By Ernest Cline
Publisher: Random House NY
Release date: August 16 2011
Edition: Hardcover 372 pages
What the inside flap says...
It's the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.
Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.
And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune--and remarkable power--to whoever can unlock them.
For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday's riddles are based in the pop culture he loved--that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday's icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes's oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.
And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.
Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt--among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life--and love--in the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.
Saying I "liked" this book is a huge understatement. Seriously, I loved this book so much that this review is going to be so darn one-sided. I can't help it though. I just can't find anything bad about it.
Even if I did this...
I still wouldn't be able to find $#!t.
This book is full of so much nerd love. It would be so hard to point out every bit of it on one blog. It is literally a swan song to 80s pop culture. Music, movies, and video games all skillfully wrapped up into a very fun story. Reading this book really made me wish the virtual world of OASIS existed. That is even without the contest that was put inside it to win the riches of the creator after he passed away. Speaking of the creator of the game itself, James Halliday, I could not help but imagine him as Steve Jobs. Halliday was just as much of a visionary in the story as Steve Jobs was in real life.
The conversations that take place amongst the characters in the story reminded me of growing up so much. Constantly quizzing each other facts from certain movies or games just to make the other feel superior felt right at home. There were even moments that literally made laugh out loud. I'm sure Jenny looked at me a few times while I read this book to further confirm that I was still weird.
The author does a great job in the writing and truly has you feel for his characters. He does an amazing job with the villain of the story. Holy crap, I so hated this guy. Heck, the company he owns and uses to try to take over OASIS received even more hate. They were just so well written. I would have to say I couldn't have hated a corporation as much as I hated the one in this book. NERD RAGE!
Nope, still haven't found $#!t. LOL
Who would I recommend this to:
First and foremost, the nerds. This book was personally written and gift-wrapped for you. Literally, if this book doesn't relate to you in some nerdy way, get the heck out of my stereotype! As for the non-nerds, if you are willing to give video game/sci-fi space opera a try, I'm sure you will be very pleased with the story that is here even without understanding the nerdy references.