Where do I start? For me a great book is one that leaves me wanting more. Ready Player One immersed me in a world I felt like I already knew. Full of images from my youth, and of images from present day, of images from a possible future, and of images from realities that don't exist outside the realm of video games. I loved every second of the world that Ernest Cline created for my imagination to wander in with Wade and company.
While there are obvious flaws in writing, and the some of the plot points are somewhat beyond possibility (even given what is possible in this world), I can forgive those flaws because the story drew me in so fully.
I would have loved to see more character development of those in the "High Five", and also more from the third tier characters such as some of those from the guilds and such. There were many moments, where as a long time gamer and from growing up in the 80's (ages 6-16), I could see where a particular plot point dynamic was excessively stretched to make the story line work. I quickly forgave these minor trespasses as I read on.
For me, the story within the OASIS meshing with the real world is what really made the book so interesting. I can relate to playing online games with people I consider my friends, whom I have never met face to face. I can relate to the situation Parzival and Art3mis find themselves in. In the end, friends are friends, no matter how or where you meet them.
In conclusion, I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a fun read, and who considers themselves to be a pop culture nerd or gamer geek, if even only slightly. I don't recommend this book if you are looking for a ultra realistic world painted with fine brushstrokes, or a super well developed cast of characters. This just isn't that kind of book. This book is more Sixteen Candles and less Red Dawn.
I love to read. With two kids and a full time job in management, audio books have emerged as my only chance to leverage this love.
Alright. So I was born in 1982. This is absolutely the first review I have ever written in which stating the date of my birth seems to matter immensely. With that revelation from me, I bring a caution. I think that if you were born much after 1982, you will likely miss many of the nostalgic references from the book. You have to be able to look back fondly on a video console with fake wood for a box (Atari) not grey plastic (Nintendo) to get the references. I remember Atari but I'm a Nintendo guy so a few of the references went over my head. That doesn't make it a bad book. In fact, for me, it makes it the "coolest" book I have ever read. If you can relate to the characters of "The Big Bang Theory" in any small way, you probably will too.
So, regardless of your birthdate, about the book: This is an absolutely PLAUSIBLE science fiction AND fantasy book. Everything in this book could happen. That fact makes it exceptional in many ways for me. I love being torn into a different universe or pulled so far into the future that technologies show up like magic. I love it but it asks the reader to take a lot of faith. This book on the other hand, is set 50+ years in the future and although it is very unlikely to happen, everything in the book could happen. The book requires no origin story where the timeline of the universe is shifted completely by a dramatic invention that diverts space and time. It doesn't require you to believe that demons came to inherit the Earth. Everything in the book could easily happen. If you consider that the book has sword fighing, elves, magical powers, rocket ships flying at faster than light speed, epic battles where entire universes of people are destroyed, and an unlikely hero set to save the world, the fact that it is completely plausible is simply amazing. It's a simply brilliant concept for a book done perfectly.
This is a very rare book that makes me want to be part of a book circle so that I could somehow share it's perfection with others. It will never be labeled as "timeless" but it is certainly very timely for me. I am definitely going to have to read it again.
Great story, lots of fun, and lots of excitement. However for someone to really like it they probably have to like video games and have been enjoying them for the last 20 years. There are also a lot of references to 80's movies, music, and TV and at least being familiar with them would also make the story more meaningful. Great reader.
English professor and avid audio book fan!
while the story behind all the gamer and 80s nostalgia leaves a bit to be desired, wheaton's narration takes it up a notch with an excellent transition from a snotty, game obsessed high school kid to one who makes significant decisions by the end of the story.
I dont think I've ever been quite so immersed in Geek Culture as I was while reading Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, and I loved every minute of it. This is an intelligent, fun take on the scavenger hunt, scifi adventure story genre. As someone who was also a teenager in the 1980's I loved that the clues for the hunt were all related to 80's pop culture. Made me so nostalgic for Duran Duran, Billy Idol, Family Ties et al. The online world OASIS at the center of the story is so immersive and pervasive that almost the entire world is conducting the majority of their lives online and checking out of the real world to do so. To many, the lives lived in the world of OASIS are more real and fulfilling than any thing they could achieve anywhere else, and the edges between on line and reality is very much blurred.The author doesn't shy away from the inevitable if unintended consequence of OASIS and provides a subtle cautionary tale weaved through the narrative. An over all great reading/listening experience
Very original story. I was completely pulled in, and I have NO video game experience what so ever. I did like the 80's references, though. This was a great story, great characters and so many wonderful references. If I had read it, instead of listened to it, I'd say it was a page turner.
Hand down this is the best book of the year for me! What a story! This is going to make an AMAZING movie and I really hope someone good does it! Anyone who grew up during the 1980s would totally get this book and I believe enjoy it! I am envious of anyone reading this for the first time.
If you grew up in the '80s this book is a MUST!!! The TV/cartoon, music, movies, video/role-playing games, fashion, etc. references will really bring back the memories! Wil Wheaton did a great job narrating and the story is very entertaining. Definitely an adventure and you'll find yourself connecting with the characters quickly. I HIGHLY recommend and I'll be listening to it again:-)
What a great book! Loved the story, and loved Wil Wheaton's narration. As a child of the 80's, I loved all of the pop culture references, especially since I loved video games and the movies of times. All of the trivia throughout that wrapped around the plot was so much fun. The game elements were so well done, and the drama throughout made this an excellent read/listen. I highly recommend this one; it's instantly made it's way into one of my favorite books.
Best story I have listened to for a while. Obviously, if you lived through the 80s and if you have played/loved video games then you will be biased towards this book. But there is also solid science fiction and story here. The characters development is really interesting particularly since you learn about them through their avatars. I was sad to see the story end.
I highly recommend this book.