Running in Circles; End of the World Running Club

Apocalyptic books often have your heart racing and adrenaline pumping as you scramble for logical conclusions of what you would do at the end of the world. And although End Of The World Running Club delivered this at times, the vast majority of the book left me feeling fairly indifferent.

I think this is largely down to the author making the characters fairly unlikable; rather than encouraging the reader to will for their survival. I found myself wondering whether I really cared what happened to the group.

Usually I am easily able to paint a picture of a character in my head and they quickly take shape as I turn from page to page. However right to the last sentence, I wouldn’t have been able to describe the protagonist, nor can I recall his name even now. I believe this was probably why I felt unconnected to the story and the direction it took.

Yes the story was interesting and came from a new angle in a very crowded category, but no it didn’t deliver an electrifying read. Although it was the end of the world, it certainly didn’t feel like it once I reached the book’s conclusion.

The End of the World Running Club: Adrian J Walker

Game On: Ready Player One

I don’t know how I missed the hype on this, but I thought I’d somehow uncovered a hidden gem once I started reading Ready Player One. Of course I had, but what I didn’t appreciate was the immense following the book had already built.

Working in marketing, I am constantly challenged to look at the new trends and fads that are taking hold, which at the moment of course is virtual reality – there’s no escaping it.

Therefore I was taken aback at how relevant this book is, even for the year 2017. With no distinction between reality and the virtual one, this book takes a glance to our future and makes a very justifiable stab at how we may be living.

This in itself is quite a terrifying thought. We are awestruck by the virtual worlds we can create in 2017, and it only takes a couple more leaps-and-bounds before Ready Player One is no longer a sci-fi novel but a factual text.

The fantastic entwining of the past in 1980 and the not-so-distant future of 2044 perfectly shapes the novel. We are able to look back in history and nod at these details, whilst dreaming about the paths we may take in 30 years time.

Having grown up in the 90s, although the references are firmly rooted in the disco decade, I see parts of my childhood creeping into the pages; the etch-a-sketch, Ferris Bueller’s Big Day Off, and a DeLorean with a Ghostbusters logo printed on its famous winged doors.

Ready Player One is an enticing sci-fi adventure, with (geeky) wit, a lot of pop-culture references, plenty of action, and a climatic finale. So it comes as no surprise that we’ll soon be seeing trailers for the Steven Spielberg adaptation, which will no doubt take the world by storm.

Ready Player One: Ernest Cline