Soldat delivers the reader a rarely seen point of view of WW2. It is interesting to hear Knappe detail how nationalism brought him into his adult life as a professional soldier and officer in the Germany army before, during, and after the war. Of particular interest, despite being the part I wouldn't expect to enjoy, is his recollection of life post war.
The narration is the best I've heard on Audible and I wish the other books I've listened to so far could meet these standards.
As a child of this era I was excited to read this book, especially considering the recommendations I received. And it is an excellent book, especially if you have the nostalgia of your youth attached to the subject. But I almost didn't finish it, nearly quitting on it more than once.
I was told of all the magical references to life as a nerd in the 70s and 80s and I eagerly dove in to relive my youth. Unfortunately, a large portion of the references are simply lists of items the author streams out there. It's the equivalent of my 8 year old stringing together 10 'very's in order to reach 100 word count on a Language Arts paper. There is very little context in these lists outside of 'Hey, here's some really cool stuff that people who weren't alive in the late 70s will have to Google to understand.' At one point in the midpoint of the novel I became so frustrated with it that I almost quit the reading.
Once you are able to get past the lists the novel is great. Except for the fact that Wil Wheaten is absolutely terrible as the narrator. Look, I get that nerd culture embraces him because he helped take us mainstream, even if he was a little late to the party. But his performance is so over the top it is distracting. It is Kirk'esque. It's just plain bad. It takes you out of the story. You completely lose your immersion. It is rotten. I wanted to quit the reading many times because of my frustration with him.
In fact, it is so bad that I can't recommend the Audible version of Ready Player One. Grab the Kindle edition and enjoy a good read. The payoff is well worth it. If you are someone who has any problem with narration in Audible books then stay away from this. The narration will drive you crazy. You have been warned.
TLDR: Listen if you like early nerd pop culture and don't mind cringe worthy narration. Read if the narration will bother you.
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