Ready Player One – Ernest Cline

Someone recommended this to me ages ago, and when I recently posted a snap of my To Be Read pile (a fixture in my room, if a constantly changing fixture!) someone else spotted Ready Player One in it and immediately told me to start with it.

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This lot took me just over a week to read. It’s.. I… I have a problem.

In fact, he used three exclamation points – so although I had no idea what to expect from the book, I knew that it apparently was good enough to elicit both word-of-mouth recommendations and high levels of Instagram enthusiasm!

Predictably, my friends were right.

Ready Player One is – frankly – awesome! I read the whole thing on the train to (and a little bit from) Paris* when I went recently to visit my friend. When I put it down, I physically sighed. Like, I had been literally holding my breath a little bit. So. Satisfying.

The story takes place in a dystopian near-future, where the world has pretty much gone to shit with wars and the depleting of natural resources etc. Most of humanity now prefer to live in the virtual reality world Oasis – like a fully immersive internet – and our young hero is no exception. I don’t want to give away too much more of the plot, because I so enjoyed reading it without knowing a summary beforehand and I don’t want to spoil that for anyone else, but suffice it to say, it’s epic. And surprising, but also satisfying. And really well written.

It’s also worth pointing out that while I am definitely a bit of a geek, I’m not really much of a gamer. I like to waste time on Candy Crush and Two Dots like any self-respecting commuter, but really video games are not so much my thing. That did not matter AT ALL in my enjoyment and understanding of Ready Player One. The themes the story touches on are universal, and because the world and community is one of Cline’s invention, readers don’t need to have actual gamer knowledge to know what the characters are talking about. Really, it’s all about human connection vs human connectivity, which is an achingly tpical theme in today’s society.

Who has two thumbs and is putting them both up for Ready Player One? This girl!

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* Yep, that was a total humblebrag. I went to Paris for the day, and it was LOVELY. I felt very cosmopolitan. Well, I did once I got over the embarrassment of forgetting my passport at home and having to change my ticket for a later one…
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