A dystopian outlook after 2012 sees us using all our fuel and living in stacked caravans and working just to log in to the immersive simulation version of Facebook aptly named in the book as OASIS.
If you understand geektech language you will love to know the plot revolves around easter eggs, haptic suits, pac man and an assortment of acronyms folded around explosions. If, like me, you are thinking chocolate, hectic, yellow faces and letters all over the page then you will still enjoy the book as it is completely -and painstakingly- written in detail.
To be quite honest with you, I can’t be bothered to explain everything, nor the amount of 80’s trivia. I shall just highlight what I loved and I didn’t love so much from this book of which I only like.
I was annoyed that Cline kept setting up a tragedy and then sidestepped it. I was told repeatedly that our protagonist; Wade, lived in a now fuel-defficient dystopian future and was camping in a van in a junk pile where the only electricity was pedalling on a cycle. Yet never once did power cut out and ruin something at a critical moment, he was always lucky.
More annoying was that Wade came from nothing, and then after receiving EVERYTHING became a no-good punk that lost all of his humble pie. Well he wasn’t a no-good punk, but I stopped liking him by chapter 11.
I loved the twist with Aech. I had already figured out two-thirds of it on our first meeting but I did not expect THAT.
As much as I hope we don’t become a reclusive society I admit I am more than a little infatuated with being able to enter a 3d simulation world. However is it bad that I kept wondering which virtual world would be more important out of Twilight or Harry Potter. Alas, neither of these worlds ever came up as it was all about the 80s. And yet not One David Bowie reference or Dandy Highwayman lyrics were ever mentioned. Well screw you too Cline.
I love gamer talk, even the lingo I don’t understand so when the storyline got a little distracted and too much of an easy ride for the protagonist the continuous amusement of future game and 80s related jokes really did keep you turning the page (or clicking the kindle next page button).
My ending comment for this book is that I think it would make an amazing film the visuals it probably the real reason I kept reading, what I was imagining was a beautiful chaos that I have been dreaming about since I first picked up a Nintendo64 controller. The rights have already been acquired by WarnerBros (rumour?) and may be around for 2012.
2015 edit: It’s still not a film. Don’t believe rumours kids. They are full of heartbreak.