Where We’re Going We Don’t Need Roads.

Did you take Teen Beat quizzes in the 80’s? Did you cheat so you could be a Ferris or were you honest and turned out you were a Duckie? Did you have the fashion sense of Claire Standish of the Breakfast Club or were you more Andie Walsh of Pretty in Pink? Did you live on the streets in a John Hughes film, jump back to a happier time with Zemeckis or fantasize your way through a Donner world? Were you one of the Lost Boys or a Goonies? Was it your dream to skip school for a day or be locked in Saturday detention? How many quarters did you lose to Donkey Kong before heading home to play Pac Man on your Atari 2600? Bring back a few memories? Maybe this was all just last week for you.

I just hopped a DeLorean ride to the past with the soon to released novel Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (release date 08.16.2011 Random House, Inc.). If you recall a few months back Mad Dog had taken a night out to meet Cline thanks to our good friend Michael Kindness of Books of the Nightstand (see Back-Pedaling  Without a Bike). Since that night and blog post, Ready Player One has been on my nightstand summer reading list. This past week while in Maine I was given the opportunity to start the book. A book I started and honestly didn’t want to put down, to the point where I asked Mad Dog to read to me one night when my eyes were too heavy to continue, but my mind was still begging for more.

The book follows Wade – if you need a description, a genuine super geek.

Ernest Cline Author Photo by Dan Winters

Wade lives in a dismal future of 2044 where the world escapes it’s grim reality in the OASIS. An interactive utopia where Wade becomes a real life Charlie and the OASIS is his chocolate factory. Like Wonka, the OASIS creator James Halliday has created a contest that captured the minds and dreams of millions as they look for golden ticket of their time or in this case the puzzle that will unlock the start of the “Hunt”  which will bring massive fortune and power to the final winner. What makes Halliday’s quest interesting is that it’s all based on the culture of the late-twentieth century (aka the 80’s).

For me, and I believe Mad Dog, this book took us on a “Strange Days” version of our childhood. It was like stepping into my junior high bedroom and capturing just about everything I grew up on. Of course as teens we didn’t know the good stuff from the bad until much later, and this book capitalizes on that. It takes the best and makes them better and pulls those forgotten jewels out for another look. Reminding us we didn’t watch something on cable a hundred times and learn every single line with inflection for nothing. You’ll honestly be running to buy, rent or stream just about everything mentioned in the book and discover some missed gems as you do so.

The books itself gives me a feel, and this will probably sound odd but it gives me the feel of choose your own adventure book written by a 12 year old. This is not that the book is juvenile – that is not what I’m saying at all. What I am saying is the book was written with the same love and care bordering on the side of reverence for each writer, filmmaker, actor, musician, programmer, geek and game designer mentioned in the book. All whom Cline thanks in his acknowledgements in the end. It’s a love letter to a time when fashion was always questionable, you never should judged ‘Loser’ by their cover and a gamer always had time to play a game when asked.

This is one of those books I would like (budget willing) to buy for everyone I know. Okay – maybe not everyone, but I can honestly think of at least 20 people that should read this no questions asked. I must thank Cline for channeling his inner 12 year-old geek. I must also thank Michael Kindness for taking Mad Dog along for the ride and I have to thank my husband Mad Dog for pushing the book under my nose every time I finished a new book. I know I should listen to you more Mad Dog, you’re haven’t done me wrong yet.


~ by Cute Fan Girl on July 29, 2011.

5 Responses to “Where We’re Going We Don’t Need Roads.”

  1. Wait. It gets better.

    The audio version is being read by…..


    • Mad Dog mentioned that. He asked me if I was going to wait for the audio, but I couldn’t. It was so good!

  2. It’s definitely one I will listen to, even though I’ve already read it, so I’ll pass my copy on to you once I’ve loaded it onto my iPod.

    • Thank you. Thank you . Thank you. I can’t wait to listen to it. I’m sure it will become one of my multiple listens.

  3. […] all about video games, pop culture and quests (Interested? See my personal blog Road to Nowhere: Where We’re Going We Don’t Roads). I think I kind of got caught up in it a little bit, but it is relevant to the post I’m […]

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