This started out a lot of fun but as it went on I liked it less and less. It had a cool semi-dystopian future set-up with this really cool facebook-meets-video games-meets-virtual reality immersive secondary world which never really explored more than being a big video game. That's fine, that's the point of the book, but if something like this were ever real, it'd be so much more.
The thing that got to me was eventually the book just became a list of things from the 80's and talking about how they were "THE coolest" robot/game/character/movie.
There's no twist. Every plot development is the discovery of another obscure 80's relic that the listener has to be let in on. We dont get to discover much of anything for ourselves.
The bad guy is 2 dimensional. (Also a thinly veiled metaphor for Comcast) The dialogue gets old quick. And the whole thing is just a little too neckbeardy.
I enjoyed most of it. I couldve used a better third act, some real human dialogue and plot twist or two
Only if you actively call yourself a "gamer" or really miss the 80's
Increasing my ops tempo by allowing storytellers to whisper in my ear(buds).
This is a very enjoyable audiobook and is a lot of fun. This is the closest thing to time travel that I am ever going to experience. No, this novel does not include the SF concept of time travel. But for someone like me, who lived through the decade of the 1980s, this book brought back so many memories that at times I felt as if I was transported back in time. The novel begins with a first person account of a teenager in the dystopian near future living in the slums and trying to discover a way out. Internet on-line gaming has enjoyed a quantum leap in technology that is not too far from our current experience, and as a result is quite believable. The main character, and most of the inhabitants of the depressed world economy, spend all their waking hours living in this virtual-reality world of the game. He is nurtured, educated and entertained by this virtual reality simulation. The game can be read as a cautionary tale. Real life is so bad that escape into the simulation seems more desirable to most people that they invest all their efforts on this imaginary world while the world around them continues to decline. The protagonist makes sure that we understand that the any view of religion is pure bunk, giving us the now obligatory brief affirmation of materialistic atheism so common in Science Fiction. After this, blessedly brief, diatribe against spirituality and anti-environmentalism is over Ernest Cline gets right to the story. And a great story it is. His virtual reality world will be familiar to anyone who has watched the Holodeck on Star Trek, and in print fiction is is reminiscent of Neal Stephenson’s SNOW CRASH in the way it incorporates a virtual reality simulation into the story. Cline’s VR seems so plausible that one is forced to agree that such a minor leap in technology would almost certainly result in just such an on-line gaming environment as the one in READY PLAYER ONE. He has employed an almost mythical computer gaming programmer that has an obsession with all things of the 1980s. As a result the gamers, who are engaged in a treasure hunt that will make the winner the world’s richest and most powerful man, have to immerse themselves in the 1980s songs, movies and games that the game designer was also obsessed with. In a classic example of transference, the pursuit of wealth and fame has made his obsession their obsession. The carrot on a stick of so much money has altered these treasure hunters into raving Manga fans who listen to the music of 1980s hair bands like Def Leppard and watch old sitcoms in endless hours of marathon watching. It really makes you think about what attracts us to the forms of entertainment we choose to devote our time to. Layered on top of all this nostalgia is a great story; one that is fun and entertaining. With as much research Ernest Cline had to do to write this account so full of 1980s trivia, it is surprising that he did not include the Rock of Ages opening line that I have used to title this review. I kept expecting the line to appear so much that the song was like a soundtrack running in my head all through the novel. Listen to this book and you will understand the connection.
Will Wheaton (aka. Wesley Crusher for you non Trek fans) is the narrator for this book. His performance makes this even more enjoyable than it would have been in print. He is very good at relating all the various character voices, especially the protagonist. This is a great audiobook, in large part because of Wheaton’s voice. I will listen to this again.
This book is a mish-mash of different genres. Part treasure hunt, part trip down memory lane (if alive during the 80's, if not a new look into one of the greatest decades in history) this book will grab you and not let go.
A billionaire game designer with an obsession with the 80's decides to leave his sizable estate to whoever can follow the clues he left in the internet world he created called the Oasis that will lead the hunter to his ultimate prize. The first clue is hidden for 5 years until a young man finally gets the ball rolling...
I can't recommend this book enough for geeks or anyone that grew up in this amazing time.
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.
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.
I would have preferred if the story had done something more with the constant references to 80's culture besides just parroting the memes and expecting us to laugh along. Some level of analysis or critique would have been appreciated over 'HEY, THE SIMPSONS WERE A THING! LAUGH AT THE THING!' This was a decade full of changes in media, some positive, some negative, and I wish the book would have explored that.
Not at all. In fact, it's only because I like Sci-Fi that I powered through the book as long as I did.
Laid-back, sarcastic,...bland? Not the kindest thing, to say, but his characters all sounded the same.
All of the list scenes, and oh, are there many. Also, the chapter where he describes his new living arrangement in Columbus. And...actually, I would have left the book in ribbons.
I wish I'd liked this more, but the whole experience felt subpar. It was an 80's movie in an audiobook form, and let's just admit that 80's movies were not most well known for their plots. The tropes come thick in this tale, and even the inversions are obnoxiously obvious. I wanted to care about the characters, and the world, but at the end of the day, the book is as trapped in its virtual reality as the main character, and it only lazily swipes at anything beyond that.
Great story! Will did a fantastic job telling this story, kept me wanting to keep listening till the end! nice Job Will!
can't wait for the movie !!
Will Wheaton! His narration ability is amazing!
I have not but I am going to!
Several times I did! I wanted to cry and of course I laughed and the ending was so sweet.
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 would recommend this title, it is fun, fast paced and hard to put down. Buyer beware, if you are not a video game loving nerd you may not like this book.
The ending battle
This book made me laugh several times.
Wil Wheaton is the perfect narrator for this book.