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The Big Read 2017

Big Read Book CoverReady Player One


By Ernest Cline

About the book

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.

When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win—and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape. In his quest he will struggle with defining his identity in a technologically-based world where the lines between good and evil are consistently challenged.  

Bringing together pop culture from the 1980's with a dystopian view of 2044, author Ernest Cline dares readers to consider key issues in modern American life along with the role of technology in our future in areas such as: online identity, social networking, socioeconomic division and power, environmental sustainability, online education, and our connection with both culture and history.

Books are available for purchase in the University Bookstore »

Students: Participate in activities this summer and throughout the year to win prizes

Compete against other freshmen and upperclassmen by completing reading quizzes, attending special events and movies, and submitting an essay and/or creative project. Challenge yourself to earn the most points, unlock keys, and win cool prizes. You also have the opportunity to win movie tickets to see the 2018 film directed by Steven Spielberg.

Learn about the Big Read Essay Contest and Project »