Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Your Mission, Should You Choose to Accept It...

It's summer reading season, and we're going to be featuring some of our top recommendations though out the month.  As far as we're concerned summer reading should be: A) engaging, sink-into-a-story reading, and B) cheap.  If you're taking a book to a beach, you don't want to risk getting sand in the binding of the autographed, first edition of Proust.  I'm pretty sure that Gianna rubs all beach books in the sea life that washes onto shore just for the hell of it.  This is why I don't go to the beach with her.

First up, Ready Player One by Ernie Cline.  It's new in paperback this week, and the book is just plain fun.  Ernie is the biggest geek you'll ever meet, and he's happy to talk to any and everyone about 80's pop trivia and classic video games.  He loves them.  Ernie's love is evident in his novel, too.

A futuristic tale with a decidedly retro twist, Ready Player One is the story of Wade, an overweight, unattractive, poor kid who spends all of his free time looking for the Easter Eggs left by the eccentric, Bill Gates-esque, billionaire who passed away.  For the undorky, Easter Eggs are hidden clues buried in games that take you to special features, places, etc, within the game.  The billionaire in Ready Player One was obsessed with 80's lore, so amid the virtual reality worlds he created are send-ups to his favorite 80's games, movies, and culture.  You'll never watch War Games the same way again, I promise.  Find the Easter Eggs and beat the challenges, win the money.  Years go by, though, and the scoreboard remains blank until the day that Wade finds the first clue....

Ernie and his car
Ready Player One is a book that sucks you in, the same way that the original Legend of Zelda hooked us long ago, when it was too hot to play outside.  I still have my original NES and all of the games, and when I bought a Wii a couple of years ago, one of the first things I did was purchase a bunch of classic games--Super Mario Bros 1-3, Zelda, Galaga, Rygar, Final Fantasy I.  If you ever wished for a quest along the lines of The Neverending Story, or dreamed of playing "Thermonuclear War" with JOSHUA from War Games, or loved your Atari, you are going to love this book.

Need an added incentive to read it?  Okay.  Here's the bonus.  Ernie Cline bought a DeLorean with his advance money from Ready Player One.  Now he's revealed that he hid an Easter Egg in the print versions of his book (both hardcover and paperback), and the person who finds the egg and successfully completes his/her own quest will also win a DeLorean.  You can drive 88 mph and just dare a cop to pull you over.  I recommend doing so on Gianna's street, since there are always cops over there.  Win the car and I'll give you Gianna's address.
Ernie's car, Ecto88

And while I have no idea if the Easter Egg is buried in the audio edition, I want to give a shout out to it as well.  If you've got a book this jubilantly geeky, is there any question whatsoever who should read the audio book should be?  That's right--Wil Wheaton.  Love him.  This was one of two favorite audio books from last year (the other was Tina Fey's Bossypants).  Wil Wheaton was destined to read this book.  It's delightful.

Here's the video of Ernie explaining his Easter Egg contest:

1 comment:

  1. I love Ready Player One! I listened to the audiobook read by the inimitable Wil Wheaton.