TSJ Reviews the Novel READY PLAYER ONE by Ernie Cline


Here’s a #short #book #review for you this morning:

Almost two years ago now I first picked up READY PLAYER ONE by @erniecline. I couldn’t put it down. Took me three days to finish. Reality intervened, work and life interrupted a few times, but when I wasn’t reading I was doing everything I could to get back to that book.  It’s rare that a novel does this to me, but it’s happened before.  The previous one that I recall having the same effect was probably THE FOREVER WAR by Joe Haldeman.

I was a typical nerd in the 80’s. Hell, I was a geek. I loved video games, I watched movies, and I read A LOT. I was (and still am) a Trekkie. I went to video game arcades. I loved films like HEATHERS, BACK TO THE FUTURE, METALSTORM, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, BREAKFAST CLUB, and THE LAST STARFIGHTER. I played games on my ColecoVision (Zaxxon mostly) and on my friends’ ATARI consoles. It was a great period in my life.

READY PLAYER ONE speaks to me about those times. It revisits that decade with incredible creativity, nostalgia, and love. It’s a science fiction book that carried me back to that period of carefree fun and excitement — back to times that I often spent staring at a video game console screen or buried in the pages of an Asimov novel.

It’s difficult to describe Ernie Cline’s book. Steven Spielberg’s movie is coming in 2018. Here’s the newest trailer; it does a much better job at explaining this story than the first teaser did:



People spend their time searching a VR world called the OASIS to locate a treasure left behind by its genius creator (and lover of the 1980’s.)

I can’t wait to see this film. If asked to describe the novel in a few short sentences, I’d say this: It’s THE DA VINCI CODE for nerdy teens from the 1980’s. It’s a love letter to that decade, buried in a scavenger hunt of 80’s geeky pop culture trivia. It’s for people like me. I’ve read it twice now, and loved it equally both times.  And to Ernie Cline, I’d simply say this: THANK YOU!

(Originally published at TSJ’s Facebook page on 14 February 2016.)


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