Book Review : Ready Player One

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So there is a famous quote by George RR Martin, the author of the Game of Thrones books - A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one. I like reading a lot. Now I could go on a hyperbolic monolog professing my love for books and how i could eat and breathe them but then that would be tangential to the point. I don’t get to read as much as I want to or even as much as I used to. This situation I have remedied by taking 2 steps

  1. Switching to audiobooks so that i can listen to them in the gym and when I am driving.
  2. Being extremely selective about the books I pick up. If I don’t like a book after the first 2 chapters I simply move on to the next one.

Because of this, point number 2, I have thought of starting a new series on my channel where I give a quick review about a book that I have read. The name of the series is going to be 5-minute review which I think is self-explanatory. Fair warning, I might exceed that once in a while because who wants to break the flow of a conversation if it’s going well.

Having said this the book I have chosen for today is the first book I read on 2017. The book is “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline. This is a dystopian sci-fi book came out in late 2011, was a great success and it is now being adapted in to a movie which is being directed by Steven Spielberg. The movie should come out in late mid 2018.

The setting of the story is mid 21st century and like almost all dystopian books every thing is doomed. There is energy crisis, global warming, economic unstability and all the good things that come with this. To escape from the bitter truth of reality the world has turned to OASIS a mass multiplayer virual reality platform which is not just a game but a virtual societly in itself. The OASIS platform is such a big deal that the virtual currency of the game is the most stable currency in the world. The creator of OASIS, James Halliday, when he died, made a public announcement that he has hidden a major easter egg in the sytem and anyone who finds the egg will not only inherit all his wealth but will also become the owner of the OASIS system. This turns the whole world in to egg hunters also known as gunters. Our story follows the life of Wade Watts who, five years after the announcement, finally moves one step closer to finding the easter egg.

The biggest plus for me about this book is all the pop culture reference. I cannot count the number of times I would be seen smiling in the middle of a workout because of a pop culture reference that I got. Since Halliday based the quest around his likes and his likes were the movies, music, games and tv shows of the 80’s the references to the cult pop culture icons is immensely pleasing. I think having Will Wheaton as the narrator adds a little more feel to these references.
The second good thing according to me is that even though it is about a dystopian future, it is not as dark and heavy as the books you would generally associate with this genre. It is kind of a fun book which keeps you hooked with all the references and cliffhangers. I personally find this version of future rather fascinating because I feel that this is much closer to reality than say 1984 or Fahrenheit 451. We already have an OASIS of our own and energy crisis and glaobal warming is already on its way.

I would recommend this book if you are looking for a quick, light read and you like me are a pop culture junkie.

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I have helped many startups in building their products and I would be happy to have a chat with you about your idea. Catch me on twitter at @akhilrex

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