Ready Player One book sets up for an exciting film


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Many students have already read the famed novel, now the film gives an opportunity to see how well your imagination captured the story.

If you’re a student here, there’s a good chance you’ve already heard about Ernest Cline’s novel Ready Player One, maybe you’ve even someone who read it for your summer project. There’s also an even greater chance you’ve already heard about Steven Spielberg’s film adaptation that came out on March 29 (I had premier tickets ready). It’s obvious however that the movie will veer off the path of the book just by taking a look at the trailers. This may not be such a bad thing, though I would still give the utmost recommendation that you give Ready Player One a read, prior to a watch.

The Gist

The story opens up in a grim take on the year 2044. Back in the 90’s, an up and coming programmer exceeded that of Jobs and Wozniak, James Halliday. Halliday has become the wealthiest man on Earth by this time, and his fortune was found in the creation of the OASIS, a VR paradise that has the global populus addicted as they seek refuge from a failing reality. After the passing of Halliday, he leaves a prerecorded message which announces the beginning of “The Hunt”, a quest to claim his estate, company assets, and all the riches that come with. The Hunt is comprised of six easter eggs, three hidden keys, and a lost gate for each key. The novel follows Wade Watts, also known as Parzival, on his own quest to find the keys. Like most people, Wade has nothing and lives in poverty. Winning the competition would mean sanctuary for himself and many others. While he forms allies with the other top players, he makes enemies with a dangerous corporation that will stop at nothing to claim victory.

The Verdict

Cline writes a very enticing novel, not just for the current generation of adolescents, but for any adult who grew up surrounded by 80’s and 90’s pop culture. The book’s entire focus is an enormous puzzle built around pop culture and technology, so it becomes the perfect read for both thrill seekers and geeks alike. The story is a great representative of character models combating a constant struggle which keeps them from their success. Sometimes the words of the page really seem to pull you in as though they were a virtual simulation themselves. His portrayal of an average teen in the 21st century is also just spot on. Cline presents you with characters that aren’t just likeable, but more than anything, relatable. Each character has his or her own reason for competing, and plans to use the prize in different ways. Some wish to splurge on themselves, while others plan to benefit their crumbling society (personally I’d use the cash to get myself and friends off the planet). It is guaranteed that if don’t find yourself able to fit into Wade’s shoes, you’re sure to relate with on of his friends. Personally, I couldn’t keep the book out of my hands until I had finished, and I still have yet to return it (those late fees are going to sting).

Folks be warned

This book would be recommended for anyone around 14 and up. There’s little to no sexuality, and drug use is non-existent. Language spikes often, and violence is prevalent. The story does however provide strong positive models, both male and female, and inspires against those corporate monopolies.

Make sure you see Spielberg’s Ready Player One