This is a great story! I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. Wil Wheaton does a pretty good job at narrating--his enthusiasm is clear but I wish he could've made the different voices sound more varied. But overall I'd give the audiobook 4.5 or of 5.
Gamers that grew up in the dawn of video games will love all the references to gaming's past. Children of the '80s will also rejoice.
The story is a great setup to reminisce on pop culture. Sadly the characters are more of a means to the story than entities in themselves.
Definitely a fun read.
Ready Player One is, above-all, an entertaining story that takes place in a near-future that, while dystopian, is not too far from the world we live in today. The problems the world are facing are close enough to today's issues that the reader will be able to make an easy leap to the world in which the story is set. In this world, the next logical step in massive-multiplayer-online games, virtual reality, and social media has been achieved, and most people live the majority of their time in the Oasis. Outside of the Oasis, in the real world, the world is beset by extreme energy shortages and the resulting poverty, displacement, and political dysfunction. The good and bad of the way this setting is handled by Ready Player One is that the story does not delve deeply into the causes, politics, or repercussions of this society except the fact that people take refuge in the Oasis. In this way, the book remains fairly light and focused on the primary plot instead of sidetracking into deeper subplots. This could easily annoy a reader who enjoys the backstory and mechinations of many dystopian future books. However, by avoiding most of this, the story maintains its laser-focus on the main plot of the book: the search for an Easter Egg contained in the Oasis whose discoverer would become the sole heir to the inventor of the Oasis.The story of the search for the egg is an entertaining one that contains much for the 45-55 year old reader to be nostalgic about. Since the Oasis inventor was obsessed with the 1980's and because most of the plot occurs in the virtual world, the author has a completely believable excuse to wax nostalgic about the decade. It provides the reader who was around then many opportunities to become sentimental about the pop culture of the time: the music, the early computers and consoles, the cartoons, etc. Additionally, the antagonists are people called "suits" by the gamers, programmers, and hackers of the day. It could be said that the puzzles are a bit too easy for the protagonists to solve, and the reader will have to suspend some disbelief in the protagonist's ability to compromise some networks, but at the end of the day, the puzzles and hacks really aren't the center of the story.The overarching theme of the book is really about discovering and embracing humanity and personal relationships in a technological world. This is where the book is quite strong. While it breaks no new ground in this, it keeps the book from becoming another cyberpunk techno-story. Cline does a very good job making the characters human even though they are nothing but avatars through most of the book. Just as he did in his screenplay of Fanboys, Cline focuses on the characters discovering who they are and who they want to be. And just like the movie, Ready Player One is a pleasant, though unrevolutionary, trip with them.
I picked this one up after an audio book review and I was hooked almost from the very beginning. It's a unique Dystopia/Utopia story about a world so bleak that most people live there lives in an online virtual reality. When the creator of this better world passes away and wills everything he owns - including the control of the online worlds most people live in - to the first person who can find his special Easter Egg that he has hidden inside his creation, the hunt begins. The eccentric creator leaves clues rooted heavily in the pop culture of the 80s and it isn't until 5 years after his death that the first key to the Easter Egg is found. But it's not the well funded, well staffed mega-corporation seeking control of the virtual world that finds the key, it's a poor, but dedicated teenage boy.
Whil Wheaton does a great job bringing the story and the characters to life. The characters are diverse and the story is gripping, and for those of us who grew up in the 80s, it's just plain fun!
I am a 45 year old man. I enjoyed listening to my history of games and electronics portrayed as the old days. Actually it really is the old days. It was kind of cool to see that the next generations finding some of the things from our past interesting and worth doing again. The story was well written and had a underlying messages that I enjoyed. Overall very worthwhile the read or listen.
If you love geeky 80s references you will love this!. Very satisfying story. Will Wheaton was an excellent narrates tot as well. I kept picturing him as the main character.