I have just finished the audiobook Ready Player One by Ernest Cline and narrated by the excellent Wil Wheaton. I think this book may have changed my life. It has changed the way I see both people and the world itself. Phenomenal.
Ready Player One is set about 40-50 years in the future, the world is a bleak place and the only time Wade Watts is happy is when he’s immersed in the virtual universe of the OASIS. Created by James D. Halliday, the OASIS is a virtual reality anyone can plug into. Just start your console, don your visor, and pull on your haptic gloves. You are now your avatar. You can go where ever you like and do what ever you want. People work in the OASIS, kids go to school there. The OASIS Credit is the strongest currency in the world.
When James Halliday dies it is big news. Not because he was famous, it was the contents of his will that caught the world’s attention. Before his death, Halliday had hidden an Easter Egg inside the OASIS with a series of clues, keys, and gates to navigate before you could reach it. Whom ever found the Egg first would be the sole heir to Halliday’s fortune and majority share holder in his company, Gregarious Simulation Systems. And with that announcement, the race was on.
The novel is told memoir-style by Wade Watts, detailing his hunt for the Egg. The writing is witty and engaging, immersing the reader in the OASIS. Halliday was obsessed with 1980s pop culture and so the book itself contains reference after reference to films, TV shows, books, music, and games I know and love (and many I have never heard of). I got excited every time I recognised something – particularly when a Wheadon-themed section of the OASIS was mentioned- and more than once found myself googling things I wasn’t familiar with.
This fast-paced novel was expertly brought to life by Wil Wheaton for the audiobook. His narration was perfect; including bursts of singing, cheering, and the occasional shouting. There is a wonderful part where Wheaton is actually mentioned in the book and my brain burst into cheers. I am ludicrously glad I chose to read the book in this format.
This book has changed the way I look at things. I find I am far more tolerant of the socially awkward, I feel normal for getting completely lost in a book, and not even the tiniest bit ashamed of my geekish nature. The film adaptation is due to be released in December 2017 and I cannot wait! I enjoyed Ready Player One tremendously and gave it a whopping 5/5 stars.