Justin’s #47 – Ready Player One, Ernest Cline, 400 pages

September 16, 2015 // 0 Comments

I know, I know. This has already been reviewed by Ron (here) and Mark (here). I was looking for a good fiction book to break the monotony of my usual non-fiction preference, and this book came pretty highly recommended by these gentlemen so I thought I’d give it a try. Unlike the two previously mentioned men however, I was born in the 80’s.. 1989. So I actually grew up in the 90’s. Both Ron and Mark touted how this book was a “journey back to the 1980s.” I must admit, most of the culture references did go over my head. I’ve never played Adventureland, I didn’t even know what Wargames was, I found out who Rush was 2 years ago… Many of you are crucifying me at this moment, but whatever. So I did not appreciate the nostalgia quite as much as others might. “Player” is about a multi-billionaire software giant who suddenly dies, leaving behind his fortune to whoever first can find his hidden “easter egg” within the game he created (called “OASIS”). The world, in 2044, is run down and struggling to cope with mass hunger. People once drove cars regularly until natural resources once abundant came crashing […]

JRF’s #13: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams – 216 Pages

June 18, 2015 // 0 Comments

  Part LSD trip, part pop philosophy, part Harry Potter, part Monty Python, and part Star Trek.  I’d seen this book on many top 100 lists and finally got around to reading it.  It was a fun read. Arthur Dent, British everyman, finds himself pulled into an intergalactic quest to find the question to the meaning of life – a question that apparently has already been determined to have the answer of “42”.  This adventure also fortutiously (for Arthur) begins 5 minutes before the destruction of earth (it was in the way of much needed new intergalatic highway). Adams uses the limitless possibilities of space as a canvas on which to paint beautifully absurd situations and often hilarious social commentary. The book ends on a cliff hanger, so I will most likely be digging into the next books in the series. Here’s a taste of the prose, discussing the Babel fish – a fish that is able to translate languages if you put it in your ear: “Now it is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mind-bogglingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as the final and clinching proof […]

Ron’s #15: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

June 14, 2015 // 0 Comments

A parent of a student I teach recommended this book to me a year ago. It looked interesting, but I do not run headlong into sci-fi books. Recently, I watched Atari: Game Over, a documentary about the company’s E.T. game. In it, the author of Ready Player One was interviewed, which reminded me about the book. I picked it up, and could not put it down again until it was over. Ready Player One is one of the most fun and interesting novels I’ve read this year. The story focuses on a teenager named Wade Watts, an outsider living in the year 2044. While his life living in a ramshackle trailer with an opportunistic aunt, he finds support, friends, and adventure in an online world called OASIS. OASIS started as a World of Warcraft-type of online game, but now has morphed into a complete online experience where people live and work and fight and love. At the start of the novel, the programmer of OASIS dies, but left his multi-billion-dollar fortune to the player who finds the secret Easter egg hidden somewhere within the world of OASIS. Wade spends years trying to find it. If I read this summary, I’d […]

Ron’s #23: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

August 29, 2012 // 1 Comment

I have attempted to read this several times over the past ten years, and I finally made it through. Science fiction has never been one of my interests, so please take this review with that in mind. Ender Wiggin is a prodigy who is recruited from Earth into an elite battle school for children to find the next battle commander who will lead them to victory against the alien “Buggers.” As a 10-year-old, he is younger then the other children, and is isolated. The adults pulls on the strings in Ender’s life like marionette operators to cause the desired results. I’ll stop the story there in case you do know about the semi-surprise ending. Someone told me about the ending, but it really did not matter. Overall, it was a mildly interesting story and a good quick read. My main problem from early in the novel is that they had all these little kids arguing and discussing military philosophy as though they were college professors. It all felt so forced and phony. I never could buy that Ender is a child. This is also true with his older siblings, Peter and Valentine. There is a completely ridiculous sub-plot about the […]

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