I knew nothing about Ready Player One when I picked it up. Somewhere along the way I had gotten the impression that it was in the Hunger Games/Running Man kinda book–this was way off.
Ready Player One is the story of a dystopian future USA, dominated by a virtual reality universe called OASIS. James Halliday, the man who created OASIS, before he died, hid a series of clues within it. The person who finds and solves these clues (Easter eggs) will be rewarded with Halliday’s fortune. The story follows a teenager, Wade Watts, as he navigates the OASIS and attempts to find and solve the riddles before the bad guys do (side note for people who have already read this–did you see that Ben Mendelsohn is going to play Nolan Sorrento in the movie adaptation? AWESOME).
The character James Halliday was obsessed with 80s pop culture, so all the clues and Easter eggs are related to 80s video games, songs, or movies. If you’re an 80s kid, you’ll probably love that aspect of the book. I was born in 1982, so I actually feel a lot more nostalgia for the 90s, and the 80s worship throughout really didn’t do it for me. The upside, though, is that the plot was so engaging that I could overlook the near-constant 80s references and still enjoy this book. I also have zero interest in video games, but somehow still enjoyed reading about Wade playing them. Ernest Cline does a great job of making a kind of specialized topic accessible and interesting to a wider audience, so if you’re the “right” audience for this book, I feel like there’s no way you won’t love it.