Wade Watts, the story's protagonist, escapes the reality of his life by spending as much time as possible in the virtual reality utopia called OASIS. Prior to the death of the creator and founder of OASIS, he sets up a competition where the winner will inherit his fortune. The winner is the person who discovers the "easter egg", a Willy-Wonka-golden-ticket type of prize, he has hidden somewhere in the OASIS. Contestants must find several keys to get past gates and they do this by solving puzzles, playing video games, and knowing period trivia. At the end of all the gates is the prize. Naturally, as in all good books, there is a villain, this time in the form of the evil corporation IOI. If IOI wins the competition it will wreck the free OASIS for everyone else. Gunters, or individuals like Wade who consider themselves computer/OASIS nerds, are trying to get to the prize before anyone from IOI. The competition is fierce, evenly deadly.
The author, Ernest Cline, describes himself as "a screenwriter, spoken-word artist, and a full-time geek." It really shows that he knows what he is talking about when he describes the various games, song lyrics, and movies of the 1980s. He is even offering a Easter Egg Hunt competition on in Internet right now and the winner will win a 1981 DeLorean, the car used in Back to the Future. Check out the details for the Ready Player One Easter Egg Hunt here. Apparently he has hidden clues inside his book that contestants can find to assist them on their quest for the DeLorean. How cool is that? The YouTube video, uploaded a year ago so the book signing notes are out-of-date, is of Ernest Cline being interviewed about the book and his inspiration for it. He says is it the geekiest book every written. I agree.
I listened to the audiobook of Ready Player One narrated by Wil Wheaton. He did an exceptional job. He has one of those voices that are really fun to listen to. I couldn't consume the book fast enough in this format, however, so I bought a copy of the paperback and would read it when I couldn't listen. I recommend this audiobook if you are looking for a fun book to listen to.
People ask me all the time what I am reading and what book I recommend. READY PLAYER ONE is my new answer to these questions. I am so jazzed about this book. Everyone should read it, adults and teens alike, and that includes my husband, daughters and son-in-law.
20 books in July Reading Challenge
16 / 20 books. 80% done!