Ready Player One is loads of fun for anyone who grew up in the 80’s and was in any way a part of the video, personal computer, and gaming worlds that came to life at that time. This book is full of references to arcade games, movies, and early computer technology. As a young adult in the 80’s I identified with these references and found them delightful. Wil Wheaton was the perfect narrator for this book! As a teen actor in Star Trek TNG, he is one of the 80’s icons this book alludes to, his reading made it that much more fun!
Unfortunately, the execution on this story falls well short of the great concept. Cline did his homework on 80’s pop culture but didn't bring a great deal of ability to the storytelling. Outside the many references to a decade gone by, the main plot was rather juvenile. The characters lack depth. A revelation which is doubly surprising since one of the themes focuses on what it really means to know a person. The plot twists are hit or miss. Some are quite clever but many more are rather well worn and predictable.
Cline’s predictions of a future some 25 or so years from now are particularly weak. The ideas are inconsistent to the point where they are difficult to get past much less take seriously. The world has run out of oil so transportation is a real problem yet there are still plenty of plastics in use. Everyone has gathered in and around the cities and unemployment is high yet there seems to be plenty of food coming from the abandoned wasteland to feed all these indigents. I won’t point out the myriad of other inconsistencies for fear I’ll ruin the story.
Needless to say a great deal more could have been made of this story. It is a shame so much was left on the table.
I'm That Guy
I have spent the past 6 months just trying to find another book like this one to no avail. I have hundreds of books on Audible being a member for years and doing a ton of driving and I absolutely loved this book. I have suggested it several friends and relatives and it has yet to disappoint.
It's your David -vs- Goliath type story and it's chock full of excitement, twists, humor, innocence and nostalgia. If you play any sort of MMORPG than you will definitely relate, but even if you don't it will not disappoint. Society has turned semi-apocalyptic due to oil reserves run out, education has gone virtual created by a multibillionaire who made his money through the worlds most popular MMORPG. He dies and leaves his fortune to whomever can find the golden egg. This is a multi step process and is nearly impossible to accomplish. Success on the path though, just may have very real and very mortal consequences.
Do not pass this one up. Trust me when I say this is not a gamers only book. I am a 40 something guy. The only gamer knowledge I have is when I try to play along with my teen kids. I promise you won't be disappointed.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story, written in the first person, about a world that is somewhat futuristic and very depressing. The only escape is a virtual world that becomes reality in many ways in an otherwise dismal existence. The plot is not complex and is an easy listen, the characters not particularly complicated. However, it is a fascinating story narrated by one of my favorites, Wil Wheaton. I enjoyed it so much I actually listened to it twice, almost back to back.
The story is classic good against evil but it is done in a way that is very engaging. I enjoyed how the main character worked through some very difficult challenges, not only in his virtual world but also in his real world. Some language and a couple of adult portions that may not be appropriate for a child.
I heartily recommend this book, especially this narrated production.
Entertaining and kept my interest. Good companion for a long trip.
I think the narrator actually believed (or wanted to believe) the story.
Nope, but worth the price.
Decent homage to text only games. Sad they are gone.
In reading the other reviews I was expecting more of a general 80s nostalgia. This book, first of all, takes place entirely in the future and the 80s nostalgia is very, very specific and will appeal most strongly to men who were teens during the early 80s. Bonus points if you were also a geek.Don't get me wrong, I loved this book. Some of the gamer references got past me, but none of the music or film homages did. My point is that this one isn't for all 80s lovers as the gaming aspect overrides all others.Wil Wheaton did a spectacular job. Other actors could learn a lot from his subtlety and skill (yes, I'm talking to you, Craig Wasson.)
Great sci-fi story that will make anyone that grew up in the '80s smile. Not the most complex story line but I enjoyed every minute of it. Great imagery. Good narration.
I favor history, non-fiction, lectures, and the occasional purely fictitious work. I also listen to many children's books with my family.
I feel a little harsh giving only three stars for the story, but honestly, the story was pretty standard fare - the interest for me came from my personal geekdom and my sentimentality. The 70's and 80's marked my soul and the book is rife with video game history and nods to nerds of my age.
Beyond that .... well I think maybe the last quarter of the book fell a little flat. Perhaps the novelty of the 80's references wore off a bit and, for me, the story just went downhill towards the end.
I felt the book started pretty strong and it's got some fun winks and nudges along the way. I wasn't sure if I should pat myself or hang my head at the sheer number of things I knew EXACTLY what the characters were talking about often before the reference was named.
Don't let this dissuade you from a listen - Wil Wheaton does a really great job... I mean, he's 'one of us' after all. The book isn't so long that the culmination kills it - just weakens it and left me on a bit of a low with respect to the book.
the narration is a little.. overbearing? if such a word can be used for someone reading a book. it's not bad, per se, just spoon-fed. it's like narrator doesn't expect the listener to understand what's going without over-stressing everything. i hate to say this, as i like what i know of wil wheaton in real life.
but to be fair, the narration is a reflection of the content of the book. it also spoon-feeds the reader, with no mystery of understanding, just "this is the world, this is how it came to be, etc. etc.". the reader's intelligence is not taxed at all. the story is entertaining enough - i did enjoy the events and characters - but it's just not amazing.
I read any type of books but boring
The book is just a good listen during a commute.
It entertains you, but never touches you with a deep thought or a profound idea. The good versus evil fight is very cliché like. Everything is just black and white. The friendship and love of the protagonists are very simple and cartoonish.
But nevertheless as I said it is fun to listen, so I did not regret my credit
I have recommended this book to a fellow Audible listener. I found it quite entertaining and didn't want to stop listening.
I think this is my first video game-ish futuristic type book. Some of it was confusing to me, but I'm usually multi-tasking while listening. Also the science fiction part would occasionally confuse me :)
I don't know.
I loved all the '80s references, but I'm a product of the '80s, so I could identify with a lot of the names/products he talks about.
A fun listen!