Book Fight!

Tough love for literature

Episode 33: Ernest Cline, Ready Player One


We’ve got a very special episode for you this week, Book Fighters. We’re joined by Tom’s college roommate, Kevin Greway, an avowed non-reader who agreed to give Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One a try. Will he like it? Or will he spit it out, like a surly child forced to eat spinach? Will we convince him to become a regular reader, or at least pick up a book more frequently than once every three or four years?


Also this week, Mike talks about the time he helped recreate scenes from popular 80s movies; unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) his Princess Bride acting job is no longer extant on YouTube. Though you can watch a recreation of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off here, starring Mike’s former roommate and several other friends.

We’ve also got some special recommendations from TV Guide, and a “where are they now” piece on two of the stars from The Beverly Hillbillies.

As always, you can stream the episode below, or check us out in the iTunes store, where you can download our whole back catalog for free, and subscribe so that you never miss another update. Please also consider visiting our sponsor, Powell’s Books. If you click through any of the Powell’s links on our site–like the book cover above, or the button over there on the right–any purchase you make will help to support the show.

Thanks for listening!


Download Episode 33: Ernest Cline, Ready Player One


Author: mikeingram25

writer, editor

5 thoughts on “Episode 33: Ernest Cline, Ready Player One

  1. I wanted to point out that 2.999… is actually the same number as 3.

    “The equality 0.999… = 1 has long been accepted by mathematicians and is part of general mathematical education.”

    I no longer have any faith in the precision of Mike’s ratings.

  2. Kyle’s right. I didn’t believe it myself until someone showed me the proof.

    So this ep got me thinking… I started this book a while back and didn’t make it very far at all before I quit reading. I don’t remember super clearly why it is I quit, but I know I found the writing less than deft. Don’t ask me to get more specific than that. I was on a plane. I was deciding what my next book would be. I had borrowed the e-book from the library to see if I’d like it. I didn’t.

    But then I was listening to Mike’s various objections to the book (Tom’s, too), and I started thinking: is there a way to write a book for multiple audiences? Like, if you put an excess of explanation in a text, but you do it in such a way that it’s easy for a more skilled reader to skim it, but also makes it easy for a less skilled reader to read all of it, isn’t that maybe a sort of genius?

    Is there a way that books can be written so that they fill the need of multiple audiences?

    I mean, in a way, in the e-future, it might almost be smart for big sellers with potential for mass audience appeal to put out a couple different versions? For a tome like READY PLAYER ONE, that seems kinda smart?

    Just a thought. Not sure what to do with it.

    In other news. I tweeted this, but… if you guys do Harry Potter, here’s my opinion. I read the first three books and hated them. I love the movies. All of them. Everyone says that the fourth book really leaps forward, though, in terms of quality and depth. The third book is legitimately one of the most annoying books I’ve ever read though. I nearly threw it across the room.

    So, I suggest that you guys watch the first three movie. Have a Barrelhouse party. Live tweet it. Maybe even record yourself and release it as a literary riff trax?
    Okay, or maybe just watch them. You know… whatever.

    But then do a Book Fight about the fourth book.

    Just my opinion, but I don’t think there’s a lot of there there in the first three books. I think you’ll have a real talk about the fourth one (even though I haven’t read it – that’s what everyone says, and it’s definitely the best movie. Soooooo….)

  3. Kyle, I lost faith in the precision of Mike’s ratings long ago.

    Brady — some interesting thoughts there; if I weren’t commenting in the midst of a bunch of student conferences, I’d elaborate more, but you’ve got me thinking about the multiple versions thing, anyway. Seems like an interesting experiment.

  4. Pingback: Creative Jobs May Not Be Safe From the Robot Takeover—Here's Why - Observer - Dectimes

  5. Pingback: Book Fight Classic: Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline (from April 2013) | Book Fight!

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