Rating: 4.6 Stars
Wade Watts uses all his spare time becoming an expert in 80s pop culture with the great hope of winning one of the biggest prizes of all time. The creator of the Oasis has a big prize to offer the best gamer who can master his challenges.
I absolutely loved the book. There was just so much incredible detail and thought put into every aspect of this novel, I’m overwhelmed with awe. If anyone is a fan of videogames, the 80’s, and general nerdom of such like, this book is the window to your soul. The details within this piece are so intricately thought out, I don’t know how Cline did all the research for it. It must have taken years.
As much as I enjoyed the story, I really found Wade to be a likeable character I really wanted to follow. It was like watching my brother play video games as a child and just cheering him on from the background knowing I could never do what he did. Quite a nostalgic experience.
I half read this book, and half audio booked it. It was actually quite a treat to have Will Wheaton read it out loud. I found that it really added to the excitement while I was listening to it on my way to work.
My one difficulty with it is that there were some sections within the book that were slower, and seemed to read as though they were footnotes within the grand story, rather than actually contributing to the action itself. Removing some of this “inaction” would have made it a little stronger.
Recommendation: Well, its not a book for the younger generation. It reads like a YA, and it kind of is, as the main character is a teenager when he starts out. But its such an homage to the 80s, without some appreciation for what he’s talking about, it’ll be difficult to follow. If you’ve got familiarity with the subject matter, it’ll have more meaning to you, but its still a book that can be read without immense background knowledge. Its also a lengthy and a bit heavier read at times, and so not for the lighter reader.
Themes: versions of reality, identity, friendship, competition, immortality, perseverance