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on 8 August 2017
A modern piece of nostalgia literature. Take a trip down an 80's memory lane as you are re-acquainted with familiar characters from video games, film and music. Perhaps not the best written book ever but the love and passion shown for the subject by the author shines in every page. The story itself is pretty cool, but its the references to everything that was brilliant about that marvelous decade. If, like me, the thought of almost every page referencing the aforementioned subjects then get stuck into this. A great read that didn't let me put it down until I had finished it.
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on 21 September 2017
I bought this book a short while after it was announced to be a movie and put off reading it for a while. I'm glad I finally got around to reading it because the experience of reading this was similar to when I first read the Harry Potter and Tolkien books as a kid.

The story opens with an interesting premise involving dead billionaires, Easter eggs and joyous first person narration. And from that point I was fully gripped. The book went on to introduce to me Wade Watts, the underdog protagonist who narrates the story and is the first person to progress in Halliday's Easter Egg hunt (as explained in the opening of the book).

The novel makes frequent references to all elements of pop culture, specifically 80s stuff like John Hughes and classic rock and retro video games, etc. It's clear that Cline is a big nerd for this kind of stuff and it was enlightening to read something so well versed in a specific era that we as a culture can't seem to get enough of.

The topic of virtual reality has had its fair share of time under the spotlight and it's a trope that's seen in nearly every genre, even before virtual reality actually took off. I thought that this particular trope would become stale in the context of a full length novel, but Cline handles the idea of a life consuming simulation with a resounding moral conclusion. And I have a feeling that this novel will have even more cultural relevance as virtual reality continues to grow.

I really got a kick out of reading this novel and for the first couple of chapters I couldn't put it down. I'll admit the second third of the book wasn't as well paced as I would've wanted it to be, but the last third brings a wholly satisfying end that's somewhat predictable but all the more enjoyable for it. It's a story that is based on nostalgic inspiration and I was left wanting more.
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on 27 August 2017
What a fantastic read! The amount of nostalgic 80's references which Cline has packed into this book is nothing more than amazing.

I thought I would give it a read before it is adapted into a motion picture, so I could compare what my mind created while reading to what Steven Spielberg has adapted it into.

I would recommend this book If your a fan of any of these books:
Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
Enders Game by Orson Scott Card
Any of the Scott Pilgrim Volumes
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on 18 July 2017
This is my favourite book of the year so far - utterly original, gripping, brilliant. I'm a geek and a child of the 70's/80's - got all of the rederences - played most of the games which made it so absorbing (hadn't thought about Zork for years!) I love the idea of the oasis and can totally see it being invented - this dystopian future seems the most accurate of all I've read. I can't imagine how they'll film it but I can't wait to see it. This is one of those books that you wish you hadn't read yet, so you have the pleasure of reading it again
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on 28 July 2017
I read this book in just a few days because it's so well written and also because I got hooked into the story since I read the first few pages. Any gamers who grew up in the 80's like myself will absolutely love this book! But I also think that younger people from this generation will also appreciate it a lot.
I cannot wait to see the movie now, even though I am sure as usual will be a bit different from its source, but I totally trust Mr. Spielberg.
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on 2 May 2017
I, rather controversially, didn't really like this book at all. If you love the 80s, and old games, then this might trigger a positive nostalgia trip, but for me it was a bit like nerd porn. A badly thought out dystopian future, a rather silly and predictable twist at the end, and some pretty unbelievable scenes where our nerdy hero stops being fat and gets totally jacked. But y'know. Whatever floats your boat, I guess.
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on 16 March 2017
I can't explain to you how much I enjoyed this book. It's full of the nerdiest, geekiest stuff imaginable and it took me about 8 hours to read it from start to finish.

Others have done their own summaries so I won't repeat them. All I'll say is this book should be on every nerd, every geek, every gamer, every one's reading list as it's a funny emotional rollercoaster of a book which is as rewarding to read as it is fun to read.
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on 6 December 2013
It's 2044 and the Earth is not a great place to live; there's an energy crisis, the recession has been going for over thirty years, and there's a two year wait to get a job interview. Everyone wants to live in the cities because travel is limited, so they are overcrowded. Most of the World's population plays a virtual reality game called OASIS , that has made it's developers, Halliday and Morrow, multibillionaires. When Halliday died ,5 years before this story begins, he left all his billions and estate to whoever could solve his game and find a hidden Easter egg. To get to the egg the player has to find three keys and get through three gates. Many people are dedicated to this task and they are called gunters; some form conglomerates but one company called IOI takes this to a new level. They want to win the prize so that they can make the oasis elitist and they will go to any length to win. The hero of this story is a 17 year old orphan called Wade, he has dedicated the last 5 years of his life to the quest and now this is going to pay off. ....... So begins an exciting adventure with a great ending. I thoroughly recommend this if you like sic fi .
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on 21 August 2017
I had no idea what this book was about before I bought it, and only purchased it as I knew there will be a film coming out. Once I started, I found I couldn't stop reading. The references to eighties games and films was made for me, and kept me entertained the whole way through with moments of "I remember that!" The end of the book felt a little rushed and predictable, but I can forgive that based on the incredibly opening 80%. I have no idea how they are going to turn this into a film though, but look forward to finding out.
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on 16 September 2017
In some ways, I loved this - the narration by Wil Wheaton is pretty fun, there's lots of pop culture references for gamers and film buffs, and the plot keeps things moving at a great pace. However, I had a few issues with the book, and actually found the pop culture references massively annoying by about 20% of the way through the book - too darn many, and too show-off-y - and the main character is a real drag. I'd probably still recommend it for any SF, 80s or game fans out there to read before the film comes out, but it's standing on the shoulders of giants and really just made me want to play an Atari.
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