I finished the book yesterday and while I know it wasn’t supposed to be a life changing literary treasure, it was still a bit of a struggle to get through. Mostly, as I said before, the 80’s references were too detailed. Every movie and video game, whether relevant or not, was given its own paragraph of description and by the time all of the new stuff happened in the book (such as Wade’s indentured servitude and then on) I didn’t care anymore. But that aside, I did very much enjoy the ending, particularly the final battle with all of the gunters against the IOI. Like Wade, I imagined that most of the gunters were there for themselves, or to simply sit and watch the bloodbath. But to my surprise, everyone did help. Given the overall pessimistic attitude of the book, I was almost certain that nothing ‘heroic’ would happen. Top that off with the ending advice given by Halliday’s character about enjoying the real world, the ending was full of surprises. While the “go out and live life” advice is hardly new, I found it interesting that Cline still thought to include it in this novel about video games. Sure, the world was a terrible place, but did that mean that video games were evil? In the OASIS, people could be who they wanted, meet and interact with anyone in the world, and live a life that wasn’t restricted to real life rules. Too much of anything is always bad, but I felt that the ending seemed a little disjointed to have this entire boy’s life changed for the good by video games, only to remind us to go outside once in a while.