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I think I need to warn you that I’m crazy about this book, so there probably will be an overuse of the word love! I’ll try to be as coherent as possible, but I don’t know how else to express my feelings about this book.
Let’s just start by saying this is pure awesomeness! This book is like no other I’ve ever read before. It’s so original! The premise is pretty cool, but it could’ve still gone wrong in the execution. Thankfully, it didn’t. Ernest Cline is simply brilliant!
If you don’t know already this book is basically about the greatest video game that has ever existed. It’s a virtual reality simulation where everything is possible. Things just happen to get more exciting when its creator dies and starts a huge contest that will award the winner everything he owned! I’m talking about millions people! Who wouldn’t want a part of that?! Although I think I would lack the determination to follow through with the contest
Anyway, even if this book is about video games, and 80’s pop culture (which I wasn’t a part of) I could still relate to it in every aspect. You do NOT have to be a gamer to love this book. The sole idea of a virtual reality simulation, and all you can do with it, is amazing in itself. But it was also fun to meet all these eccentric nerdy characters! Seriously, each of them had unique traits you would love, and even if they acted in ways I didn’t approve sometimes I could always understand where it came from, so I could absolutely relate to their situations.
The thrill of the game caught up with me from chapter one. Seriously! Halfway through the first chapter I wanted to scream in excitement. It’s impossible not to root for these characters to win the contest, and the way the story is narrated you almost feel you’re there with them playing the game. It was also fun to learn so much about 80’s pop culture. Not only video games, which was very interesting because there were so many things I didn’t know about them, but also movies and music. Being a cinema fan, I could recognise some of the movie titles, but that’s it. So, even if I knew nothing about everything they were talking about, because I feel I should warn you this book evolves around 80’s pop culture knowledge, I was able to enjoy every bit of it since it was thoroughly explained. Every reference has a purpose, so you can’t get lost in all the data. It’s pretty cool how the author manages to mix all this information and wove into the story.
The only downside of this book is that at some points I felt like the chapters that were devoted to explain all of the information Parzival had to learn in order to play this game were too long. It took something away from the excitement. Nevertheless, this book has plenty of excitement in it, so maybe it was a good thing to have some cool down chapters. I was so into the story that I just had to finish the book and stayed up way past my bedtime to finish it. I just needed to know!
I loved how the characters interacted with each other, how nerdy they all were, I enjoyed James Halliday’s eccentricity, and I even loved how hateful Sorrento was. He’s one of those characters you love to hate.
I think have extended enough, but I would like to say that you should definitely give this book a chance. Your inner geek will absolutely be able to relate to this beautiful story. You don’t even have to be a sci fi fan.
Will Wheaton did a pretty good job with this book. I easily forgot I was listening to him and began picturing the characters. His pacing was great! His tone and voice inflections were perfect for the book. He did some excellent male voices, but he fell short with his female voices. Art3mis’ voice was decent, but his old lady voice really sucks. Thankfully the old lady I’m referring to (Parzival’s neighbour) doesn’t make much of an appearance so it wasn’t much of a problem. I also loved how he did Daito and Shoto. I think he nailed that Japanese accent.
Overall, I think he did an outstanding performance and that the book is worth listening to. I can’t compare it to the reading experience, but I have a feeling that listening to it, can maybe increase the excitement of this story.