Sunday, 9 October 2011

Listen:// Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Published By: Random House Audio

Just finished listening to this one and it was very entertaining. It's nothing particularly deep or ground-breaking, but it is a wonderful, fast-paced ride through 1980s pop culture and geekery. If you grew up in the 80s watching films like Wargames and playing arcade machines and Dungeons & Dragons, then you need to give this one a read or listen.

The audiobook is narrated by that geek favourite Will Wheaton, and he really is a top class narrator. I hope he does some more audiobooks, very easy to listen to, giving each character a distinct voice without descending into over the top caricatures like some actors do.

The story reads like YA fiction which is no bad thing, and stuffed with so many references to things I loved as a child that I'd find it hard to hate it even if the plot was non-existent. It's light cyberpunk stuff, with a worldwide virtual reality game inhabited by the usual hackers, geeks, and evil corporations.

Loved it.
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?

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