Review: Ready Player One

Geek Culture gets narrative

Ready Player OneReady Player One by Ernest Cline
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When I wrote Dungeons & Dreamers in 2003, my father said I that to justify my childhood. Those words echoed in my head as I read Ready Player One, which is a figurative walk through eighties and nineties popular geek culture wrapped around the narrative of a massively multiplayer game come to life.

And since I purchased the audio book, I had the additional pleasure of listening to Wil Wheaton bring the Geek Culture bible to life.

I can’t even begin to review this book from anything other than as the target audience because in this story every character (major or minor) is stepped in the very geeky culture in which I came of age. There’s never a quip or an aside that doesn’t call back to some piece of seminal media. That’s the beauty of this novel. It’s for, of, and (I assume) by…us. (We the Geekers.)

The story and its narrator are so meta, though, that I suspect the novel isn’t going to age well. It’s very specifically a product of THIS time and THIS moment.

I don’t mean that as a criticism. But if you aren’t steeped in this culture, most of the references are going to slide by. Fortunately for Cline, the number of us who ARE steeped in this culture are great. (For now.)

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