If you are a child of the 80s there are references and inside jokes totally packed into the story of Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.
The year is 2045 and Wade Watts is your average teenager, living in a not so average time. The one escape that people have is the OASIS, a virtual world created by James Halliday, a computer programmer whose genius is hard to replicate. Through most of Wade’s adventure to find the hidden Easter Egg in the OASIS he is known to the majority only by his OASIS Avatar’s handle, Perzival.
The book beings however on the day of Halliday's death with an video announcement about the contest to find the Easter Egg, where the winner will inherit all of James Halliday's estate. Fast forward five years and the scoreboard is still blank, until one fateful day, a name appears, and that name is Perzival.
This book is one of the best books that I have read in the way that it masters looking back to the golden age of the 80's for pop culture references and homages, while giving a glimpse into a future that in this day and age is entirely possible, I was in awe of the content, and the visuals that this book conjures in your mind. From the appearance of some of the great films from the 80's (Matthew Broderick in the film War Games, The Lord of the Rings book trilogy) Some of my favorite references in this book are the references to Monty Python & the Holy Grail (anything Monty Python really), Ferris Bueller's Day Off, & one of my favorite things growing up Voltron!
Listening to the audiobook is fun, but for those who are not huge Wil Wheaton fans, you may be happier picking up a hardcopy or e-book copy of the book. I listened to the audiobook and while I am one of the few who falls on the line where I don't mind him but I am not in love with him, I can see how an audio book that is pretty much 16 hours of listening to Wil Wheaton could be a bit of a chore for some.
With the film adaption of Ready Player One due out in theatres on March 30th of this year, I’m intrigued to see how things I imagined while reading will transfer to the screen. I highly recommend this book and with Cline's confirmation that he is working on a sequel I am very excited to see how these amazing characters have grown and changed since their adventures began, in the OASIS.