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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 (11695 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Larry Warren, MI, United States 11-27-11
    Larry Warren, MI, United States 11-27-11 Member Since 2005
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    "Back to the Future"

    A fun and nostalgic take on the future which will bring back lots of memories for those who were kids in the 80's. Characters are fun and well thought out. The plot is fast movimg with each chapter leaves you on edge for the next. Wheaton is also great as the narrator. Possibly the best impulse book buy i have yet made. Nice recommendation from the Audible editors picks!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    elizabeth pittsford, ny, United States 11-25-11
    elizabeth pittsford, ny, United States 11-25-11
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    2
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    "A fun story"

    I was surprised that I enjoyed this as I am older then the gamer-playing generation. It was very entertaining and well worth the listen. It was a classic tale of good over evil; boy meets girl; cleverness over money. Well done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Levi Olympia, WA, United States 11-25-11
    Levi Olympia, WA, United States 11-25-11

    levipaul

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    3
    3
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    "Mind-blowing Futuristic Digital World and Tale"

    I don't know what Ernest Cline was on when he wrote this, but I want some. The way he weaved his characters in with the conflict was spot on, and the way the all interacted with one another was terrific. I don't know if this is Cline's debut novel, but if it is, what a digital whirlwind he was able to pull. The world he created is unlike any I've ever seen or thought of. He combines massive amounts of '80s beauty into the story and interlaces it with fantasy and gaming to cast a solid tale with great conflict, friendship and fun. Wil Wheaton was perfect for this. If you love fantasy, games, and futuristic worlds, you need to take a shot at this book. It's a gem.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph B. Hewitt IV Las Vegas, NV 11-23-11
    Joseph B. Hewitt IV Las Vegas, NV 11-23-11 Member Since 2006

    -Joseph-

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Put your quarter on this one"

    I am a professional game designer and have been so since high school in the mid-80's. That being said just to show you what angle I am reading the book from. There were a few points in the book that annoyed me. Putting up a magic wall or force field would be a PvP action and wouldn't be allowed in a non-PvP zone. You wouldn't build 1000's of schools, you would instance them. Things like that. But, if those things mean nothing to you or you are able to get over those types of things; this is a pretty enjoyable book. I liked it a lot, especially all the 80's nostalgia.

    Wil Wheaton's narration is pretty solid and fits the main character well.

    If you like video games, 80's geekdom, and may happen to have the AD&D module "S1: Tomb of Horrors" on your shelf (as I do), you should read (listen) to this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joel Watsonville, California, United States 11-21-11
    Joel Watsonville, California, United States 11-21-11 Member Since 2011
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    "I can't give this an 11 or I would"

    The story: phenomenal, compelling and exactly what I wanted. I bought the book without even reading the summary. Came away feeling even better about the purchase. The scenes, virtual many, were so incredibly vivid I had trouble putting it down. Wil Wheaton does a great job putting the listener in the right place, and for a book entirely in the first person, who better to be the voice of the 80s.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon 11-19-11
    Sharon 11-19-11
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    "Warning: watch your driving!"

    I found the biggest problem with this book was that the descriptions were so good that I would visualize what was happening in the book and get lost in the story, forgetting that I needed to pay more attention to my driving. I'm of the (ahem) older generation, but having lived through the 80's with our two sons, I found the references to the games, movies, and computer evolution of that decade to be fascinating, as well as nostalgic. The story moves along at a good pace. There's just the right amount of romance and suspense. And the reader is terrific.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Ballston Spa, NY, United States 11-19-11
    Amazon Customer Ballston Spa, NY, United States 11-19-11
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    "Science Fiction with 80's nostalgia"

    This was a joy to listen to. Regretted getting to work and having to turn it off but it made the end of the work day even better. Wil Wheaton really brought the characters to life. I'd give it 6 stars if I could. Brought me back to playing D&D, arcade games, and being in HS in the 80's.
    Get this book an write a review. Great pace, funny, romantic.

    I'm writing the review under my wifes account

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    The Engineer New Hampshire 11-18-11
    The Engineer New Hampshire 11-18-11 Member Since 2000

    Educated Redneck

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    "A Great Adventure!"

    This story is great from so many perspectives! In the concept of a world where everyone can live a life that they can't really have in the physical world, the endless possibilities are awesome, but scary at the same time. It would be really too easy to forget about real life and just live in virtual worlds forever, if we had to deal with the realities this author writes about.

    What I loved so much about this story though, is how the author detailed and recapped each aspect of the 80's entertainment world. We were just beginning to realize technology then - video games, being able to rent and buy movies, and everything from then was so classic!

    We see today how everything in the past is pushed aside, as it was in this story too. BUT, the very creator of the most awesome technology in the world made sure that millions of people 40 years later learned to look back, love and appreciate everything that was important to him when he was growing up. (Albeit for selfish reasons!). It was awesome to walk through that era again in the way the author presented it!

    The kid who first discovers the clues to the treasure hidden within the virtual world, is SO much like the creator of the virtual world, that you just know the treasure hunt was designed to make sure that the winner was just like the creator of the game. Very cool.

    All the way it is an adventure that I would recommend to anyone. I haven't actually finished the book yet so I don't know how it's going to end, but I can't wait to see what else is going to happen! DD

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    hans bone 11-12-11
    hans bone 11-12-11 Member Since 2009
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    "amazing"

    I loved every second of this book. I laughed almost the whole way through this book. Geek at it's finest.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Mike Allen, TX, United States 11-11-11
    Mike Allen, TX, United States 11-11-11 Member Since 2011
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    "A Must-Read for Gen X PopCulture Junkies!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Anyone born between 1970 and 1980 who enjoyed living during the 80's will REALLY like this book. It is definitely a 'geek's tale' but there are so many references that it will cause spontaneous recall of many things from your childhood.


    What other book might you compare Ready Player One to and why?

    I have never read another book like this...it is that unique.


    Which character – as performed by Wil Wheaton – was your favorite?

    I would say Wade is by far the most compelling character in the book. I was able to identify with him from his gaming addiction to his shyness


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    If I could have, I would have listented to it beginning to end and done nothing else. That would have been a very


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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