RogerBW's Blog

Ready Player One, Ernest Cline 25 January 2014

Ready Player One is a young adult SF novel, the first by this author. Set in the future, it deals with its protagonist's efforts in a pervasive virtual world to win a contest based in the videogaming and related culture of the 1980s.

The good stuff: the author clearly knows his trivia, and enjoys writing about the period. He's also effectively able to get inside the head of his protagonist. The romance is mostly well-handled. The villains are at least plausible in their motivations and methods.

The bad stuff: Cline's ear for language is a bit lacking at times: "gunter" (for "[easter] egg hunter") clangs for me nearly as badly as Attwood's "econowife". Some of the elements in the romance scream "YOUNG ADULT NOVEL" in a way that the rest of the book doesn't. And the ending leaves a lot of questions open; it was a bit of a let-down in that it feels like the beginning of the real story rather than a satisfying ending.

Overall, a cautious recommendation. I didn't rave about it, but I certainly don't regret the time I spent reading it.

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  1. Posted by Michael Cule at 02:09pm on 26 January 2014

    Yes, it's an odd one. I read it all the way through but the obsessive recreation of the 'good old days' of early computer and arcade games was a bit much for me. I felt the author wanted me to say 'I remember that! Cool!' whereas I kept thinking 'I remember that! God I feel old...'

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