Ready Player One Audiobook | Ernest Cline | Audible.com
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Ready Player One | [Ernest Cline]

Ready Player One

At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential - Did you love the ‘80s? Because Ernest Cline’s sci-fi video game epic sure does. Chock full of references to almost every facet of pop culture from that decade, Ready Player One is an excellent example of a hero’s journey that uses a treasure-hunting narrative to frame the concepts of celebrity, privacy, and control, and posits the question, “What is reality?” Narrator Wil Wheaton does a superb job (as always), and his sci-fi background lends his performance a lot of credibility as computer-nerd-turned-superstar Wade Watts (yes, the familiar alliteration is intentional). —Chris

Publisher's Summary

At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of 10,000 planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune—and remarkable power—to whoever can unlock them.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved—that of the late 20th century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt—among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life—and love—in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?

©2011 Ernest Cline (P)2011 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"Ready Player One is the ultimate lottery ticket." (New York Daily News)

“An exuberantly realized, exciting, and sweet-natured cyber-quest. Cline’s imaginative and rollicking coming-of-age geek saga has a smash-hit vibe.” (Booklist)

"This adrenaline shot of uncut geekdom, a quest through a virtual world, is loaded with enough 1980s nostalgia to please even the most devoted John Hughes fans… sweet, self-deprecating Wade, whose universe is an odd mix of the real past and the virtual present, is the perfect lovable/unlikely hero.” (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (8839 )
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  •  
    Travis Huffman, TX, United States 09-22-11
    Travis Huffman, TX, United States 09-22-11 Member Since 2006

    Interested in Social Science, Science Fiction, Fantasy- particularly when parallels can be made between the story and the psyche. Also, I buy 2 audible books for every 1 I will listen to!

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    "ADD TO CART, POWER UP +10000"

    I don't even know how else to put this. THIS BOOK IS EPICALLY AWESOME. If you grew up geek in the coming-of-age of computers and video games... This is a no-brainer. I haven't been this satisfied with spending a credit since I downloaded Girl With the Dragon Tattoo in 2008. But back to this book, nostalgia cross-referencing every aspect of growing up between probably 1975-1995. If you want to know if you will enjoy this book ask yourself this: Are you a geek? One who enjoys sci-fi and video games? Like computers? 3 yes answers should have you buying this. Here's a short list of things the book references (from memory):

    TRS-80 Tandy Computers/Color Computer 3
    Amigas, Commodore 64s
    Atari 2600 (Extensively)
    Games like Pitfall, Kaboom, Dungeons of Daggorath
    RPGs/Dungeon Crawls/FPSs
    Ghostbusters
    Knight Rider
    WWF Wrestlers
    Back To The Future
    Star Trek
    Star Wars
    Indiana Jones
    Voltron and Transformers
    Hacker/Computer movies
    Blade Runner
    Family Ties
    General Hacking and Computer culture
    Text messaging, L33t Speak
    Gamer culture
    Dungeons and Dragons
    Boom Boxes, Mohawks, Acid Washed Jeans
    Rush, Def Leppard, Pat Benatar, Cindy Lauper (and a slew of others)
    School House Rock
    Japanese/American cross culture (Manga, Cartoons, Games)

    The "setting" for the book takes place in a computer simulation that reminded me of the visuals from the Scott Pilgrim Movie, particularly where things look like the inside of a video game, music notes and light coming from instruments, VS subtitles underneath P2P Fights, Things pixelate into "bonus items" when they get destroyed.

    Honestly... there's so much that it's hard to remember. Quit reading this and just go download it.

    100 of 109 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathryn Columbus, OH, United States 08-19-11
    Kathryn Columbus, OH, United States 08-19-11 Member Since 2009
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    "Grabs you from the start and doesn't disappoint."

    A mere four days after it came out, I finished listening to Ready Player One this morning, an incredible debut novel by Ernie Cline (of Nern Porn Auteur and other comedy gems) and performed by Wil Wheaton. Originally, I picked this audiobook up based on the mere fact that Wil read it. (I've done this before, with Fuzzy Nation, to great success so I'm at a point where if he is the voice actor I will try any book he reads. I'll be starting Andriod Dreams next.)

    However, two pages into this book and I was utterly hooked. I had to force myself NOT to listen to it at night because I wanted to have something fun to look forward to during the workday.

    RPO is the story of an 18 year old boy as he solves the world's greatest puzzle and becomes a man in the process. Wade lives in a not-so-distant future where a game called "The Oasis" allows people to live virtual lives in as many worlds and settings as you can imagine. The children even have the option to go to school virtually, solving many of the overcrowding problems plaguing public schooling.

    The inventor of The Oasis is a reclusive genius that dies and then leaves control of his company as well as his fortune to the first person who can find an Easter Egg in his game. And thus the race begins to solve multiple puzzles in an attempt to find keys and open gates.

    This book is an 80s fan's dream. I grew up in the 80s, even though I am a bit young for some of the references. Overall, I got most of the references, except for the anime characters. The books and movies were a blast from the past, and several of the game situations make me wish something similar exists in today's society.

    The information on this book indicates that the day after the rights were bought up in a fierce bidding war, the movie rights were purchased with Ernie Cline himself as a screenwriter. I can't tell you how excited I am for this as well.

    Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy today.

    79 of 89 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda Phoenix, AZ, United States 07-06-12
    Amanda Phoenix, AZ, United States 07-06-12 Member Since 2010

    I rate as follows: 5 Stars = Loved it. 4 Stars = Really liked it. 3 Stars = Liked it. 2 Stars = Didn't like it. 1 Star = Hated it.

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    "Late to the Party, But SO Glad to Arrive"

    Ever since this book has come out, I’ve stubbornly held on to the belief that the novel was not for me. “That’s the video game book, right?” I asked people over and over again, whenever the story was mentioned. No matter how many times people tried to tell me that it was far more than a book about video games, I somehow didn’t hear them. I’d made my decision.

    What a huge mistake.

    If any of your formative years took place in the 80’s, this book is for you. It’s like a grand, wonderful party that greets you warmly at the door as you arrive, and puts you immediately at ease. The story will make you laugh, and remember, and sit on the edge of your seat as you follow Wade and his friends on their great quest.

    The story also provides us with a cautionary tale for both individuals and society; an allegory highlighting the damage that can be done to people and worlds when we opt for spending too much time in our virtual worlds, and not enough working on our real life and world.

    The narration by Wil Wheaton (who has his own cameo appearance in the story) was a fantastic fit for the story; I doubt anyone else could have done half the job he did with this book.

    This story was the perfect love letter to the 80’s; the music, the movies, the culture, and yes, the video games. I loved it all. So even if one of those aspects wasn’t your strong suit, have no worries; just pick up your joystick, download this book… and ready player one.

    57 of 65 people found this review helpful
  •  
    colleen ANCHORAGE, AK, United States 05-29-12
    colleen ANCHORAGE, AK, United States 05-29-12 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Where is book 2?"

    I immediately looked for more from this author after I listened to ready player one. This story is full of detail and imagination. You'll like it even if you aren't a gamer. Very clever plot and excellent narration by Wheaton.

    59 of 69 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Cincinnati, OH, United States 09-09-11
    Karen Cincinnati, OH, United States 09-09-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of the best books/audiobooks I've ever heard."
    Where does Ready Player One rank among all the audiobooks you???ve listened to so far?

    I've listened to a LOT of audiobooks in the last few years, and there are some series I'm totally loyal to. This beats all. The story, the humor, and Wil Wheaton's performance are all incredible. I laughed out loud multiple times during a marathon practice run! No one laughs during that misery!

    I enjoyed the geek "in" jokes, and I appreciated the 80s nostalgia, even though I'm too young to get a fair number of the references. I enjoyed this so much that I went out and got the hard cover so I could loan it to friends. Buy this book. I'm serious. Do it now!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Ready Player One?

    Too many. The entire hunt for the egg was well done and the conclusion was excellent--very satisfying. There is a moment where Wil Wheaton as narrator refers to himself in text :). I think they picked exactly the right narrator for this novel.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I loved the deus ex machina moment where Og appears to save the day. Also loved the Oingo Boingo reference in the beginning.


    Was there a moment in the book that particular moved you?

    The discussion between Samantha and Wade at the end. It was sweet and sincere.


    Any additional comments?

    Seriously, this is one of the best books I've read/heard in a VERY long time.

    24 of 31 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Des Plaines, IL, United States 08-26-11
    Amazon Customer Des Plaines, IL, United States 08-26-11 Member Since 2009
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    "A delight"

    I'm 38, and a geek, so I'm probably the target audience for this book, and I loved it unashamedly. I downloaded it to my droid and took it everywhere I went over 3 days, listening whenever I had a bit of time to spare. The references come thick and fast, but there were few I couldn't place. It was a little like Snow Crash meets Neuromancer meets Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which isn't too surprising, as it both draws on and references all three. In addition, Will Wheaton's narration is great. I enjoyed listening to him narrate as much as I enjoyed the story itself.

    23 of 30 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Colona, IL, United States 08-20-11
    Robert Colona, IL, United States 08-20-11 Member Since 2010

    Shogun

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Best book I've read in years!"

    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.

    37 of 49 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bryan 08-18-11
    Bryan 08-18-11 Member Since 2005
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    "an 80's pop coulture history lesson"

    For those of us who were born in (but technically did not grow up in the 80’s). We were exposed to a little of the nostalgia that this book highlights. consequently the book becomes an amusing little game of Spot the reference with occasional trips to YouTube to see the things you missed but you were sure were references

    For the others among you who are interested in this book keep YouTube open because the references come in thick and fast

    21 of 28 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian United States 09-19-11
    Brian United States 09-19-11 Member Since 2010

    Sci Fi Reader

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    "One my new favorite books of all time"

    This book came out of nowhere and it blew me away. Such a wonderful story. If you love the 80s and science fiction you will love this. Wil Wheaton is extraordinary. I have listened to 100s of audiobooks and this is one of my favorites. Please make this into a movie!

    21 of 29 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Washington D.C. 08-22-11
    Mark Washington D.C. 08-22-11 Member Since 2005

    mhh3f

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very enjoyable for the right audience"

    I enjoyed listening to this book a great deal. It's fun, light reading, and well-narrated by Wheaton who has the ability add the right sarcastic or nerdy-superior inflection to his voice at any given time. I suspect that the audience for this book will be somewhat narrow, although it's perfect for that audience. And which audience is that? Well, people in the 20-40 year age range that grew up during or shortly after the time period in question, I can't speak for current teens but I doubt they would like it as it's not their pop culture being referenced. Also they will tend to be people from that generation that enjoy referential humor, pop culture, know who people like Cory Doctorow or Steve Wozniak are, have played video games, MMORPGs, and have probably grown up on Tolkien, Pratchett, PK Dick, and other sci-fi and fantasy authors. So basically, it's going to appeal to adult nerds, like me, or imagine the cast of the Big Bang Theory reading it (minus Penny and Sheldon may refuse because Will Wheaton is his nemesis). If that doesn't in any way describe you, it's likely going to fall on truly deaf ears, as it would be pointless for the author to waste exposition on explaining every reference. If he had to do that, the wrong person is reading the book, and the fun of having referential humor in a book would go to waste. I could only imagine my parents trying to read this, listening for about 20 minutes, then turning it off, confused, wondering what MMORPGs are or why Atari games stir up nostalgia in their kids. I suspect it would sound like a different language to them.

    Anyway, with those caveats, I can recommend it, 5/5 stars for that audience as it's a great little story, and Cline shows some seriously l33t knowledge about some random stuff. And it's a blast how these bits of seemingly useless wisdom become critical to the characters who to solve basically an involved MMORPG quest must become masters of a culture that isn't even their own anymore

    16 of 22 people found this review helpful
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