Now that the Wheel of Time is done I can read other books and series and not feel like I’m cheating on Jordan. That being said, I’ve started to read Ready Player One. I’m not done with it under any circumstances. I’m in Chapter 16 and I all ready have some clear thoughts on the book, so here goes.
I’ve actually been a fan of Ernest Cline since his spoken word days. I have a copy of “Ultraman is Airwolf” on CD somewhere in my room and I’ve always enjoyed it. This is a guy who loves his childhood and the 80’s. I found it terribly amusing his big spec script was the Buckaroo Bonzai sequel. Then I heard about “Fanboys”. Now here was something I could get behind. It sounded like a touching love letter to his fandom and had a heart breaking story about a friend dying of cancer. When Hollywood was done with it, it had become a rip off of a bad Kevin Smith film (ie: most of them besides Clerks). This didn’t reflect badly on Ernest though since Hollywood does that to everything they get their hands on. “Meet Dave” being a good example of this.
All this being said, I picked up Ready Player One with some degree of hesitancy. I knew his spoken word could ramble. I knew what he thought of pop culture. I was afraid this would be hard to read. It isn’t. It’s actually very easy to read and understand. The problem I had at first was the 80’s worship. There’s a lot of it at the beginning. The set up and culture of the Gunters is so laced with out dated references and jokes that I very nearly put the book down. I don’t think I could handle a book that was nothing but a frame work for a guy discussing how awesome his childhood was. Then the story kicked in and suddenly it all worked.
Ready Player One is a lot like a song. The opening is good. It’s ok. THEN the drums kick in and the song becomes epic. They couldn’t have come in any later or you would have been pissed. If they had come in any sooner it would have ruined the lead in. That’s how Ready Player One works.
The normal life and geeky stuff is there and when the story hits you realize that you actually CARE about the characters. When things start to go wrong, and they do, you want the hero to come through. You want things to turn out right. The best part of the story so far has been that I don’t know that it actually will and now I HAVE to read to find out.
Ernest has done a wonderful job on this book and I honestly feel bad for having doubted him at the start. You learn to trust your friends and frankly, I should have done that for a kindred spirit. It’s a great book, Ernie. I look forward to the next one!