Ready Player One Book Review

As mentioned in my August TBR, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline was one of the first books I wanted to read this month, especially since I have Armada next on my list. I’m doing my best to keep this review Spoiler-free, but if you want to discuss something in more detail, we can talk in the comments!

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It’s the year 2044 and most of humanity has retreated into a virtual world called OASIS, rather than facing the devastating reality of worldwide famine, poverty and disease. Yet when the creator of the OASIS, James Halliday, dies and sets up a contest for all OASIS players in order to find the heir to his massive fortune and the OASIS itself, there is hope again.
For years, millions of people have tried to solve the riddles Halliday has left behind but it is Wade Watts, a boy who pretty much grew up in the OASIS, who is the first person to ever make it onto the leaderboard. Suddenly the hunt is on again and he finds himself pitted against his crush, his best friend and an evil corporation that doesn’t hold back from threatening his real life.

Let’s start by saying that I enjoyed this book so much! I am not really a gamer, but even I understood most of the references in the book. In total there are about a gazillion references to 80’s pop culture, not just to games but also movies and TV shows. While not all of them are really necessary for the story, they are still a lot of fun and show a real appreciation for the time. Ernest Cline definitely managed to solidify his Geek status with this book!

In my opinion the book can be very exciting, but it also has some extremely slow parts. For one, it takes quite some time until the actual Hunt starts. I get that it took them all years to decipher the first clue, so they’re not going to solve the rest of the riddles within hours, but it just dragged and at times felt like nothing was moving forward at all. Also, I had trouble getting how much time had actually passed since it was often weeks or even months, but it didn’t necessarily feel like it.

Nonetheless, the characters all worked really well with each other, had some great surprises in store for us and showed that there can be a real connection/friendship/relationship with people you’ve never once met in real life. In the end, the only thing I might have wished for was a little bit more explanation about what would happen in future. But I sense that that was left out on purpose, like Cline wanted you to make your own decision.

All the while reading this book, I wondered if and how this would work as a movie. Some scenes I could clearly picture in my head, others not at all. However, my point is that I thought a lot about whether this would work as a movie adaptation and the answer is yes. So, I was extremely happy and excited to find out that Ready Player One is set to be released in 2017 and directed by Steven Spielberg (according to imdb). There’s no cast yet, but I’ll definitely keep an eye out for that!

So, as I said, Armada is up next and I’m really excited about it as well! If it’s anything like Ready Player One, I’m sure it will be really good!

The Hundred-Foot Journey: Book vs. Movie

The movie doesn’t actually come out until August , so that part will mainly consist of my predictions based on the trailer. But let’s get started with the basics first!

When I first watched the trailer for The Hundred-Foot Journey, I decided that I absolutely had to see the movie. Most people might think that it’s because it stars Dame Helen Mirren or because it was directed by Lasse Hallström and produced by Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey, but my main reason is actually Manish Dayal. I still remember his performance as Raj in 90210 and how I really started caring about a character of that show for the first time. I cannot wait to finally see him in a major role in a Hollywood movie, especially if it’s with such a great team. So, after I found out that the film is based on a book, I read it as soon as I could get my hands on a copy with a movie cover.

The Hundred-Foot Journey is the culinary coming-of-age tale of Hassan Haji. I think that this one sentence actually sums it up quite nicely, because it should work for both the book and the movie, while I don’t think a lengthier description would be accurate for both, but I’ll get into that a little later. Let’s start with focusing on the book.

I really enjoyed reading about Hassan’s journey! It definitely brought me back to the time I was working in a hotel in France for a couple of months, and I love the book for being able to do that! The story (written by Richard C. Morais) is divided into four parts, each representing a different city/town (Mumbai, London, Lumière and Paris) and also part of Hassan’s life and growth as a person. The whole tale is told from Hassan’s perspective, although he starts the story with his grandfather’s life way before he was actually born. There were some amazing moments in the book where I really felt with the characters, but I did have some issues with the pace of the book. With a bit over 250 pages, it is not the longest book I’ve ever read, but it still covers (including the grandfather’s story) about 90 years. That’s a lot! I just wish the author would have focused on one period of Hassan’s life instead of flying through all of it. Which directly brings me to the differences that I predict for the movie.

From what I saw in the trailer, the movie especially focuses on Hassan’s time in Lumière, where he met Madame Mallory, and I think that’s a great idea. They generally seem to have changed the storyline a bit and Madame Mallory’s past as well, but I don’t think it is necessary to stay too faithful to the book to portray what’s important. Also, there seems to be more romance involved than there was in the book. In my opinion, it really looks like a perfect summer movie with a great cast and crew. But you can watch the trailer below and tell me what you think yourself!

Final tip from me: Don’t read the book or watch the movie when you are hungry!

So, what do you think?