by Ernest Cline is the journey of Wade Watts, better known as Parzival, as he navigates life in 2045. I would not usually pick a book in this category, but I was looking for an audio book at the library, and it was available. Despite all the “sci-fi” hype, this is just a wonderful classic adventure story, albeit set in 2045. It has all the elements: an ardent adventure- seeker, valiant sidekicks, evil pursuers, outrageous weapons, mortal combat, and most importantly a daunting quest for fame and fortune.
Wade’s quest takes place in the virtual world of “The Oasis,” where pretty much everything else takes place in 2045 including school, shopping, and socialization. Parziva, as Wade is known in the Oasis, searches for the ultimate treasure hidden. The clues to find the “egg” were delineated in the will of a wealthy game designer, and the one who finds the egg will inherit the designer’s immense estate.
The adventure is not only compelling for the participants, it is fascinating for readers because the clues are part of video games, movies, and pop culture events from the 1970s, and 1980s. Even if readers did not actually play the computer games, watch the movies, or obsess over the video arcade scores, most will recognize the tasks and references as Percival and crew navigate through the virtual maze.
Wil Wheaton did a superb job with the narration. He was able to deliver the enormous variety of voices, computer interactions, and emotional encounters with flawless elocution. His delivery absolutely made the book come alive. I recommend this book, and specifically the audio book to those who love science fiction and to those who never thought a science fiction book would appear in their “books read” list. No video game experience needed.