I love audiobooks!!!
Okay, my first draw to this book was all of the reviews with 80s pop culture references. Second? Wil Wheaton. Seriously, this book was MADE for people in my age group! I really loved the whole immersion gaming idea, reminiscent of The Matrix (yet voluntary), paired with an awesome story involving some of the greatest movies, tv shows, anime, music, and video games ever! I would have totally ROCKED this contest! Nerdgasm alert! It was worth EVERY cent!
Recommended quick read. Having Wil Wheaton read this book made the references feel real! All of the 80's nostalgia was mixed into a bit of a puzzle mystery action story. It had me flying through the book with great visual cues and reality jumps.
I've never been a gamer nor am I an 80s junkie but none of that matters because this book is amazing! Big kudos to the narrator as well.
Don't get hung up on the details of what this book is about, just listen, you won't regret it.
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, A hoper, a pray-er, a magic-bean buyer. If you're a pretender come sit by my fire
Seriously, I broke all my rules and bought this audiobook without reading it first after listening to the free first chapter. I'm not a gamer, and I was only three when the 80's ended, but regardless this book was witty, poignant, and more fun than I thought could be put in only a few hours. Will Wheaton does a phenomenal job, and is a perfect narrator for a nerd/80's nostalgia story (he's definitely referenced within the book!). My suggestion: stop whatever else you are currently reading and pick this audiobook up immediately!
I really enjoyed this work. A real love letter to geeks and fans of the '80s. The plot was very good overall, though I thought that there were a few places where the narrative seemed uneven. Will Wheaton did a masterful job reading the piece, far better than I expected. He really became the character.
Anyone who has ever taken on another persona while playing an online game or visited a virtual world on their computer will identify with this book. MMO players in particular have likely experienced the duality of the real world versus their virtual world and know the perils of living in both.
In Ready Player One technology has taken online gaming (and online experiences in general) to the next level while real life society has taken a few steps backwards. This bleak future, where many people prefer their virtual personas to their real lives, becomes the stage for the greatest easter egg hunt of all time. The creator of the Oasis (the online universe that most of the earth is addicted to) has died and left behind clues that lead to the ultimate prize: his vast fortune and control of the Oasis itself. The quest for the egg becomes a battle of David vs Goliath as millions of people try to solve the puzzle before an evil corporation bent on assuming control of the Oasis bullies their way to the solution.
Although I am not a big fan of Wil Wheaton, he is a good match for this material and he does well as the narrator. Put on your haptic suit and log into the Oasis as soon as you can.
Do like Wheaton as a narrator but Cline might not be my style
Chose this book based on it very numerous and great reviews. I am a child of the 80's and it sounded great. I never did get into role playing games and this book reminded me why. I didn't expect it to be so deep into the genre.
I gave the book a few hours but eventually gave up on it.
Not my cup of tea but I did like some of the 80's references.
Tell us about yourself!
This was one of the best sci fi stories to be released so far this year.
The best part about this book might be the characters, who are really well formed and wonderful. Aech, Wade and Art3mis are all delightful & believable, and the minor characters manage to also be really believable and memorable.
The whole story went by far too quickly, I hope we see more from this author!
What couldn't have? There is so much wrong with this it defies logic! There's a dystopian future world where wars are waged over dwindling energy supplies, but everyone has plenty of power to run their haptic equipment and internet connections all day long. Food is in scarce supply, but Wade can lock himself in his apartment for months with plenty of pizza and other food delivered daily. There are shallow little diatribes that sound like they were lifted from /r/atheism or some other self-righteous subreddit. The narrator has, in 5 years, been able to master every arcade game and every text adventure and every console game (to the point that he can play a perfect Pac-Man game on a whim), watch every 80s movie and television show (to the point that he can recite every line of WarGames and the Holy Grail verbatim), and learn every bit of obscure trivia and lore about the 1980s and James Halliday, yet neither he nor anyone on the planet can figure out that a clue about "collecting the trophies" is a direct reference to Zork? The cliches that abound are flat and silly, like the "evil multi-national corporation" or the computer prodigy with Asperger's (that magic disease that makes those afflicted by it geniuses). And did society just stop in 2013? For a novel that takes place mid-century, there's no progress aside from the OASIS. No references to newer technology, updated media, different forms of communication or travel. Oh, right...there's a war over energy. It's a combination mcguffin / deus ex machina. Cline uses it to gloss over anything he can't explain, which is a lot.
How about giving the reader credit for having a modicum of intelligence and awareness? For a book that is ostensibly targeted at nerdy types, Cline doesn't think his audience knows anything about the subject matter. For example, when the video game "Joust" is introduced, Cline slams the brakes on and explains (in excruciatingly boring detail) the game and how it's played and that player one rides and ostrich and that player two rides a stork and blah blah blah. He's not a talented enough writer to work said explanation into the narrative. It almost feels like he pasted the game summary from Wikipedia into his novel. When he does make a meager attempt to work such exposition in as part of the story, it's awkward and annoying, like how the narrator hears a song and reflexively rattles off the artist, label and year it was released. There are a few moments where he gets it right (e.g. when one character throws an object against a "Revenge of the Jedi" poster, Cline refrains from discussing how said posters were a rare misprint), but they're few and far between. Someone commented that references are like jokes - if you have to explain them, then they aren't effective. Cline is like a comedian who tells a joke, then explains the joke (that everyone got) before anyone has a chance to laugh.
Wil Wheaton is a horrible actor and his hammy acting and exaggerated narration detract from an already weak story. When Wheaton reads lines like the oft-repeated, "It was the most amazing thing I had ever seen!" in his breathless sappiness, it grates the ears. There is an insufferable reference to Wheaton in the narrative which comes off as a bit of blatant sycophancy, exacerbated by the fact that Wheaton himself is the narrator and is lapping it up as he reads about himself. I dare anyone to listen to Wheaton read off the top ten scoreboard positions without screaming ("Number seven, I O I six four eight nine three six, one million, four hundred eighty thousand points") Ugh! Wheaton was chosen as a celebrity reader with a nerdy tie to the novel, but he is not talented and is certainly not a good narrator. There are other vocal artists with real talent that would have made this far more palatable.
Aech. The character adds nothing to the story, speaks in the most inauthentic voice in the novel (no small feat, seriously) and is used for a small, politically correct twist at the end. The "epic" exchanges that he and Wade have are boring and cringeworthy, especially when read by Wil Wheaton.
This is a story told by someone who lives on Reddit and has a wishful obsession with the days of his youth, but rather than crafting a wistful bit of nostalgia, he has spit out a harsh mishmash of misplaced references, endless lists, and copious exposition. One can only imagine the horror this was before an editor worked on it! I grew up in the 1980s and I know all the music, movies, shows and games referenced here, but this was not a fun little reminiscence. It was tedious and phony, like a kid who just watched a John Hughes marathon and is listing out the artists whose posters were on Ferris Bueller's wall. This could have been an enjoyable read. The concept of a massive Easter egg hunt is intriguing and working it into a virtual world is a great twist, but this is a orgiastic mess, full of empty references and contrived circumstances, signifying nothing.