Aug. 22nd, 2013

anotheranon: (books)
Given the repetitive nature of some of my work, I've taken to downloading audiobooks from my library to move the day along. Almost everything has holds so what's available is rather hit or miss, but two with a similar theme became available at the same time.

Simon Pegg's Nerd Do Well was an exercise in deja vu - his stories about seeing Star Wars for the first time, being an X-Files fan and his childhood interest in ghosts and UFOs so resemble my own experiences growing up it was like listening to tales from my "brother from another mother" or something. It's also very illustrative that American tv and movies are so pervasive that people in my demographic the world over have similar pop cultural references. It's wonderfully funny and Pegg clearly has had an incredible time getting to where he is.

Speaking of pop cultural references, Ernest Cline's Ready Player One is chock full of them. Cline first came on my radar years ago with his spoken word Nerd Porn Auteur [YouTube, language mildly NSFW], and it turns out he's also the guy behind the Star Wars fan road trip movie "Fanboys", so this should perhaps not be surprising. The book is largely a love story dedicated to 1980s video games, but if you grew up in the '80s the entire book is kind of a pop cultural in-joke. And this is not a BAD thing - Cline does an adequate job of explaining what is what to readers who might not know, AND there is an actual story here - a competitive virtual reality game where the tests are entirely based on the players' knowledge of 80s music, movies, tv, and arcade games. Very enjoyable - I'm tempted to get it as a gift for friends if only so we can ooh and ah over "I remember that game/commercial/catchphrase!" etc.

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