of written escapism while I was on vacation at the beach. (Incidentally, I read it while staying at a place that my family stayed at in 1987, what are the odds?)

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