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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

‘Ready Player One’ reread, Part 2

I finished up my reread of Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline — soon to be released as a major motion picture by Steven Spielberg — today on Twitter. (Part 1.) Here’s my commentary.

(UPDATE 03.29.18: Here’s my review of Ready Player One the movie.)

posted in:
books | maryann rants | movie buzz
  • RogerBW

    My memory of the book is slightly more positive, but I can’t deny any of your points and I haven’t felt any urge to re-read it. I think that insofar as it works it’s probably one of those “stop complaining and go with the flow” narratives – much like films described as “turn off your brain and enjoy it”.

    I probably ought to write a new review, but then I’d have to read it again.

  • Stacy Livitsanis

    I was thinking of reading Ready Player One, by borrowing if from my public library, but you’ve saved me the trouble. If they ever make the Girl version, I might read that. Pink cover of course, with references to Punky Brewster, Sailor Moon, Teen Witch, Dirty Dancing, Cabbage Patch Dolls, etc…

  • But, but, but…Mecha Godzilla!
    Yeah, you are 100% right on all counts against this book. I mildly liked it, but knew the whole time it was full of tropes and cliches and just not good.
    I tend not to be a nostalgic kind of person, so I’m with you on the sad 80s obsession.
    I’m wondering how Spielberg handles Artemis’s face reveal. Will she have a giant half of her face birth mark like the book describes, or just something smaller that shes really embarrassed about?
    The Aech reveal was so ridiculous, but I also found a grain of sad truth to it. Maybe it wasn’t written well, but it would be interesting to see life from a different perspective, even if it’s a virtual one.
    The trailers for the movie have not given me much hope that Spielberg can make this work. We’ll see.

  • Dent

    This sounds an awful lot like Sword Art Online.

  • Dent

    Which was just as terrible.

  • Dent

    How can someone have written a worse virtual reality story than Spy Kids 3?

  • Here You Go
  • Stacy Livitsanis

    Ha! Perfect!

    Could a novel like Ready Player One have been written anytime before the 1990’s? This level of all-the-way-up-its-own-arse backwards-looking nostalgia has to be a recent phenomena.

  • Danielm80


    I’m not planning to read MaryAnn’s comments on the book till I’ve seen the movie, to avoid spoilers, but occasionally something on the Recent Comments page catches my eye.

    When I was growing up, all the TV commercials featured music from the ’50s and ’60s. I can never remember the actual lyrics to “Happy Together,” because I start singing, “Ooo that golden honey and graham cracker taste of Golden Grahams….” Every time I watched a syndicated TV show, an announcer was selling a greatest hits package from the Baby Boomer era.

    I was actually a little relieved when a Jefferson Starship song that I grew up with (“We built this city on rock and roll…”) got turned into a terrible ad (“We built this business to change your life…”). I mean, Grace Slick and Jefferson Airplane were still Boomer music, but someone was starting to pander to me.

    So, no, Ready Player One doesn’t make our generation special. Previous generations got Grease and Happy Days and American Graffiti and, later, Mamma Mia! But now our kids can resent us for cluttering the airwaves with dreck, just like our parents did.

  • bronxbee

    funny… i didn’t read the book (and now, have no intentions of doing so) but from your descriptions of the story line, i assumed it was a 1980/early 90s piece… i was prepared to say, “well, why would you think it would have any references to female or feminist literature or writers”? but i checked and saw it was published in 2011! absolutely no excuses. cannot say i’ve read anything by Ernest Cline. and probably never will now. sounds unoriginal and weak. not hyped for the movie either.

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