I’d heard a lot about this book. And since I had plenty of time to read on my plane ride to LONDON I figured I’d finally get around to Cline. Thank goodness I did. It was amazing.
But first, let me set the scene. It’s Thursday night. I leave for England Friday mid morning. All my clothes and hoop earrings are packed. Now, I’m trying to decide on the important things. Aka which books to bring. I don’t want to bring too many, my bag is pretty full, and I know I’ll buy some while I’m over there (duh). I’m also bringing my iPad which has a fully stocked Kindle and Audible, for occasions like this, but I want at least one book. I end up bringing two, including Ready Player One.
I haven’t seen the movie, yet, but I’d great things and there was some Vulture article going around that had all the 80’s references from the movie. In case you need a refresher, I love any and all 80’s pop culture things. But I’m not a super sci fi or fantasy or gaming kinda girl, besides Dune, so I was interested but reserved.
It lived up to the hype. And then some.
Set in the not so distant future, Cline spins us a story about a giant scavenger hunt created by the 80’s obsessed billionaire Halliday. Halliday can afford to create this hunt and supply the gazillion dollar prize because he created the Oasis. The Oasis is an online world, like Second Life multiplied by 100000. For years, no one has been able to even get the first hint in the hunt. Then one day, a rando’s name pops up on the scoreboard. Enter our protagonist, Wade.
Honestly, the story is wild so I’m not going to spend 19 years recounting it for you. You should just read it for yourself.
But I will say, even if some of the story was a little baby smidgen predictable or alternatively seem just a tad far fetched, it’s totally worth it because of the world building Cline does.
It’s a combination of 80’s music, movies, TV shows, games, books, and futuristic technology with a pretty sizable side of social commentary. It was so easy to get lost in both Wade’s world and the Oasis. To be able to pull that off for two separate worlds at once is v impressive and I admired Cline’s attention to detail.
It wasn’t perfect, there are some characters that could have used work and one or two chapters that I was like ok that’s a stretch even in this world. The writing wasn’t super amazing. And the women could have used some help. And the last like, 10 pages were a little eye roll inducing. But I would still recommend! Even if you aren’t a huge 80’s or sci fi fan, the story and main character make it worth it. It made a 9 hour flight feel much shorter so shout out to Cline.
And now let me tell you a little bit about LONDON, ENGLAND. It was so amazing. Seriously y’all, I’m so thankful I have the opportunity to travel. I went with my Dad and we had the most incredible time. We saw everything and did so many things I never thought I’d be able to. Like see where Shakespeare is buried and see the crown jewels and see Westminster Abby and where they filmed a bunch of stuff for Harry Potter. Which is to say, it was incredible.
And because my Dad is an even bigger nerd than I am, we made a point to visit a ton of different bookstores! Foyles obviously but a bunch of independent ones as well and they were amazing. Although one of my all time favorites of the whole trip was the British Library. Their collection on display nearly ruined me forever.