There will continue to be less posts until I’m done with my senior thesis, but for definite weekly posts by me (and daily posts by others) head over to https://thebookishpeople.wordpress.com! I have two posts pre-planned for this week though, this first one is extremely exciting for me.
There are often quizzes or questionnaires that ask, “Which book would you love to see turned into a movie?”
I always say Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.
A lot of avid readers dread their favorites hitting the big screen, film industries & clueless casting directors will inevitably screw it up! But it’s been done right a number of times. Most of the time the subpar books lead to phenomenal films. This book is not by any means subpar, but I believe it would make a crazy good movie.
This is one of the best books I’ve read in a really long time. It’s unbelievable that it was a debut novel. I originally read it in 2013, but even then, I was late to the party. Seriously, don’t even finish this review. Just go read it.
It takes place in the near future, 2044. Real life sucks even more than usual & the main character, Wade Watts, lives in a trailer park full of trailers that get stacked on top of one another because everything is trash & the environment sucks. He has a shitty aunt, no friends, a pretty poor & boring life. His escape? Videogames. Duh. But these videogames are so advanced in virtual reality, players might as well live there, and Wade basically does. The virtual world OASIS has everyday people, people even go to work & school there, but it also has a ton of gamers devoted to solving the puzzles & clues left by James Halliday, creator of the world. It’s the ultimate Easter Egg hunt. The clues are pop-culture references & the prize is “massive power & fortune.” But like every big reward, as Wade, or Parzival as he’s referred to in the virtual world, gets closer to achieving this one, more & more people want it. From the corrupt Sixers to other dedicated gamers.
You don’t need to understand every reference to understand the book. I was not alive for the 80’s (unfortunately). I knew about a quarter of the references, but instead they served me to further explore the world of geekery. The references aren’t annoying or thrown in randomly to try and act as an authority of some gamer knowledge, they are just as much a part of the story as its characters.
The characters are amazing. No spoilers! I promise. But if anybody wants to comment, I’ll allow spoilers there. The goodies are quirky, underdog-hero types. The baddies are frustratingly well written in that they’re not stupid. They pose a legitimate threat.
There is a lot that could be said about the commentary between reality & virtual reality. The Global Energy Crisis also leads to a bit of an environmental discussion (just in time for Earth Day, people! Nope you didn’t miss it yet). But really, let’s be honest. We all want to talk about the pop-culture crap. Which is fine, but I wanted to get it across that this book isn’t entirely about that.
Plus, Cline is awesome. I’m mad I never read this earlier because apparently there was a contest associated with a message within the text of the book (which I am proud to say I noticed. If you have a copy go look for those teensy-tiny keys). With this message you could access the online first, second, and third gates to win a freaking DeLorean (which I am definitely not proud to say I would have epically failed at).
The writing style is so enjoyable. The humor, the ease. A favorite bit that’s coming to mind right now is when the SD-03 robot vaporized the Sixer wizard operating the Orb of Osuvox (just go with it) and the cute little robot said it “was allowed to go anywhere it damn well pleased.” Perfect tone throughout the whole book.
I also enjoyed that the plot had a lot at risk without placing the character in gut-wrenching situations that were impossible to get out of. I was fairly confident of the main character’s abilities throughout the book and never became too discouraged that it’d force me to take a break. I read this thing not wanting to put it down. Normally when that happens it means I won’t pick it up again, but this book deserves a second read, one hopefully after I’ve watched WarGames, because I was born ten years after that movie came out so can you really blame me?
The book had romance and surprises, it feels like the book itself was my OASIS from time to time.
I really recommend this book if you’re iffy about it. If you’re reading a book that you’re not that into and only halfway done, put it down and pick this up. I doubt it needs more publicity, but I think I just want more people to talk about this with!
& pretty soon I probably will. Steven Spielberg is going to direct it’s movie adaptation!
Spielberg, the guy who brought you E.T! & yes, that’s the only one I’m referencing because I friggen loved that movie. Everybody loves Spielberg. The characters even love Spielberg! Wade mentions him as one of his favorite directors. Plus, Ernest Cline & Zak Penn are working on the script! The author’s involvement is great, but in case you didn’t know Zak Penn, he’s done little films…like the kind with these guys:
“This is a lifelong dream come true for me,” Cline tells EW. “I never could have or would have written Ready Player One if I hadn’t grown up on a steady diet of Steven Spielberg films. His work helped to shape my whole worldview, and set me on the path to becoming a writer and a filmmaker (as well as a DeLorean owner). I keep pinching myself. I still can’t believe that my novel, which is an homage to everything I loved about growing up in the 80s, is going to be turned into a movie by the greatest film director of the ’80s (and arguably of all time). It feels like a dream. But it also feels like destiny … or density.”
They better do this right! Get working on those licensing/copright laws for those references! Or however that shit works…?