Ready Player One

Back in 2011 I received a random email from a distant friend on the internet – “I’m reading this book called ‘Ready Player One’, and couldn’t help thinking of you – you’re going to love it”. A few minutes later I pulled up the Amazon website, and bought the book – choosing to have it delivered to the Kindle in my work backpack. And there it stayed for a while. The website didn’t have many reviews recorded – the book was new, and the author was a relative unknown.

While traveling to a client site with work a few weeks later I had a few hours to kill, so fished the Kindle from my bag and flicked through the various books I had recently downloaded – among them a few classics such as Catch 22, and Catcher in the Rye – books I had been meaning to read for ages. Oh, and there was the book I bought the other day – “Ready Player One”. I started reading.

Two and a half hours later I cursed that I had to stop reading in order to get off the train. I think the only previous time I had been sucked into a book so completely was “Jurassic Park”, which I read while at college a good few years before the movie came out – it remains the only book I’ve stayed up all night reading.

Over the next 24 hours I continued reading at every opportunity – over dinner in a pizza restaurant, in the bar of the hotel, and then in my room until the early hours. After a couple of similarly introverted evenings, I finished the book – or rather, the book spat me out. And then I started reading it again.

I’m not going to re-tell the story of “Ready Player One” – anybody can copy and paste a synopsis. I’m also not going to over-think the parallels between the story in the book, and the real world. I am however going to encourage you to find a copy of the book and read it before the movie appears in 2018. It’s a wonderful, wonderful story. Yes, it helps if you’re a colossal nerd (I am), and you grew up in the 1980s (I did), but I’m not going to tell you why.

It’s worth noting that a friend I recommended the book to some time ago finally read it recently. I asked him what he thought of it – “I’ve read it four times so far”.

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