Ready Player One - Ernest Cline

How could this book possibly live up to its hype? Rave reviews all over Boing Boing, and a quote on its cover saying 'Here, finally, is this generation's Neuromancer'. Go look at Amazon for all the breathless reviews.

Obviously, it can't. It's a lot of fun. A big pile of fun. But depth-wise it hardly goes beyond a Neal Asher novel. I think many of the reviewers are confusing a fantastically-knowledgeable geeky reverence for the 1980s, made into a major plot point, for substance.

I read the first few chapters free online, and had no inclination to buy the full book. The dystopic backdrop of an extended depression leading to the world it showed felt laboured, unrealistic and uninviting. Fortunately, a more gullible friend bought it, and I borrowed his copy.

The main story is a straightforward adventure and pretty competent with it. There's a nice bit of twistiness, but other events are telegraphed disappointingly obviously. Mostly, though, it's this strangely 80s-tastic world that makes it notable.

Big piles of fun. Not the best thing since sliced bread, but a light read, and highly recommended.

Posted 2011-10-20.