...although they will get crushed on licensing fees from all of the references to 80's movies, video games and music. If you are even a little bit of a geek you will love this. If you grew up in the 80's you will love this. If like a story about the underdog vs the evil giant then you will love this. I like all three of those things and that made this story "totally rad". It's not as good as Daemon (if you're looking for other suggestions), but it was more than worth the credit. I went out of my way to walk my dog so I could keep listening to the story.
I enjoyed listening to this book a great deal. It's fun, light reading, and well-narrated by Wheaton who has the ability add the right sarcastic or nerdy-superior inflection to his voice at any given time. I suspect that the audience for this book will be somewhat narrow, although it's perfect for that audience. And which audience is that? Well, people in the 20-40 year age range that grew up during or shortly after the time period in question, I can't speak for current teens but I doubt they would like it as it's not their pop culture being referenced. Also they will tend to be people from that generation that enjoy referential humor, pop culture, know who people like Cory Doctorow or Steve Wozniak are, have played video games, MMORPGs, and have probably grown up on Tolkien, Pratchett, PK Dick, and other sci-fi and fantasy authors. So basically, it's going to appeal to adult nerds, like me, or imagine the cast of the Big Bang Theory reading it (minus Penny and Sheldon may refuse because Will Wheaton is his nemesis). If that doesn't in any way describe you, it's likely going to fall on truly deaf ears, as it would be pointless for the author to waste exposition on explaining every reference. If he had to do that, the wrong person is reading the book, and the fun of having referential humor in a book would go to waste. I could only imagine my parents trying to read this, listening for about 20 minutes, then turning it off, confused, wondering what MMORPGs are or why Atari games stir up nostalgia in their kids. I suspect it would sound like a different language to them.
Anyway, with those caveats, I can recommend it, 5/5 stars for that audience as it's a great little story, and Cline shows some seriously l33t knowledge about some random stuff. And it's a blast how these bits of seemingly useless wisdom become critical to the characters who to solve basically an involved MMORPG quest must become masters of a culture that isn't even their own anymore
I've gone through close to 100 audio books now, and I consider Ready Player One to be one of my very favorite (probably top 5). Why? It's completely unique. I can't even compare it to anything else. It's part adventure, part nostalgia, part history (of the 1980's, the era when I was a teenager).
Great story, tons of 80's nostalgia, and as much as I hate to admit it (because he'll always be "Wesley Crusher" to me), Wil Wheaton really did do an excellent job of reading it. Highly highly highly recommended for people that lived in the 1980's, and enjoy video games.
Oh, and I loved the ending too :)
From Austen to zombies!
This book has been coming up in my recommendations for a long time, but I always skipped it. When I listened to the Audible sample it sounded as if the book's world-building was terrible or even non-existent (which is because it's not from the beginning of the book!) Further, descriptions of the book's 80s nostalgia were kind of a turn-off: as a member of Gen X, I'm not always very nostalgic about the 80s.
But I had a credit, and I like Wil Wheaton--so when I read the Audible Essentials review of Ready Player One, I thought I might as well try it. Boy. Was I ever wrong about what this book would be like!
In 2045, Wade Watts is a child of the new era, a teenage orphan living with his aunt and a bunch of other people in a derelict trailer. The planet is a dump and most people are jerks, or worse. The only place he can find peace is OASIS, a Second Life-style digital game environment where he attends school, goes on adventures, and hides from the drag that reality has become (and where Wil Wheaton and Cory Doctorow are elected officials!) The game's creator has been dead for several years, leaving behind an in-game easter egg hunt: the winner gets his entire multi-billion dollar fortune! But nobody's had any luck. Until now.
This book wasn't much like anything else I've read recently: it's part mystery, part quest-legend story, part love story, part fairytale, and part dystopian-future novel. I was afraid it might be depressing, but it wasn't--not at all. Events moved quickly, and the humorous tone kept me laughing out loud. The nostalgia itself turned out to directed mostly toward geeky stuff that I remember fondly, like arcade games and old computers. Puzzling out what might happen next was an additional bonus--I was so proud of myself when I got a crucial reference before Wade did!
Wil Wheaton does a great job on narration. The only thing I was a little disappointed with--it caused me to knock off a star--was the character development. Wade, and especially his friends, come off as somewhat two-dimensional. Perhaps that's because the events of the book are such a wild ride. I could not stop listening! I ran the batteries out in my headphones and was forced to dig through a junk drawer to find an analog pair so I could keep going. That's how determined I was to find out what would happen next.
Overall I recommend this book if you are looking for an exciting and fun science fiction adventure that's also close to home. If you recognize the headline for this review, you're definitely going to like Ready Player One.
This book blew me away! It grabbed me from the very beginning and didn't let go even after it was over. The story was absolutely amazing! Disclaimer: I was raised in the 80s and grew up listening to the music, watching the tv/movies, reading the books/comics, and playing the games (some, not all) that Cline uses in this book. I was instantly transported back to my childhood every time I hit play to continue listening to this book.
Not only is the story great but Cline's writing is very good too. It flows, it's crisp, and he's very descriptive, sometimes to a fault. The story was tight and never really lagged. The one part I didn't care for was Wade basically forgetting about the contest as he falls in love with Artemis. That seemed a stretch to me (since his entire life revolved around the contest), but, maybe Cline writing it that way speaks more to the fact that Wade was disconnected entirely from the real world and suddenly he had someone who truly wanted to know about him, spend time with him, and talk to him, even if it was in a virtual environment. It showed how truly alone he was, which may have been Cline's intention.
Wil Wheaton's narration was pedestrian. He does an okay job, not so bad that it annoyed me, I have heard worse, but he basically uses the same voice for every character. Not sure I can fault him for that, he's not a voice actor/narrator by trade and I've become spoiled by listening to amazing narrators like Michael Kramer, James Marsters, Craig Wasson, and Davina Porter.
Overall, this book is a must listen too!
The first bit of this book is solid likely-near-future dystopian sci-fi, and this aspect of the book is thankfully revisited intermittently throughout. Most of this book, however, is the author pretty much reading aloud from a encyclopedia entry on 80's pop culture. If you are between 35 and 45 years old, and you are (for some reason) endlessly entertained by being reminded of long-forgotten consumer goods and video games, this book is for you. If you want something transient and/or compelling, look elsewhere.
I haven't listened to any of Wil Wheaton's narrations specifically, but he did an EXCELLENT job narrating this book. He was one of the reasons that I loved it so much.
Absolutely, in fact I found many reasons to keep listening to it every moment that I could and after it was finished, I just started all over again at the beginning. It's excellent and exhilarating !
If you play video games, know anything about the 80's (even a little bit- books, movies, music) then I think you'll enjoy this book/audiobook. It has so many of those exciting moments when you play a video game that is hard to capture or explain, and yet Cline does exactly this and I found it THRILLING to be involved. The end battle reminded me of old World of Warcraft world boss battles and it had all the emotion that I felt wrapped up in excellent scenes and imagery. I adore this book. Definitely check this out. The audio narration just adds to the excellent read!
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 have heard it is "davinci code" - "religion" + "80's trivia" and in a lot of ways I agree this assessment. Only I think the character development is better in ready player one.
I have listened to multiple books read by Wil Wheaton. I like his style. He puts the right emotion and emphasis in the right place.
Overall I think he has always helped make the book better when I have listened.
I can't choose one. The entire book has you sitting on edge wondering what will happen next. At the same time it intermixes enough character developement that really makes you care about the main character.
I definitely recommend this book to anyone. I have finished a lot of audible books (Ready player one is number 111 for me.) and I have to say ready player one is one of my favorites. Definitely in my top 10, probably top 5 for me.
The only part I didn't like was the opening of the book where in my opinion it was a lame attempt at what happens with global collapse due to mans abuse of nature. I little hippie liberal to me. But the author did not use it as a soap box and it did not stay that way for long. Instead the author only used it to set up the perfect universe for an amazing book and moved on with a great story.
I listen to a bit of everything. Mostly Fantasy and paranormal romance with my wife. Along with mysteries/thrillers, even some sci-fi.
Ready Player One is an outstanding novel. It has a lot of heart and Mr. Cline creates a unique virtual world inside a dystopian universe. I really enjoyed this book and it's one of the best stories I've listened too in quite a long while, and one of the most complete worlds I've ever listened to all contained in one novel.
Will Wheaton's narration was top notch and he was the perfect narrator for this story. He lends his voice to Wade perfectly. His voices for the supporting cast also fit each character.
I really enjoyed the scene's leading up to acquiring the first key. I think the world building for both the universe and the Oasis were the strongest points in the novel.
No, but only because I wanted it to last. I got through the first half in two or so weeks, but then I burned through the second half in a few days. It was a lot of fun and since I grew up in the 80's and am familiar with a lot of the geek pop culture, I was able to get many of the subtle references.
This is a really good book, and I recommend it to anyone, espicially those into geek culture and 80's pop culture. There are a lot of references in this book, and they're all explained so that anyone can understand the book. The biggest weakness of the book is how the action is told. It's written more like a screen play and we're told what happened instead of living the action with the character. It does take some away from the story, but that's made up with a lot of heart, character and plot development.