Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Ready, Player One?

I have to stop buying books.  Or maybe get with the times and start reading ebooks.

I keep amassing paperbacks, often to fill out the "free shipping" requirements on Amazon ("I only need to spend 7 more bucks...").  Then they sit on my self for months or years and when I finally get around to reading them, I'm disappointed.  I don't think I could read off a screen--I'm definitely a paperback dinosaur--but I do think I'll be going back to my local library from now on...

I'm only 100 pages into Ernest Cline's Ready Player One, which there has been a hell of a lot of hype about, even from my friends.  And it's a charming, fun kind of story, sure, but...  I just don't think I can stomach anymore 80's references.

I have to compare it to hydrogenated trans fats, where hydrogen atoms are forcibly squeezed in against nature to make SUPER unhealthy fat that eventually kills you.  The narration is not only saturated by contrived references to 80's games, movies, and tv shows, but it's SUPER saturated.  Whatever story might be lurking behind all that has to be pushed out of the way to make room for more exposition about the 1980's.  In 100 pages of book so far, I'd have to say that "80" of them are about the 80's and maybe 20 of them are actual story.

Okay, those 80 pages aren't just about the 80's, but also exhaustive description and exposition about the world or how things work or how things got to be this way.  But it's definitely not forward-moving narrative.

I can't say the reviews and rumors were false, though.  This book's buzz and charm are those very references.  And I am a child of the 80's and a self-confessed D&D and comic book nerd, however I also like a bit of story with my novel.  I don't know that I could get through 300 more pages of this one before a trans fat induced heart attack takes me out.  Therefore, I may be done here.

What's the next dusty book on my shelf...?

UPDATE OCT 11th, 2015:  I never did get back to this book, and today I'm posting my review to GR, Amazon, and B&N (90% of which is copied from the above).

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