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
"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)
To sum it up in one line: Ready Player One is a book filled with 80's video game, movie, and music references mixed in with future possible technology for a book that all geeks will love.
Now, for my more in depth review.
Ready Player One features a main character that starts out living in a trailer park. However, in the future depicted in this book, trailer parks are no longer just rows of trailers. They are stacks of trailers, sometimes as many as 20 high. In this future, real estate around major cities has became far too valuable for single trailers to take up the amount of space they do. As typical in a most stories that feature a kid in a trailer park, his home life is crap. He finds his only solice inside a video game virtual reality simulation called The OASIS.
In the future depicted in this book, The OASIS has basically taken over the world. It has created a currency that is more stable than the US Dollar and most other foreign currencies as well. It has also created jobs that wouldn't exist otherwise. With the downfall of human civilization imminent, The OASIS is basically the only thing keeping the world from utter chaos. It is free to access and only costs 25 cents (like all original arcade games) to join.
As the book progresses, we learn that the lead programmer and co-founder of the OASIS, James Haliday, has died and in his will, he created a game within the OASIS. The winner of this game will gain control of the OASIS as well as inherit Haliday's fortune worth billions of dollars. As with most video games, especially the earlier made ones in the 70s and 80s, there are easter eggs. These are things within the game that the original programmer makes without anyone else's knowledge and hides within the game's code. Whoever can find Haliday's easter egg will win the game.
I loved this book. I think anyone who grew up in the 80's and remembers the progression of technology, will love this book. I'm not sure if its sad that I related to this book more so than any other book I've read, but I could not stop listening. Wil Wheton was the perfect choice to narrate, and he definitely gets into the script. If you ever played played D&D, then this book is for you. If you remember playing early 80's games, this book is for you.
An educator exploring the wonders of the world.
An amazing tale that drums up memories of nostalgia of the 80's. Wil Wheaton audio rendition of the story is solid. His ties to geek culture and acting background make him an ideal choice. Not since Neuromancer has a cyber story been this good.
I really, really liked this book. You know how fun it is when you are watching a movie or a TV show or listening to a song and you see or hear a reference to your favorite movie or TV show or song? This movie is filled with non-stop references to all of my favorite movies, TV shows, and songs (video games as well, but I didn't get many of those references). The story takes place in the future where a man who has created an alternate reality similar to World of Warcraft but on a much larger and virtual scale. This man dies promising his fortune to the first person who can solve all of these riddles and find a hidden easter egg in his alternate reality. The man loved the 1980s so many references were made to movies, music, and video games from that era. I liked the characters in this book. I very much enjoyed the narration and I was hugely impressed with the amount of thought that went into the story-line as all of these allusions tied so closely to the plot. One scene made me giddy as it directly referenced one of my favorite movies of all time.
This book is awesome so far. Total 80's Geekdom. Check it out if you are an 80 teen/child! Chapter 0 is great.
Alright I have finished the book and all I have to say if you love Video games, the 80's (movies, music and culture) you have to check this book out. A must read!
This audio performance was probably the best I've ever heard. A perfect audio book. Highly recommended.
A decent story but hurt a bit by the overly simplistic writing. Between the lists of X things from the 80s and the verbose descriptions of minor points the author glosses over some of the more important plot points (holes?). I'll admit there were a few times I waited in my car for a scene to play out but I was nearly always disappointed by the outcome of the big moments. Storyline suffers a bit from "chosen one" tropes but if you like games and puzzles at all I would recommend a listen. For the record I though Wheaton did a great job narrating the script, lots of emoting and decent pace but the volume changes were sometimes surprising (though usually approriate).
I am a mother to 4 kids almost all grown. One grandson. I love to listen to books as I drive or when waiting to schlep kids. ;-D
I usually read/listen to historical romance or young adult books. The review of this book caught my interest so I figured I would give it a shot. I usually listen for about an hour a day either while driving. However, Ready Player One had me hooked from the first chapter. I loved the story, the references to 80's pop culture and the narration. I couldn't stop listening. I found myself sitting up in bad at 3am listening. No matter what genre you like, this book is great.
Third Smartest Man In The World
I love this book.
But I can't believe there are many out there who will groove on it the way I am. I was thinking about which of my friends to recommend it to - - but to really appreciate it you need to be an 80s TV, movie, music, D&D, comics, video game nerd and I can't think of anyone who cared about more than a couple of these.
Wheaton is great for this material not only because of of his geek icon status but also because his voice is still youthful - which suits this story of a man looking back at his teenaged years. (I'm only about halfway through - - so if ST:TNG plays a big role in the second half I may have to reconsider this.) There is a point where the character describes something as "like a holodeck" and I cringed a little.
At this point I'm just enjoying the material - but on reflection it may actually be a really fine novel too. There is a point where the main character - is in "a game" within a "recreation" within a "virtual universe" and I suppressed some thoughts about how cunningly crafted the whole thing was. I'll let someone think about whether it's got literary merit. I'm just having fun with it.
Great story well told with realistic projection of the possibilities of virtual reality. I could not stop listening
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