Friday Reads: Ready Player One

Will someone read READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Cline so I can talk about it? But I need that person to not love it. Because so far, everyone I’ve talked to has been head over heels with this book. I’ll admit, the plot is a lot of fun, and the action is fast-paced, so I read it in just a few sittings. One reviewer described this sci-fi action story as “Willy Wonka meets The Matrix.”

But oh, I could tear it apart. And I don’t want to, because I did have such a good time reading it. And I always think, “Why should I be so critical? It got published, didn’t it? It’s a best seller, right?” The writing was just so awful. Cliche after cliche, poor metaphors and analogies, a deus ex machina every single chapter, and repetitive vocabulary to the point of distraction (I think the main character used the word “impregnable” 100 times). This was also a case of a lot of telling, not showing, and too much over explaining (it’s a sci-fi book, let the reader speculate).

Like THE LEFTOVERS that I read earlier this year, READY PLAYER ONE had so much potential. It’s going to make a great movie, and I’ll go see it opening weekend, I’m sure (just found out the author wrote FANBOYS, a Moxie hit back in 2010). But Cline’s writing skills just needs to be turned up a few notches in order for this to be a spectacular book.

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