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“Ready Player One” Starts Slow But Hits Home

September 22, 2011 by Kiersi

Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline

Today’s review: Ready Player One, Ernest Cline – This book starts slow. Not in the “it takes a while to get into the character” sense, or the “we’re not sure what’s going on yet” sense. The narration reminds me of a History teacher droning on and on, giving us the full backstory of everything. The wrecked civilization destined to be our future. The poverty. The obsession with ’80s pop culture. I started to feel like I was reading a summary of a book instead of a story itself.

After the first chapter I started to wonder if there was a point to it all, if there was some reason I’d missed why this teenage character was wasting his time giving us the backstory of his entire culture in a first-person narrative.

Well, yes. There is a point. Ready Player One is an awesome adventure story with bonus pleasure to those who get the references. Triple if you know what it feels like to really take on a videogame, to get a high score, and to gloat to your friends that YOUR name appears each time you play the antelope stage on Big Buck Hunter Pro. I can’t say you’d appreciate this book if you hadn’t ever played an MMO or a MUD or Second Life, since I have.

I had a rollicking good time watching Parzival turn over clues in old PC games, mention The Breakfast Club as if it were the holy grail, and rocket his way from fat teenage nerd to international fame. He even managed to maintain his integrity and prove to be a clever little thorn in the big corporate side.

It’s a guilty pleasure. Enjoy at your own risk. I couldn’t put this book down once I got into the stride of it, but it took me a while. A better editing job could have gotten four or five hearts instead of just three.

I hear it’s being optioned for a movie, and I have to say it would make a really awesome movie.

This book gets: ♥♥♥ out of 5


  1. […] reading Ready Player One, I realized this is the worst way to start a book. Patrick Rothfuss did it in The Name of the Wind, […]

  2. I might be older than you, so I loved the 80’s references. It really drew me into the story!

    I agree that it would be a good movie, because it’s very visual.

    • Kiersi says:

      I felt like a real hack that I hadn’t seen “War Games.” I’ll probably re-read this book after I catch up. I was born in the 80s but my parents didn’t expose me much to pop culture.

      • abi says:

        I was with Jennifer. Maybe more so… 🙂 The beginning made me giddy. Gleeful. I would have (almost) been happy with a book of that. The plot was like amazing on top of my awesome-sauce of nerdiness.

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