Amy Utstein Center for Clinical Education

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One

“I can't believe you did this to me. I'm supposed to work, have a life, you know. I can't put the damn book down. Argh! I'll get you for this one, I will.”

The above quote is an actual email I just got in response to my recommending Ready Player One by Ernest Cline to a friend. Ready Player One is one of those rare books that is like eating the most delicious candy. It goes by way too quickly and you desperately wish there was more.

Ready Player One takes place roughly 30 years in the future where the world has become so messed up that most people “live” in a highly-evolved virtual world called OASIS. OASIS is huge – there are over 10,000 developed planets to visit. People can be anyone they want to be in the virtual world; they go to school there, they work there, they go shopping there, they make friends there, and it certainly beats the impoverished depressing lives they would otherwise be living in the “real” world.

Now you may be saying to yourself, “I hate sci-fi...this is not the book for me”, but keep’s where it really gets interesting...

When James Halliday, the multi-billionaire creator of OASIS, dies, he leaves his entire fortune buried as an “easter egg” somewhere in the virtual world and it’s up for grabs to the first finder. But, there’s a catch – in addition to having to comb universes to find the fortune, you have to be able to solve puzzles to unlock the treasure. And, in order to solve the puzzles, you have to get into Halliday’s mind. And, what was Halliday most obsessed with? That’s right – 80s pop culture!

So, for years, people have been fanatically studying 80s pop culture in preparation of finding the first puzzle. When our hero stumbles onto the first clue, the reader joins him on a pretty stupendous and entertaining adventure (not to mention fabulously fun walk down memory lane). Trust me, it’s one of the most enjoyable novels you’ll read this year; the characters are compelling, the plotting is masterful, the 80s references are hysterical, and your heart will be in your mouth as the book rockets toward its thrilling conclusion.

Now, to be fair, a good friend of mind said that I had to warn people that there is a geeky side to the book. As a proud card-carrying geek, I don’t have any idea what she’s talking about. But, I guess if you have never played a video game, or never met anyone who played D&D then there will be a bit of a disconnect in some parts of the book. But, certainly you have listened to music and watched TV and movies from the 80s, haven’t you? And, don’t listen to her me, you’ll love it.

Please...go to the Popular Reading section of the Law Library and pick this book up. And then, after you read it, you have to write me an email thanking me for turning you on to such a fun and engaging read!