Date Completed: 9/8/2016
You know, this is going to be a very unpopular response to this book, I can feel it already.
I started reading this book out loud with my boyfriend on our roadtrip out west. I was super intrigued by the premise, thrilled by the cover, and fascinated by the positive reviews I’d heard from friends. All of this lead me to purchase this book from Goodwill despite my roommate giving it away to his brother (thanks, Evan).
The premise is this: The year is 2044 and the main character, Wade Watts, is on the quest to find an Easter Egg in the online world in which everyone plays (and reads, learns, lives, etc.) that was left by the game’s creator. The Easter Egg means winning the inheritance of the game’s creator, some $2.5 billion. Should be an interesting read, no?
I was terribly bored within the first chapter. I pushed through chapter after chapter, hoping, dreaming, about a time when this book would fulfill my expectations for it. It never did. The whole book felt like somebody who was super anti-religion man-splaining why the earth fell apart as though most people aren’t already aware about the impending global crisis, capitalism, etc. Even if people don’t agree on the merits or lack-there-of of all of these things, everyone is aware of them. So the way the main character presented them was a very one-sided, minimalistic, degrading approach that I really didn’t appreciate all that much. WE GET IT. NOTHING IS GREAT AND EVERYTHING IS DYING. It was a tired refrain, and he didn’t really ever do anything to solve it. Also I feel like authors should be required to read their books out loud so they learn to use ellipses judiciously and to recognize when they are rambling about details that readers will never ever care about. It’s one thing to promote interesting details and quite another to ramble. Even I ramble! It’s a problem. Perhaps reading everything out loud would be the first step to solving this problem.
SPOILER ALERTS BELOW.
Anyways, the end was terribly boring as well (eventually we skipped to the end and read the last three chapters once we realized it would not likely get better). Of course he gets the girl, but it’s weird because they basically tell each other they love each other despite never having met in real life and now they have $2.5 billion but not really anything good to do with it? I’m not totally sure on that point; they discussed their plans with the money but it was a bit vague and idealistic.
Also why were so many bad 70’s television shows glorified?
So yeah, unpopular rant over, I really didn’t like this very much. I’ve seen the plot played out before in TV shows/movies that I really liked, for example Summerwars. So if you’re interested in this book, maybe go watch Summerwars instead.
Ernest Cline is a best-selling author, videogame nerd, etc etc. He seems pretty cool. You can find out more about him yourself, here. Also they are making a movie of Ready Player One, slated for 2018.