There was something about this book. I liked it. More than I feel like I should have. The words aren’t particularly well arranged, the references to 80s culture that stand like grand Corinthian pillars over the entire narrative don’t particularly appeal to me. Yet there I was. Sitting, two in the morning, reading.
I think it was something about the escapism. The hiding from ones problems on a global scale and being given this singular, albeit almost random chance to be put into a position to try and make things better. Sure, we are rotting the world, dumping algae that eat the carbon instead of figuring out a way to limit it all entirely. It’s all half measures, the bare minimum to get those noisome little hippies to quiet down enough for those with the gumption to actual get up in the morning and make a dollar. This book takes that mindset to its logical conclusion and that is its starting point. It never plays in the world, not really. It’s too proud, too obsessed with the virtual reality it has created to do anything in that darkness.
At its core this book is simple entertainment. It offers no great question, examines no hint of an answer. I didn’t expect it too, I’m not docking it for that, I’m not in the habit of judging fish on their ability to land aircraft. However, it carries the torch of something inside it, something that for whatever strange reason came into line with whatever mood that particularly night found in me. It’s hopeful, perhaps even naïve. You know what’s going to happen as you read. Things will get in the way, things may even look bleak for some fractious moment, but you know what’s going to happen.
It hits its marks. It does what it sets out to do, and while it occasionally annoyed me in the way it almost gleefully refused to break from its narrative tradition, it moved fast enough to keep it from chaffing too badly.
“I felt like a kid standing in the world’s greatest video arcade without any quarters, unable to do anything but walk around and watch the other kids play.” ― Ernest Cline, Ready Player One