The Importance of Being Ernest

By Ernest Cline

1,229 ratings - 3.89* vote

Ernest (Ernie) Cline has been Ernest his whole life and in this first slim (48 pages) volume, he begins to explain to us what that has meant in these poems intended for performance. This companion book to his CD, The Geek Wants Out, contains many of the same poems, notably: The Geek Wants Out, Dance Monkeys Dance, and Nerd Porn Auteur among others. It also contains three b Ernest (Ernie) Cline has been Ernest his whole life and in this first slim (48 pages) volume, he begins to explain to us

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Book details

, 48 pages

(first published 2006)

Original Title
The Importance of Being Ernest
1893972305 (ISBN13: 9781893972308)
Edition Language

Community Reviews


Well first off, I might be the only one on goodreads that has actually read this book. If most people had paid attention to the title they would realize THIS IS NOT THE PLAY BY OSCAR WILDE. Its not even remotely similar or even a play. The Importance of Being Ernest is a collection of free verse poems/spoken word pieces with a few haikus mixed in for good measure. I think my favorites were his poems Airwolf, Tech Support, and When I was a Kid. Although the book does contain strong language and occasional adult subject matter Cline allows his "inner nerd" to shine though. Fans of Ready Player one will certainly appreciate the same nostalgia and inside references found in this book.


Wow. I had thought I had encountered bad writing in the past. But this, dear friends, takes the cake. This is, without a single doubt, the worst sh*t I have ever read in my entire life. It is turgid, embarrassing trash. That an adult man wrote this is well beyond comprehension: this volume may only be imagined as the product of some malignant mass of half-sentient gibbering acne hooked up to a word processor. It's less like reading poetry, more like reading a subreddit. One of the really bad ones. r/incels comes to mind.

There are simply no words. This book doesn't deserve a book review. It deserves an assembly of the Supreme Court to review whether or not writing this bad is an offense worthy of capital punishment.

Read a sample for yourself!

Very excited to now read Ready Player One . [EDIT: I did.]

Xantha Page

If you think Rupi Kaur or alt lit are bad... hoooooo boy. Do I have a treat for you.


Geeky poetry is not something I'd read before this collection landed into my hands. I liked it.

Christina Javene

Mercifully short. This was like being trapped in an elevator with every terrible nerdy dude from high school who badgered me for nudes because I was a girl who unfortunately liked the same stuff they liked.

Riggen Snyder

The Importance of Being Ernest, a 50-page collection of slam poetry about his outlook on life and how he should live it like he wants to live it. I have to say it was interesting to read. Walking in I did not know it was only 50 some pages, but it was a good, fun, quick read. Most of his poems were just how he was a closet geek growing up and just wanted to let the world how geeky he was about things that culture. There were poems such as Dance, Monkeys, Dance and Cinéma Vérité. These 2 poems specifically relate to the insanity of humanity. I mean one says how we're all monkeys living an almost identical life to each other. The other explains that having your phone out or having an annoying baby during the movie is annoying. The point he's trying to make is that humanity is no less flawed than other species. In a story like that confessing to the judge, he killed 3 people because of improper movie etiquette is a little extreme I still find him being able to get his point across. I liked this "book" even though it was a little boring at times such as explaining why an '80s show about a supersonic helicopter got stolen is the best show in existence. But the cat has to be let out of the bag. I am not a poetry fan. so the idea of reading a straight poetry book didn't necessarily excite me. But I have to say this book actually ended up on the good side of my opinion just because what the poems are literally about Ernest. (One of my favorite authors I mean he wrote Ready Player One, my favorite book.) I do say it was quite interesting to learn about his struggles as an aptly named geek. Al in all I would recommend to anybody looking to learn more about this author.

Miranda Levi

The Importance of Being Earnest
By Ernest Cline
Reviewed by Miranda Boyer

Ernie Cline is one of my favorite people authoring my favorite book Ready Player One. So it should be no surprise that I was willing to get my hands on anything while I wait for Armada to be released later this year.

The Importance of Bing Ernest, while a play by Oscar Wilde, it is also a book of poetry slash monologs by Ernie Cline. Cline actively participated in various poetry slams from 1997-2001 when he wrote this short little book.

Some of my favorites from this compellation was When I Was a Kid; Cinema Verite; The Geek Wants Out; and the title poem The Importance of Being Ernest. The last one I can relate to 100 percent. If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me to read him or her thier rights… I’d be a very rich person.

This book as originally published by Cline himself in 2004, and since the success of Ready Player One this little charm has a new edition with fantastic illustrations by Len Peralta.

If you don’t want to shell out $15 for this book, which is a great addition to my own collection, then you can check out Ernie Cline’s website where you can find copies of these poems as well as his spoken word album “Ultraman is Airworlf” which is a collection Cline performing these at various poetry slams.

The only downside… I wish there was more!


"Because the monkeys want answers

and the monkeys don't want to die.

So the monkeys make up gods

and then they worship them.

Then the monkeys argue

over whose made-up god is better.

Then the monkeys get really pissed off

and this is usually when the monkeys decide

that it's a good time to start killing each other.

So the monkeys wage war.

The monkeys make hydrogen bombs.

The monkeys have got their whole fucking planet

wired up to explode.

The monkeys just can't help it.


As you can see . . .

these are some fucked up monkeys.

These monkeys are at once the ugliest

and most beautiful creatures on the planet.

And the monkeys don't want to be monkeys.

They want to be something else.

But they're not."

I thought it was very nice and funny; I really laughed a lot. Would I read it again? Probably not, but if someone were to ask me if they should read it, I think I would most likely say yes. I really enjoyed it.


... ew. This guy is the WORST. And his writing isn't even good enough to make up for it, this is hot garbage.

"I mean, I'm a guy. And guys need porn.
"Like a preacher needs pain, like a needle needs a vein,"
Guys need porn.
But I don't wanna watch this misogynist he-man woman-hater porn.
I want porno movies that are made with guys like me in mind:
Guys who know that the sexiest thing in the world
is a woman who is smarter than you are.
You can have the whole cheerleading squad,
I want the girl in the tweed skirt and the horn-rimmed glasses:
Betty Finnebowski, the valedictorian.
Oh yes.
First I want to copy her Trig homework,
and then I want to make mad, passionate love to her
for hours and hours
until she reluctantly asks if we can stop
because she doesn't want to miss Battlestar Galactica."


This is the first collection of poems that I've read that has not made me want to gauge out my eyes. Ernest Cline has quickly become one of my favorites, his writing is completely relatable for someone who was raised on X-Files, Stephen King, and video games. Every poem in this collection made me chuckle or just throw my hands up in the air and yell "YES. HE GETS IT."