Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline. Unabridged Audio.
Think of this one as part futuristic SF novel, part 80s love-fest. In the near-future, the world's main pastime is The Oasis, a virtual world run by a beloved game designer. After his death, it is revealed that this designer has left The Oasis, and the multi-billion dollar company that runs it, to whoever can win his final game by solving puzzles, deciphering clues, and playing games. It is a virtual adventure that has very real-world consequences.
The game designer loved the 1980s, all of his clues relate to pop culture of the time. Among the many things referenced are War Games, Monty Python, Rush, and a slew of video games. My own personal favorite iconic moment of the 80's was also referenced. Another personal passion of mine, a particular Japanese TV show from the 1960s, also played an important part in the plot.
But these references, even to personal favorite things of mine, were not enoough to cover for the fact that the plot of the novel was seriously lacking. There were no surprises in the novel -- all the heroes were heroic, all the villains were villainous, only the expendable died, and the ending was entirely predictable.
There is a bit of a disconnect here -- there were seriously fun moments, but the story that took place in between those moments were lacking. Not a great book, but I admit that parts of it sure made for a fun read.
I listened to the unabridged audio version, which was read ably by Wil Wheaton, who of course has his own connections to 1980's pop culture.