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The art of illumination: An anthology of manuscripts from the sixth to the sixteenth century

Art of Illumination - P. Dancona So this is maybe part of what I was missing when I read Reality Is Broken: a world where playing video games directly improves non-game reality. But it's science fiction, and while the narrative we follow is a pretty standard hero's quest (also a common plotline for video games), the context for that quest is a dystopic future where lots of things have gone down the tubes in part because too many people spend too much time escaping into a simulated world. For all that Wade/Parzival redeems the real world in the end, he does it largely through actions in the simulation, on a quest that was artificially created as an abstract challenge, with only glancing references to real-world virtues.But that's arguing against that other book; this one doesn't make claims nearly so large. It's fiction; it's an adventure. Its claim amounts to "Dude, this shit is fun!" And on those terms, it's true: this book is a blast, a narrative ride as brightly-colored and simplified as an old arcade video game, as over-the-top as '80s music, as neatly packaged and tied up as a sitcom. The "meaning" of Ready Player One may be one of those elements that's oversimplified and too neatly presented, but you'll only get there if you genuinely enjoy this kind of entertainment, which implies that you like your meanings oversimplified and too neatly presented.Chances are, if you're a video-game or science-fiction geek, whether recovering or not, you've heard about this book and wondered whether Cline could really make it that much fun—could avoid making it too "literary" and "deep." He does.