It was with some trepidation that I purchased this audio book even though it had excellent reviews. This is not the type of book that would normally interest me, but I was hooked within the first ten minutes of listening. Wil Wheaton does a fine job narrating and the story and characters are entertaining from start to finish.
I do almost all of my listening to audiobooks as a way of keeping my sanity during my hour long commute each day, and found myself taking the long way home just to get in a few more minutes.
This is a can't miss book in my estimation and it's my bet you will find this book as enjoyable as I did.
This audio book is simply amazing. The story (while sometimes a bit predictable) is just wonderful. Will does his usual awesome job of narrating. I bought 5 hard copies of this book for friends after listening and cant wait to distribute them. This book is like crack for geeks. Thank you Audible.
This book was written for people who in 2012 are anywhere from 38-45 years old... who grew up with the era of videogames (the 80s). It certainly can be enjoyed by others, but that's the target audience. The story is filled with references to videogames, role-playing games, MMORPGs and the like. Fans will be thrilled by the references throughout and Wil Wheaton does a nice job making the main character feel real. The story is complex, woven as it is into the fabric of a virtual computer game, but to listen is to go on an adventure and the book satisfies in its conclusion.
This book is a nostalgia-tastic. As a child of the 80's I found myself smiling every few pages as another 80's pop-reference brought fresh memories. I'm sure most of the reviews will dwell on this aspect of the novel, and rightly so because this is the heart and soul of this novel. If you grew up in the 80's you will LOVE this book. I can't name the number of times I was taken out of the book and into my own childhood with a reference to some game or music I had forgotten about. So the question is will someone who wasn't a kid in the 80's care about this book? Hmmm..... That's a hard one.
Cline does a good job building the world for his character, and the first 1/3 of the novel is rock solid, the second act stalls a little, and the third act... ehhhh.. Well its not bad, it just doesn't live up to the promise from the first part of the book. If I had to lay a fault on the second and third act it would be the way the outlying characters in the book fall away leaving the protagonist a solo adventurer. The book is at its strongest when the characters are experiencing the virtual world together, and there are several moments in the book I believe would have been stronger with the inclusion of the supporting characters.
Having said that I highly recommend this book. It's filled with that whimsical sense of adventure so many movies from the 80's had, but seems to have been lost by this current generation of storytellers. It has all the classic tropes, antagonists can be both scary and ridiculous at the same time, heroes can pursue victory for noble intentions, and most of all, Pizza Parlors were magical places of games, food, and friends.
Will Weaton does a great job as the narrator, its always great to find a book and a narrator match up perfectly.
I loved this book and I really liked Wil Wheaton' performance. He did a great job with the characters.
There are more 80's references than I can count and they range from general pop culture to more obscure 'geek' pop culture. This was a great book with a great story.
Having been a teenager in the 1980s, Ready Player One has a ton of nostalgia value for me. All those pop culture references really mean something to me, and I got most of the ones in the book pretty effortlessly.
But the real genius of this novel is in the way it combines retro pop culture references with a dystopian future and shows each generation's wistfulness for 'the good old days'- even someone else's. The struggles of a horrible every day life do not automatically get better, whether you are in RL or online.
The young protagonist lives in a world where all of his meaningful interactions are carried out online, in the giant computer universe known as the Oasis. His adventures there comprise the story of an awkward teenager in high school, sword and sorcery novels, a quest, meeting a girl, and lots of other situations, all of which are totally believable and handled with a lot of humor and fast-pacing. I found the quest to be very satisfying and the characters to be entertaining and very realistic.
Wil Wheaton narrates, which adds a nicely meta touch to the novel. I enjoyed his self-humorous voice- he seems to be indicating the in-jokes in the book on many different levels at once- and he really seems to be enjoying himself, which is always a plus in a narrator.
This is a sort of less wordy younger cousin of Neil Stephenson. It bears similarities to his books- in particular Snow Crash and Remead, but IMO, does not copy them. I think merely that clever writers about the future are all seeing somewhat similar ways that our culture will progress. If you enjoy Stephenson, you will probably enjoy this book too.
All in all, I really had a LOT of fun listening to this book. It's clever, fast paced and reminds you of all the good- and bad- parts of being a teenager, some of which apparently never change, no matter what century you're in.
I picked up the print book, but just coudn't get into it. But people were raving about the audio, so I tried it and LOVED IT. It's a great story, full of tension and great people, and Wil Wheaton is awesome as narrator. Essentially, the "have nots" are racing against the "corporate have's" to solve the on-line video game mystery and win the ginormous cash prize. But smart and complex. If you like video games and the 80s, you'll love this.
This book sat in my cart for a couple of weeks before I finally took a leap-of-faith and purchased it. Why? For a start it was Ernest Clines first book - there was no prior art to judge him by. Secondly there was the narrator - I didn't know if I would be able to avoid visualizing Wesley Crusher reading me the book :)
It turns out that my fears were unwarranted - I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book, and a good part of that enjoyment came from the awesome job done by Wil Wheaton in bringing life to the characters and events.
A good working knowledge of the 80's would be beneficial - this book is jam-packed with 80's references (Books, Movies, TV-Shows, Music, Video Games, D&D), and the more that you "get", the more you'll be drawn into the story. (To be honest, there were a couple of moments while listening where I thought the author might just be a little *too* in love with the 80's - but they came and went quickly, and did nothing to spoil my total enjoyment of this book.)
On the whole - a great book. Well written, and narrated. If I have one concern it is that I may have identified a little too closely with the dead multi-billionaire that kicks off the whole story... except for a couple of key areas: 1) I'm (currently) still alive, and 2) My bank account seems to be short an awful lot of zeros.
Voice actor, aspiring book narrator, enjoys Sci-Fi, fantasy, steampunk, etc.
As far as I'm concerned, this book is a must-purchase. Ernest Cline does a masterful job of recreating the nostalgia of the 1980s video game, music, and movie culture spun in a new, fantastic futuristic setting.
In a post-apocalyptic world where everyone agrees that life sucks, the OASIS is the perfect escape. Go to school, do a job, find romance, or find The Egg. Read Player One tracks the experience of Egg Hunter (Gunter for short) Wade Watts - a teen determined to find OASIS creator James Halliday's Easter Egg and thus become the richest person in the world and take over the OASIS.
The year 2044 is not a very fun place in this book and it seems that everyone uses it to escape in one form or another. But when James Halliday passes away and leaves a video message for EVERY member of the OASIS (darn near the whole world), it causes a frenzy of attention and a resurgence in 1980's culture and trivia. James Halliday states that he has hidden clues all over the OASIS and it's all based on his love of the 1980's.
As a child of the 80s, I laughed out loud several times at the references to video games or shows I knew well. The concept of the OASIS is also an incredible idea and I found myself wanting to log in the further and further I listened. Wil Wheaton is the PERFECT narrator for this book and is never boring or uninteresting.
This is a very good book. If you like your sci-fi mixed with liberal doses of '80s pop culture, you will think you've died and gone to heaven. The characters are all fleshed out and believable (assuming you accept the premise of the book). The author very clearly loved the 1980's and was probably in the nerd culture during that time (because he picks up on a lot of detail you generally wouldn't know about unless you'd lived through it or knew someone who did.
The choice to have Wil Wheaton read this audio production is absolutely perfect. Not only is it great considering the subject matter and Wil's own background, but Wil does a really great job of reading the book and bringing the characters to life.
The only issue I had with the book was that after the author clearly established that the main character is an 1980's scholar, he continues to have the main character rattle off various facts and tid bits about the 80's even when the info really isn't central to the story.
However, I can forgive that because it wasn't too badly overdone. Overall, Ready Player One was a book I just couldn't put down.