I’m not a fan of that boy…I’m lying, I’m a HUGE fan!
So last night I was watching the movie Fanboys, and never realized that it was written by none other than Ernest Cline. Aside from writing one of the most hilarious movies, albeit a niche comedy, he also wrote one of the most incredible books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. That book, is Ready Player One!
Now I may be a bit biased, because this book appeals to virtually everything I love. Pop culture references, movie quotes, video games, obscure trivia, anime, the list goes on and on. I figure I’ll share my short story of how I became aware of it, since after I started reading it, I ended up causing an absolute avalanche where the vast majority of people I know ended up reading it. I say that with the utmost pride, since this is a book that absolutely deserves to be well known and adored.
I used to work in Manhattan. Living on Long Island, I took the train to and from the city every day. I would often see people reading on the train, but most of the time it was the current trendy NYT bestseller, or those Girl with the dragon tattoo who kicked a hornet’s nest etc… books. One day, while sitting next to some woman in her early 40’s, I happened to glance at the pages of the book she was reading to see what it was. I’m a people watcher, not the creepy Denny’s variety, but the ‘curious about people and society’ kind. That’s when I noticed that the chapter numbers were done in a very old computer font. That was it. I pretended to drop something just to see the name of the book, and I promptly googled it on my phone. I read the blurb online and was instantly intrigued. So I took the next logical step….
I subscribe to Audible, and have done so for years. I spend a lot of time commuting and in the car, and since I’m an incredibly slow reader it just makes more sense to listen to unabridged audio books. I signed into audible, bought the book with one of my free credits, and started listening. The audio book is read by none other than Wil Wheaton. Maybe about 5 minutes in, I was completely hooked. Upon arriving home, I asked my wife where her Kindle was. I immediately bought the book on kindle, and notified her that she would start reading it immediately. She was rather perplexed at such a display from me, but she apparently knows me well enough to take such action as the extreme enthusiasm it was intended to be. Needless to say, she finished the book in about 2 days! After I finished it, a few days later, we discussed the book and its content for days. During this time, we took the only logical next step…we told EVERYBODY!!! I have friends who NEVER read, aside from maybe 2 or 3 books, and who could not put the book down!
I seriously cannot push this enough. If you are reading this, and haven’t read this book, then you seriously need to stop reading and check it out. I won’t go into the plotline here, since I don’t think my limited writing capability can correctly portray it’s awesomeness. I’ll instead paste the blurb from Amazon. Seriously, if you like any of the things I described earlier, you’ll most likely love this book. My wife doesn’t really know much about video games, and she’s not really into them, but she nevertheless LOVED this book.
Oh, and they’re making a movie about it!!!! WOOT!!!!!
At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, READY PLAYER ONE is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.
It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.
Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.
And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune—and remarkable power—to whoever can unlock them.
For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved—that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.
And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.
Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt—among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life—and love—in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.
A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?