The first time I read Ready Player One was back in October of 2014. I had recently bought a new Kindle and was in the process of loading it up with some new, unread fiction. By the time I finally bought the book, it had been out for more than three years, and the buzz was still pretty high. To tell the truth, I was reluctant to read it because of all that buzz. Many times, when a book or movie catches wild-fire, it’s usually a let down when I actually try it myself. I think I put off on buying the book at least a year just because of being stung before. After I finished it though, I was reluctant that I hadn’t read it sooner.
Now, having said that, Ready Player One is a wild-ass ride! If I had no other words for this book review, I’d be satisfied. But how can I stop there? I can’t, obviously.
From the very beginning, I felt some kind of geeky connection to it. I had heard all about the premise and knew what was coming my way. But still, I was surprised at how well it flowed for me. I think I posted a progress review on Goodreads saying something about how smooth the words were. I still stand by that early review … even after four (yes, that was 4) complete read through’s.
The more I read, the more I thought that Ernest was writing this book specifically for me! I am clearly a product of the ’80s, so I “got” every bit of nostalgia that Cline threw on the page. And it’s not just that. Every little tidbit he wrote seemed so personal like I was the only person that noticed them. When he wrote about the War Games re-enactment, I could imagine myself counting each of the steps Broderick was taking, or saying the same lines, verbatim mind you, as the film’s character was. I don’t think I have ever been so fully immersed in a book, except for obviously writing my own novels. Obviously.
To that end, I have now read the book four times on my Kindle and have even listened to the audiobook on a recent road trip. Wil Wheaton nailed it, almost as if he were meant to read it the entire time.
To this day, Ready Player One remains as a top 5 novel for me. I’m not sure which novel is my overall favorite, but Enders Game, The Martian, The Hobbit, The Company, and The Dark Tower series are all up there. Yeah, I lump Kings epic fantasy in there as one read. One REALLY long read, but it has to be enjoyed as a complete work.
Now, with all that said, I’ve not watched the movie yet. I’ve heard enough about it that I may skip it entirely … because I don’t want it to ruin the book for me. Or, I might wait another year and watch it with a forgetful mind. Time will tell.