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Ready Player One (BOOK CLUB)

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    Cassie Muldrow

    I read the book within 24 hours last week. It was one of those, “I can’t put it down” books for sure. Some of the arcade game references went right over my head (I blame my parents, and their limited quarters), but things like WarGames, Zork, Blade Runner, etc. were impossible not to love. I didn’t find it very strange that Parcival was so good at the majority of the tasks, I felt he had enough difficulty with the deciphering the clues to balance it out. I do agree that it would have been nice to have a chapter or two looking through the other character’s eyes. I always find I understand the main character better when I see how he/she is perceived by others. Plus, I’m a girl and would really have liked to get into Art3mis’s brain for a little bit. There’s many times when it seems like just being female makes you want to try harder in the “nerd” world. That would have been a fun perspective. Especially, since the target audience for this book is the male population. The only thing that made me sad, was the lengthening of the personal story of the character, and the glossing over of the challenge portions of the book. I would have preferred that the author didn’t assume that I’ve played Zork (even though I have) and allowed that scene to unfold as an adventure. I think it would help to draw in people who aren’t yet fans, rather than excluding anyone who wasn’t in on the joke. It seemed like 5 sentences. So I found the house, went in through the window, found the trapdoor, proceeded with the latern, found all the trophies and got the heck out of there. I was like, “that’s it?!” It doesn’t really feel like the author was really a fan, where you’d want to stop and revel in the “flavor” of those memories, share some tender experiences. At some point, it seemed like it became more important to just cram as many references as he could in the book, and not spend time really developing what made them awesome. That said, I loved the book. I’ve also picked up A Confederacy of Dunces, and Riddley Walker due to the recommendations of the book club, and I am very excited about those titles as well.
    On a complete side note, I absolutely love all the Travis McGee novels. John D. Macdonald has always been a hero of mine. I have a particular thing for Bright Orange for the Shroud, but they are all amazing.

    Wheel of time becomes less and less of a lord of the rings ripoff as it goes on, but you do have to endure fourteen 900 page books of character development and events that never seem to end. I do love all of those characters as if I know them personally, but it is only something I would recommend to the most devout of fantasy readers. I’m still holding off on the end, because I want to read a few books over again before I get to that one, and well… who has the time for all of that? I have new books to read. Eventually.

    I would love to see you guys tackle Chuck Palahniuk’s Haunted. It’s so disturbing and gross, and… I don’t even have words. I know that you’ve been sticking to the fantasy sci-fi themes, but I would REALLY love to hear this particular group discuss this book.

    Hatching Phoenix

    I absolutely LOVED the audiobook. It certainly is a love it or hate it kind of story, though.

    "You don't write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say."
    --F. Scott Fitzgerald


    Hey gang! We expect this episode to be out in March. If anyone’s still planning to read, there’s time yet!


    So I’m just now getting around to this one- I had a big move going on when this book was the thing and I didn’t have a lot of free time. I’m at the part where Wade gets to the Tomb of Horrors, and I have to say I am not impressed. All the references feel super forced and name droppy.

    It reminds me of all the worst parts of how Jules Verne wrote novels: If you read a bunch of Verne books, what he’ll do (it feels like) is just tear a bunch of pages out of an almanac, and then string them together with a loose narrative. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is primarily a recitation of latin fish names interspersed with some passages lifted from a geography text, and so far Ready Player 1 has been a regurgitation of 80s movie titles interspersed with some thinly disguised Nolan Bushnell anecdotes.

    I’m hoping it just hasn’t gotten good yet, but right now I’m not loving it.


    I finished Ready Player 1 last night. It definitely did get better, and i attribute that to the reduction in shoe-horned references that felt arbitrary (“quit slapping your head like Rain Man”). For some reason, that tapered off dramatically post-tomb of horrors. There were a lot of references to things that fell way outside the ’80s target zone in a way I found jarring (like the Sixers’ use of Evangelion robots as well as the constant Firefly references).

    The commentary on leading a purely virtual life that popped up at the end felt a little like it was intended to be the point of the whole thing, but since it appeared so late in the narrative it didn’t feel well planned out.

    I also found it hard to believe that Tron featured so shallowly in the narrative. I recall there being a casual mention of Discs of Tron, and maybe there was a Flynn’s Arcade on the world of Arkaide, but it seems to me that any ’80s-based computer culture would have to acknowledge the long shadow cast by that film. For that matter, it seemed unlikely to me that there wouldn’t be entire galaxies devoted to Disney.


    If we’re still in spoiler city,

    I honestly spent the whole book waiting for Aech to be revealed as a Sixer plant or sell-out. The chummy nature and total lack of suspicion of the character at various points of the novel left me feeling the trope was inevitable. I was too genre-savvy for my own good.

    Courage TFM


    My dad read it and he said the same thing. Looking at the story, it probably should have happened, maybe with Aech being responsible for Daito’s death. But other than that, it would have been a real trick to fit a betrayal like that into the story, just timing wise (although I suppose it could have worked).But instead we got a different secret with Aech, and that wasn’t too bad, all in all.

    On a scale of 1 to everyone dying I say let's aim for a 7.

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