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Thread: Ready Player One

  1. #1
    Darth Small Macheath's Avatar
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    Ready Player One

    Okay, you fuckers, I read Ready Player One this past weekend, and it was pretty tepid.

    SPOILERS

    The story had zero surprises or interesting twists, despite plenty of opportunities. It was a straight-up Harry Potter treasure hunt without any drama (aside from "Fifty points to Slytherin! Oh no! Now they're in the lead for the House Cup!"). Is Aech a traitor, did he sell out to IOI? No. What about Art3mis? No. Is Sorrento secretly working against IOI's agenda? Nope. Will secret police be waiting for Wade/Parzival when he enacts his plan to steal all of IOI's data? Nah. Will anything, at any point, prevent any of the protagonists from doing what they want while they're on this boring-ass fetch quest? Absolutely not. Unless you include Daito's murder after being "on screen" for a grand total of three pages. Tragedy, a tertiary character was murdered! Even the bomb that destroyed the "stacks" where Wade lived -- that was a good, tense setup for something, but what really happened in the end? Wade spent five seconds mourning his downstairs neighbor, then went into hiding and continued being a world-renowned gunter.

    And when things finally contrived to become a little more difficult for our team of heroes, at the very end of the book, what happened? Ogden "Og" Morrow suddenly swooped in and gave them infinite safety and resources, the perfect "deus ex machina" to remove any suspense.

    What about emotional shit? You know, parts where you have feelings and stuff? Well, Wade was creepy and clingy about Art3mis, then got friendzoned, then spent a few months wallowing in self pity, then got Art3mis in the end anyway because Happy Ending. Aech turned out to be not a white guy; instead, he was a Fat [1] Black [2] Gay [3] Female [4] minority bonus pack, so Wade could show what a good guy he is by not caring, and the story could continue unabated after one paragraph of turmoil. I honestly felt a little glimmer of something when Daito died, heroically fending off IOI gunships so Shoto could complete the Zork challenge and escape, but that's about it.

    END SPOILERS

    Okay, so the story's boring, the characters are boring, the drama is nonexistent, what does that leave? References to 80's shit! Wooo! What a lazy way to inspire your audience. "Hey, DAE remember Go-Bots? DAE love the Atari 2600? DAE Wil Wheaton? LOL!" That excitement you felt reading this book wasn't adrenaline from the pulse-pounding action, it was an endorphin rush from being pandered to.

    Obviously, I'm being negative for effect. I didn't hate the book, I read through the whole thing, and by and large I enjoyed it. I won't remember it a month from now, though.
    Last edited by Macheath; 09-01-2015 at 04:19 AM.

  2. #2
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    :P

    I never said it changed my worldview. Sometimes books are just entertaining.

  3. #3
    Darth Small Macheath's Avatar
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    Being entertaining doesn't excuse you from all forms of critique. And my critique is that the novel was kinda boring and lazy.

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    Well, it was the guy's first novel and I'm sure he put a lot of effort into all those deep cuts into 80's nostalgia.

    Also, I never said your review was unfair. So touchy.


    no, really, stop touching me.

  5. #5
    Darth Small Macheath's Avatar
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    A high level of effort also does not excuse you from criticism.

    I'm just trying to start a conversation here, pal. I thought some of you nerds were excited about this book.

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    I am excited about it. Many of the plot turns did seem rather weak. They had near Matrix style surveillance but couldn't find a couple kids? Although, I guess those kids never left the house. Predictable yes. Would there have been equally weak story lines if things had happened in the real world that Wade managed to avoid? If he spends every waking minute in the OASIS you'd think he's sitting duck in the real world. And yes, I wish Og wouldn't have swooped in to save them. Although he didn't do it to save them as much as to save OASIS.

    I also thought the end scene with Halliday and Wade was weird. What's with the giant self-destruct button? Set up for another book, or just a social commentary that we have the power to shut off our devices?

  7. #7
    Tiny Dancer Drewbie's Avatar
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    As a quick read, summer book, I did enjoy it. I received it as a gift and hadn't heard anything about it prior to holding it in my hands. There were a great many things that did bring some nostalgia, but just as many that I had never heard of. I could identify with the going off to live in the virtual world to escape the garbage of everyday life, so I got into it pretty easily. Yea, it was lazy, but I think after reading so many Clive Cussler books, anything that didn't involve a boat chase or submarine rescue as a core plot concept was a welcome respite.

    I liked it, but I handed off my copy to a co-worker with the suggestion that his 10 year old read it. Felt more appropriate for that age group than another 30-something.

  8. #8
    Darth Small Macheath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nynnja View Post
    And yes, I wish Og wouldn't have swooped in to save them.
    Somehow, it annoyed me less when Dumbledore did it (over and over).

    Quote Originally Posted by nynnja View Post
    I also thought the end scene with Halliday and Wade was weird. What's with the giant self-destruct button? Set up for another book, or just a social commentary that we have the power to shut off our devices?
    Yeah, you know, I didn't even really think about it while I was reading, but upon further reflection... Halliday shows Parzival this "end the world" button, and Parzival doesn't even reflect on it before leaving to go find Art3mis and continue his hunt for dat sweet poontang. If he'd stood there for even one second and thought, after ruminating repeatedly on the harmful nature of life spent in OASIS, about the implications of using such a button, that would be one thing. But nope. Which leads me to believe it's probably just literal, no social commentary intended. It's just a button that deletes the universe, ho-hum, on to the next scene.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drewbie View Post
    Yea, it was lazy, but I think after reading so many Clive Cussler books, anything that didn't involve a boat chase or submarine rescue as a core plot concept was a welcome respite.
    You know, I could recommend some books if you want...

    Quote Originally Posted by Drewbie View Post
    I liked it, but I handed off my copy to a co-worker with the suggestion that his 10 year old read it. Felt more appropriate for that age group than another 30-something.
    Agreed, that seems like the right reading level, aside from the fact that there's like one random "fuck" thrown in for no apparent reason.

  9. #9
    Tiny Dancer Drewbie's Avatar
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    Sadly, most of my reading time is when I'm flying places. In that situation, I want something equivalent to a summer popcorn movie. A quick read that's entertaining and requires little thought. I'll pick up something more elaborate here and there, but I think the more high-brow stuff will have to wait til my kids are actively trying to somehow kill themselves every 10-15 minutes.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macheath View Post
    Yeah, you know, I didn't even really think about it while I was reading, but upon further reflection... Halliday shows Parzival this "end the world" button, and Parzival doesn't even reflect on it before leaving to go find Art3mis and continue his hunt for dat sweet poontang. If he'd stood there for even one second and thought, after ruminating repeatedly on the harmful nature of life spent in OASIS, about the implications of using such a button, that would be one thing. But nope. Which leads me to believe it's probably just literal, no social commentary intended. It's just a button that deletes the universe, ho-hum, on to the next scene.
    He does ask the group if they were privy to spying on that conversation and then says something like "I'll tell you later", that's the part that made me think it was a set up. But again, a missed opportunity to do something interesting.

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