Audiobook Review: Ready Player One

Ooh an audiobook review! I know: get me.

It’s a funny thing, for me, the audiobook because somehow it doesn’t feel like reading. Which I am aware makes no sense but still, I guess adding something to my Goodreads list that I just listened to whilst in the gym feels a little bit like cheating. And I am aware of how utterly insane that is because of course listening to an audiobook is is reading; you are absorbing the words that somebody has written, just differently and perhaps that’s the thing: I haven’t listening to an audiobook since I was small and so this is new and different and SO GOOD.

I loved it, I loved putting in my headphones and just getting lost in the story even as I went about my life which you can’t do with a paper book. Reading means finding time and sitting down and doing nothing else but reading. I was listening to Ready Player One whilst out walking, or driving, or in the gym, or cleaning the bathroom: a new and wondrous method of multitasking, baby. 

It took a while to get going and at first I wasn’t sure if I was going to get along with the narrator (I did. I got along with him just fine and actually, now, I don't even know what my issue was) and honestly, if I’d been ‘reading’ I probably would have finished it faster - it took about a month to finish - but there was something kind of enjoyable about that too, about dragging it out, about taking my time, because this was the kind of book that worked well for being read slowly and it was nice to do that when usually I devour a book like it's a family sized bag of maltesers (share bag? Ha. who are you kidding?!) This is the first audiobook I've reviewed and I wonder if that experience is something I ought to talk about more - and perhaps I will, in the future when I've listened to more of them and know what I'm talking about - for now though, there is just this: Ready Player One is a hell of a book and I'm really glad it was my first audiobook choice. 

Ready Player One has just been made into a film actually as probably everybody knows already THIS IS NOT BREAKING NEWS, which means I am as ever spectacularly late to the party but whatever: it ticked my boxes regardless because SO MUCH NOSTALGIA. This book is basically a big fat homage to the 80s and what is not to love about that. It’s also a love letter to gamers the world over and I loved that also. The whole way through I was thinking about my brother and how much he'd love this book, and how much I could see him as a Parzival type character, if he were around in a dystopian type future. 

So here's the deal, in case, like me, you haven't read this yet. It's really far in the future - 2045 - and reality sucks so everyone pretty much 'lives' in the Oasis, a virtual reality Utopia. When the guy who created the Oasis died he left his entire fortune, and the Oasis, to the one person that can find the Easter Egg he'd hidden in this digital world. The story is basically focussed around one guy's hunt for the egg, and it's a hunt full of twists and turns and tension and romance and pop culture references and it's just so readable. 

I loved all the references, (and I know I keep saying that but I did) a lot that I got, and some that I didn't; I loved how it explores the culture of relationships built entirely online; I loved the hunt and the perfectly bad baddies; I loved the friendships and the romance and how it all kind of celebrates fandom  - I loved how it's aimed at the geeks in a way that kind of makes me want to applaud. 

It's funny and clever and exciting and fast-paced and even though the beginning kind of sets up the ending I was still on the edge of my seat. I mean, let's be real here - who doesn't love a good treasure hunt. I love a treasure hunt in the way that I love a heist. This book is a treasure hunt set in your favourite 80's films and songs and games and it's a delight from start to finish. It just made me smile

And I do so love me a good dystopia.