Ready Player One
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From the critics
A dystopian, fun, rollicking, smart, articulate, thoughtful, action-packed sci-fi novel about a future that is nostalgic for the past. (The 1980s, to be exact.) All of the praise for Ernest Cline's debut novel is deserved. Don't be scared away by the setting - even though this takes place in a dystopian future, this is one of the most fun and hopeful novels I've read in a while. Fun for young aduls and grown-ups alike, although Gen Xers will find the most to love here.
Ready Player One is a fun, futuristic ride back to the 80s. While that sounds contradictory, Cline creates a future world that is crumbling from disasters – economic, political, and environmental. People turn from their dreary lives to take part in a computer generated alternative, an Oasis, built by a computer geek, guru, and billionaire from the 1980s. The deceased guru, James Halliday, has designed a computer game based on 1980s pop culture that requires the obtaining of three keys. Holder of the keys wins access to Halliday’s massive fortune. Keen intelligence for riddle solving and muscle and nerve for deadly battle are required to win the keys. Protagonist, Wade Watts stumbles upon the first key, and the game is on globally. Wade struggles through epic battles and confusing clues to seek the second and third keys. “Friends” in the Oasis “help” him in his quest.
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In 2044, reality is a grim place plagued by poverty, shortages and unemployment. Fortunately, people don't have to live in the real world anymore -- most entertainment, business and social interaction takes place in OASIS, a virtual world of amazing scope and detail. But now, OASIS will become the setting for an unprecedented battle royale. The creator of OASIS, upon his death, promised to give control of all his wealth, and his world, to the player who could complete a series of challenges based on his favorite movies and video games. For five years, nobody found anything...until Wade Watts, a 17-year-old, level-three nobody stumbles upon the first clue. Suddenly he's a celebrity with a shot at everything he's ever wanted -- but his opponents will stop at nothing, including murder, to see that he doesn't win.
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