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The Yearling
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
Ready Player One - Ernest Cline Breezed through this in less than 3 hours, not a difficult or challenging read. On that basis, it's entertaining enough and for a child of the 80s/90s the nostalgia is great fun. The first 50-odd pages are a slog, but the story does pick up after that. The framing device is confusing; it's not clear for whom the character thinks he's writing. If it's his contemporaries, why the info-dump about how the world fell to bits? They would know and it's not a very engaging way of showing the reader.On that note, why bother with a dystopia (not overly well-realised, but based on some good ideas) only to set up a puzzle quest? The stakes for the quest were such that you didn't really need the dystopia to buy it. At times the book uses the dystopian setup to touch on some interesting themes (e.g. do you try to fix the world that's been screwed up, or leave it behind for something better), but doesn't really follow through and engage with them in any depth at all. There were some moments where I just couldn't suspend my disbelief and go along with the plot. To list just a few 1. it is not credible that it would take 5 years to solve the first puzzle. It was just not that hard. 2. Why were they (incompetently) following Wade before he'd solved the first puzzle? Were they following everyone? How could they afford it? 3. Seriously? You scored cheap passwords to hack into the servers of a paranoid telecoms company in an online auction just like that? And they worked? 4. Ogden just hanging around to save the day at the last minute, it's like Tolkien and those eagles or whatnot. 5. WHY WOULD YOU FILM YOURSELF MURDERING SOMEONE?? That's just asking for trouble. Overall, flawed, but fun.