virtual takeover | 2018.06.27

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline | Review

Cline, Ernest_Ready Player One

Publication: New York : Crown Publishers, ©2011

Genre: Science Fiction

Pages: 374

Formats: Paperback, eBook, Audiobook

Source: MCL

This one is pure fun, my fellow readers. Reminiscence is in vogue, and Cline leans hard in that area. The book whirls from catastrophe to near demise of the main characters at every page-turn. So if you’re looking for a great escape filled with reminders (or perhaps introductions, for those hailing from a younger generation) of 80s video games and cult classic sci-fi and fantasy films, this book has it all. Does it go any deeper? It certainly brushes up against the age-old fears of the loss of authentic human interactions in the attractive wake of virtual reality. And we all know how that story goes (even this writer here got her start in the early 90s with a similar such cautionary tale disguised as a Ray-Bradbury-slash-Ursula-K.-Le-Guin-wannabe short story).

And who doesn’t want to recreate their identity within the anonymity of a video game? Okay, maybe not all of us. As a self-reporting non-gamer, I was still amazed at the allure this book held as I raced through its chapters, even sneaking furtive reading sessions at barbecues, to my neighbors’ amused annoyance. And the ending? Well, I find it difficult to write reviews on books I wouldn’t recommend, so I’ll let you take the journey. (Please note, I’ve been warned against watching the film version, but only because the references were more geared toward a younger, more movie-centric audience, an accommodation a lot of original fans of the book were disappointed by. I’ll let your preferences be your guide. This is, remember, a book review website. I’ll leave the movie reviews to the professionals of that medium.)

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