Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

This is sci-fi novel set in a dystopian future. It might be a young adult novel, since the characters are mostly high school to college age, but there are so many references to 80s popular culture that us older folk are likely to enjoy it, too.

Actually, I think this story has something for everyone. Steven Spielberg might think so too, because he has signed up to direct the movie adaptation. I could not help imagining the movie as I read the book, and I think that will be quite spectacular, too.

Our hero, Wade, is you typical poor kid who has a passion, works hard, takes risks, gets lucky and does well. He lives in 2044, and, like many people in the grim future, spends most of his time in a virtual reality. The inventor of this virtual world was a teen during the 80s, so coded lots of cool 80s stuff in to this virtual world. Before he dies he hides a virtual easter egg in the virtual world and leaves a clue for all the nerds to start searching, the finder of the easter egg gets to inherit his squillions and the right to be in charge of the virtual world he created. So, all these young futuristic kids have to obsess over the same 80s movies, music and videogames that he did during his youth. There is also a huge, evil corporation who is also after the easter egg, with a plan to ruin the virtual world for everyone.

There is lots of action and fights and videogames, and plenty of music, film and TV references. It is gripping and exciting and totally unlike any other novel.

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