Synchronicity forced me to read this book.
Several friends, none of whom know each other, recommended the book to me in the space of a week. One even had a physical copy she loaned to me. I was nearing the end of the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson so it would have to wait. I was told that I would love its 80’s references and nerdy geekery and that it was ‘my kind of book’.
To be fair, I was sold on the fact that it uses the Tomb of Horrors, the most deadly Dungeons and Dragons module of all times, as a major plot point.
I’ll let the author sum up the story:
“Ready Player One is a thriller-slash-coming-of-age story that takes place partly in a virtual world, with a plot that involves ’80s pop culture nostalgia, giant robot battles, and an enormous amount of geeking out. Sort of a cross between Snow Crash and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, with a little bit of Kurt Vonnegut and Douglas Adams thrown in.”
When I finished it, I was overcome with emotion. There was nostalgia, of course, but also vindication. Here was a book that featured a parade of characters that I was intimately familiar with. I have known these people…hell, I have been them at various stages in my life.
Here was a book that showcased gamers, nerds, and geeks but never mocked them, belittled them, or debased them. No, it glorified them and their interests in a genuine, heartfelt way. Yes, it talked about escapism and social isolation, but also of the freedom of imagination and the passion that can create.
I’m not saying it was the best novel ever written, but if you grew up in the eighties, chances are, you will find more than one nostalgia riddled paragraph bringing a childhood smile back to your lips. Even if you weren’t, the obscure stuff if usually explained or understandable by context.
And hell, even if you aren’t, it’s has a dystopia, magic, space ships, dungeons, and flying shoes. What’s not to like?
I wish there were more media out there like this.
Maybe I’ll write some someday.
Regardless, READ THIS BOOK!