I am not sure if it was by design or by chance, but Wil Wheaton as a cameo character and being the Narrator is great fun! this book satisfies my inner geek as well as my nostalgic heart!
The fact that it exists and I was blessed with the ability to hear and comprehend this wonderful adventure.
Aside from the twists, which I won't spoil for newcomers -- I'd have to say Wade's first Easter Egg (which also involved his first encounter with a particular character). It was already really fun and intriguing leading up to it, but that's when the story got me. Snatched me right up.
I never outright "GUFFAW" belly-laughed---not that I'm aware of, at least---but I did smile like a big dumb idiot a LOT. A few giggles here and there, for sure.
Oh, but there were DEFINITELY some triumphant: 'AHAA!''s
...and one or two Vader-esque: 'NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!''s
At this point, it's damn near impossible to add anything about this book, that hasn't already been said a thousand times over (including that very statement). I doubt I can offer any key insights or craft a more perfect appraisal that many minds more brilliant than mine have already left for others to enjoy.
That being said, here's a bunch of words I associate with this book:
- Video Game
- Pop Culture
- Twisty Turny
- Wil Wheaton
P.S. After this one, during your book-hangover, I'd highly* recommend "Off to be The Wizard" performed by Luke Daniels. Trust me -- it's just what the doctor ordered.
As charming and nostalgic as the barrage of 80s cultural references were (initially), this story lacked any depth for me and actually became gut ringingly painful to finish. Sorry all, it's just my opinion. I'm sure some will love this book. It seemed Will Wheaton may have been bored as well as I've heard him narrate other stories with much more vigor (anything by John Scalzi). The focus on teen romance made me feel this book would be better suited to those who've not yet ventured down this path so it could still spark excitement & not a sense of cringing at the shallow teen angst.
This book was good if you don't mind literally minutes long lists of 80s things thrown in every other chapter. Really the last quarter of the book was by far the best.
The narrator was consistent but a little bored sounding, but that's preference and opinion.
Ernest Cline created a pretty amazing world! I'd definitely recommend this book if you like sci-fi, 80's video games, post-apocalyptic stories and/or anime-esk virtual reality simulation stories.
I have never read the print version of RP1, but after hearing the sample of the audiobook, I initially assumed that it would be difficult to follow the audiobook and that I'd want the print version so I could research and revel in the nostalgia as I read. However, after caving and listening to it, I now have the opposite impression: the book is so verbose and lengthy I'd most likely have struggled to get through it all if I'd only had the paper copy. As audio, I could half listen when it was getting too detailed and slow for my enjoyment.
Ultimately I would, though not as a "must read." If your familiar with pop/nerd culture, particularly of the era, it's certainly fun. Additionally, you do not need to have grown up in the 80s to enjoy this novel, as many reviewers have suggested. I missed the 80s, but got enjoy them through my parents, friends, and curiosity, much the way Wade and the other players do in the novel. While the nostalgia buttons may not be mashed quite as hard, they certainly are pushed. If you like puzzles, I would especially recommend this. I was really gratified when I figured out the first key and the second gate before the main character did and I can imagine that other people obsessed with pop culture would feel vindicated by the idea that one day all thei trivia could lead somewhere, even if it's fantasy. I would, however, caution against looking too closely at the text. There are multiple inconsistencies and plot holes. I won't detail them here for the sake of spoilers, but there were enough that I gott a little angry at points. Also, the characters were kind of inconsistent and illogical at times, acting more with convenience to the plot than truth to their own characters. If you can roll with the punches, though, it's certainly a fun ride.
Wil Wheaton is a great speaker. He reads well and does a good job differentiating the voices enough that you can tell whose speaking. I was little miffed that he pronounced all the Japanese correct except the word "manga." Why are we still mispronouncing this so much? It's not hard. Why was he allowed to go the entire audiobook with that pronunciation? As a fan, of both him and manga, it rubbed me the wrong way.
I didn't have a particularly strong reaction to the book, except that the movie has the potential to be really, really cool if they do it right (like I hope they skip doing green screen for the OASIS and instead do computer animation. Except for the Japanese monster battles. People in costumes all the way!)
The writing of this book is actually pretty poor. It's fairly repetitive and amateurish. I feel like a stronger editing hand could have helped a lot. As an audiobook, though, it's failr easy to ignore these flaws.
Using Matrix style POV one cruises the history of electronic gaming from analog oscilloscope games through the demise of arcades to online gaming communities in an entertaining way.
This book is a mish-mash of different genres. Part treasure hunt, part trip down memory lane (if alive during the 80's, if not a new look into one of the greatest decades in history) this book will grab you and not let go.
A billionaire game designer with an obsession with the 80's decides to leave his sizable estate to whoever can follow the clues he left in the internet world he created called the Oasis that will lead the hunter to his ultimate prize. The first clue is hidden for 5 years until a young man finally gets the ball rolling...
I can't recommend this book enough for geeks or anyone that grew up in this amazing time.
A decent story but hurt a bit by the overly simplistic writing. Between the lists of X things from the 80s and the verbose descriptions of minor points the author glosses over some of the more important plot points (holes?). I'll admit there were a few times I waited in my car for a scene to play out but I was nearly always disappointed by the outcome of the big moments. Storyline suffers a bit from "chosen one" tropes but if you like games and puzzles at all I would recommend a listen. For the record I though Wheaton did a great job narrating the script, lots of emoting and decent pace but the volume changes were sometimes surprising (though usually approriate).
Ghost writer of over 100 unpublished works...;).
If you're not up for a very challenging listen, you may find Ready Player One worthwhile. My eight year old son found it very interesting, and enjoyed it very much. I was less impressed, but did find myself playing along with the main characters in their hunt for the egg. I found the personal relationships significantly less interesting.
The prize of the contest, for the characters, represents an escape from dystopia, but also serves as a decent allegory for common struggles of youth. However, it seemed to me to veer too close to validating geeks; something that has already been accomplished IRL.
Will Wheaton put in a professional performance, and even seemed to have fun taking part in a production which included himself as a minor player.
All in all, I found it entertaining if unrewarding. It won't change your life, but it may serve as escapism for a few hours, much like The Oasis itself...