Ready Player One

My husband and I are both geeks in our own rights, but we don’t geek in the same way. I am books, he is movies. I grew up in the 90s, and he is all 80s. Needless to say, our references just do not match up most of the time. We do a lot of side cocked glances at each other.

Every other day there is another movie he is referencing, then despairing because I have not seen it. Not only was I not born for most of his favorites–I also grew up in an all girl house, so even the 90s movies I really didn’t watch. We watched Disney movies and chick flicks, instead of the cult/geek classics.

However, my love of all things geek pushes me to absorb as much pop culture as possible. And so, the longer we are together, the more of his movies I am taking in. I watched the Ghostbusters a few weeks ago, that was interesting. Jurassic Park happened for obvious reasons (mmmm Jeff Goldblum). Jaws is next on the list. The references are coming!

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I need to get him to read Ready Player One. This is exactly the kind of book R would love. It has every single 80s reference imaginable–movies, music, games–ESPECIALLY games. The whole thing is set in a futuristic MMO world. I didn’t get most of the references made, but the way everything was set up, I just loved the geek. I understand why this book is making the rounds!

It’s a little Big Brotherish, with the IOI swooping in to take over everything. However, I really liked some of the concepts–especially the online school set up. The enthusiasm of the teachers, and the technology-based curriculum just sounded really amazing. One thing I do want to question here though–Parzival’s schooling just kind of drops off. At the beginning he’s worried about the consequences of being expelled, and then after the game starts ramping up, he just stops showing up. There are no repercussions, and no one from school seems to miss him. We just forget that he left in the middle of the school year.

This isn’t the first book I’ve read in this type of MMO situation. I read James Dashner’s The Eye of Minds and was not impressed at all. It had a similar concept–teenage boy hacking/moving around in a computer simulation and trying to beat the evil corporation. Ready Player One, published two years previous, is definitely the stronger book. Maybe it is just more fun, with the gaming concept and geek references. It’s a bit more lighthearted of a YA novel, than Dashner’s conspiracy dystopia. There is definitely a comparison to be drawn though.

Have you read them both? Do you have a preference?

Can we remake this movie?

You guys have heard me talk about The Thorn Birds about a million times since I’ve started this blog. Have you gone and read it yet? Because you totally should. It’s my favorite.

The Thorn Birds (1983) Poster

They did make a mini series on ABC back in the 80s of it…but the only person I really recognize on the cast is Christopher Plummer. Maybe the rest of the people were more recognizable back then, but there’s few I know. The acting is pretty terrible, and the costuming….well, it was the 80s.

As for the cinematography, there is a whole lot of soap opera soft focus, and dramatic camera shifting. You know what I mean. It IS a romance novel, but all just very General Hospital.

The hair is gigantic and poufy, the makeup is way overdone. I know I keep saying it….but it’s just…the 80s! The book is set in the Australian Outback and spread over a period of time from 1915 to 1969 and I just feel that there could be a much better job done to show the changes that the family went through. It is a romance, but there was also war, drought, extreme poverty, and the list goes on and on.  This is one of those books, like Gone with the Wind, that really shows a nation’s history…and I don’t feel the series did a very good job of showing that.

I’d love to see this book get redone on screen. It deserves more of a showing than it got.