Ep 93 – Ready Player 2 – Rolling our Locked Wide Eyes

Ernest Cline’s runaway best seller continues to disgust and annoy us, even as it approaches the home stretch. In this episode we wrap up the seemingly endless John Hughes quest by meeting an actual John Hughes NPC (not actually John Hughes). Then we’re off to Halcydonia, where we all try to pretend that Zoobilee Zoo wasn’t a terrifying TV show. Then it’s off to the Prince Planet, where our characters alternate between weeping about their abusive childhoods and trying to go hump things at virtual strip clubs. It’s just great.

All this plus the long-awaited merging of the High Five and the Low Five, Fanfic or Real, and Dumb Dumb Dumb Sentences.

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For next time, read thru Chapter 26. And yeah, Conor’s audio is a bit lower fidelity than it should be, he was recording on a remote rig that was only a heckuva a rig, not a hell of a. It will be fixed going forward.

Episode 92 – Ready Player 2 – Is It GameFAQs? Or a John Hughes Geocities Fan Page? It’s Both!!

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Conor states with confidence that this episode contains a chapter that is the dumbest and therefore the greatest of any that has been covered by 372 Pages!

The editor has taken her hand off the tiller and what we’re getting now is pure, uncut Cline. That means level-by-level coverage of a video game, stupid-by-stupid vignettes of classic 80s movies like Heat and Curly Sue and, just for fun, a fuel bomb explosion that slaughters dozens of innocents in a city park. But, hey – Samantha has an Annie Potts avatar!

All the departments as well as archival audio of Agatha Christie and a Dark Web gem that Conor found over Christmas while avoiding his family.


Episode 91: Ready Player 2 – A Constant Loop of Push It

After countless pages of Worldbuilding and freeing child slaves when our hero felt like it, Ernest Cline finally lets some things happen in this section. The action kicks off when a Gunter and a Sharter listen to a Morissey song in silence and it doesn’t let up from there! By the time we’re done, there’s been a kidnapping, a shareholder’s meeting, and the rollout of a new firmware update. Also, Cline introduces his most annoying tic yet: telling us information again that he just told us. And by the time we’re done with this section, there’s been a kidnapping, a shareholder’s meeting, and the rollout of a new firmware update.

All this plus Real or Fanfic, Emails, and Dumb Sentences.

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For next time: read thru Chapter 16

Episode 90 – Ready Player 2: Bouncin’ and Blazin’

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So much to cover:

Conor is shocked at Cline’s revelation that there may be a downside to the internet

Conor is shocked at Cline’s revelation that gigantic media conglomerates may not have his best interest at heart

Mike is delighted when Cline teaches him that social media allows people to share “memes, files, photos and songs”

There’s a gigantic space ark: but what are its data storage needs?
All this plus Real or FanFic, Listener Mail, and the revelation that The 372 Players live in a closet!


Episode 89 – Ready Player Two – Sharters and Gunters

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Ready Player Two? Let me ask that again; Ready Player Two?! I don’t think you are!! But Conor and Mike are ready. Having only an evening to read the first few chapters, here are some questions addressed: Did you have “faint numbness” with your previous rig? Solved! Could you feel “tiny craters of pulp” beneath your fingers when you crushed an apple with previous rigs? Solved! Were all your previous efforts in the Oasis “senseless pantomimes”? Yes, of course they were, you Sharter!

NEXT ASSIGNMENT: Read through chapter four.

Episode 88 – James “The Tracker” Trackerathorn III

Yes, this may be the final episode of Midnight Sun but Alice has looked into the future and Mike and Conor are still reading it in every possibility but this one.

We won’t spoil anything about the episode itself but stay tuned to the very end and help us (and 372 listener Josh who sent it in) solve the deep mystery of the shared / unshared lasagna in the greater Twilight universe…

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Phil hears from an assistant coach of the Sidewinders that there may be a backup shortstop position opening up! So Renee and he may drive back to Phoenix!!!!!!!!

Also, the tireless and cunning James the Tracker is making plans to watch his collection of VHS tapes in a room with a gold chair rail once he lands his Piper Cub at Chandler Municipal Airport.

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So a lot going on, people. In addition to all of that Conor rediscovers the James Earl Jones speech from Field of Dreams and makes his own audiobook really drilling down on Edward’s awareness of his own black soul.

Plus mail and dumb sentences. For next time, finish the damn book!

Episode 86 – Charlie says, “Huh…”

How em dash HOW em dash is this book not about Charlie hauling in a world record white perch, or at the very least the story of him getting a treble hook buried into his thigh? Why not page after page of Carlisle being tutored in Courtly Italian by some foppish vampire with a high starched collar?!

Nope. What we get is page after impossibly long page of Bella slurping down Toastee-Os while Edward tortures himself wondering whether her using the big spoon means that she hates him.

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But it does lead to a fairly strong showing by Conor in Real or Fanfic, the Dumb Sentences flow and we share some harrowing tales by listeners.

For next time read thru Chapter 24!

Episode 85 – Throbbing Wetly

Twilight but as told from the vampire’s point of view, continues to be a collection of words strung together in mostly coherent fashion, with occasional digressions to count thousands of insects. There you go, Little Brown, you can use that as a quote on the cover of the paperback.

We hit the halfway mark during this episode and Mike and Conor found much to discuss. The role of Gordon Bombay in the Twilight-verse, the logic of taking the world’s biggest klutz hiking, and Mike Newton’s quest for the good leads are all addressed. Plus a visit to the dark web and Mike (Nelson, not Newton)’s attempt to convince Conor that Real or Fanfic is actually much harder than it looks.

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For next time read thru Chapter 20! We’ll post the Midnight Sun meme contest soon, so get ready!

UPDATE: As requested in this ep, cartoonist Bob Fingerman drew his rendition of the “aggressively, forcefully female” vampire Siobahn

Episode 84 – RIP Orlando Calderas Wallace

If you like Cline-ian pop culture lists you are in for a treat! In this episode Mike and Conor break down Bella’s likes / dislikes, turn-ons / turn-offs, preferences for types of flowers / er, preferring not to encounter other types of flowers, etc.

Conor again dives to the dark web to widen our understanding of Edward’s movie tastes, while Mike takes out a very dangerous short term loan from Russian mobsters to hire the 372 Players.

This free feed is one way to get the podcast, but the Patreon feed is the cool way. Get every episode early, plus bonus eps and other nonsense! Support us for less than a third of the cost of a Ready Player Two preorder! patreon.com/372pages

Also, many MANY Sonic Challenges. So many you’ll blush like you were Bella, your jaw will lock like Edward and you’ll have pretty dumb thoughts like Charlie.

READING ASSIGNMENT for next time: Through Chapter 17