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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 (11032 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jennifer Crossville, TN, United States 10-17-11
    Jennifer Crossville, TN, United States 10-17-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Delighted my Inner Geek!"

    Ernest Cline has written a fascinating book based on a world where the only escape from global distopia is an online immersion game. As a non-MMORPG player, I was worried that my limited knowledge of those communities would make the book confusing or difficult to read. On the contrary, Cline guides readers with a deft hand. His characters discuss technology in a way that's easy to understand, but not as if they are speaking down to anyone.

    The book had excitement, rebellion, an underdog story, gaming, romance, and 80s nostalgia like you wouldn't believe. Topping it all off - The WONDERFUL narration of Will Wheaton. His engaging style draws the listener in and makes the listener feel like they are witnessing events as they occur.

    A wholehearted "Please Read" recommendation from me. :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Vancouver, BC, Canada 10-16-11
    Stephen Vancouver, BC, Canada 10-16-11 Member Since 2010
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    4
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    "A great listen"

    I couldn't stop listening to this wonderful book. Wil Wheaton did a great job with the narration and it's well worth the price,

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brent SAN DIEGO, CA, United States 10-15-11
    Brent SAN DIEGO, CA, United States 10-15-11

    vengeur

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "You owe it to the nerd inside of you"

    I actually cheered out loud for the Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail part.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mari Ashland, WI, United States 10-13-11
    Mari Ashland, WI, United States 10-13-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Look Out... You won't be able to stop reading"

    I downloaded this book on a whim after seeing it so well-rated. I have to say i was utterly shocked and thrilled at how much i love this book. Not only have I listened to it twice- I have numerous friends who curse me for recommending it. It is a fun fanciful read for a child of the 80's. You will find yourself drawn into the world of trivia and reminiscing about your childhood. I would recommend this book to anyone, but particularly anyone who grew up in the 80s. And ladies have no fear... its not all Atari and Dungeons and Dragons... There are enough Molly Ringwald and Care Bear references to keep you reading on!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John W. Pavia Pittsburgh, PA USA 10-13-11
    John W. Pavia Pittsburgh, PA USA 10-13-11 Member Since 2002

    consultant

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    5
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    Story
    "Scifi and Nostalgia blended together"

    The writer and narrator both have enjoyed themselves in this creation. If you listen along with the same sense of mirth then you will have a great time. I was listening in my car and found myself driving around to get more of the story. This is not the next Dune saga but it is a tribute to all that has come before it books, tv, movies and gaming. Also, since the fields are crossing over all the time with movies on popular games and games about popular movies and tv shows the mixed media of the OASIS seems likely to happen someday. This is a great story for a road trip and I enjoyed it a lot. However, if you are looking for a complex "Wheel of Time" style story, look elsewhere in the list. There is a time and a place for all forms of writing and this one hits is great just as it is. Hopefully it will NOT spawn terrible sequels in the future.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    joseph Auburn, WA, United States 10-12-11
    joseph Auburn, WA, United States 10-12-11
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    "Just...Awesome"

    If you were a product of the 80's, and a gamer, you will love this book. Even if you weren't, it's still an great story, but you may not pick up on all the 80's and gaming references. Oh, and I thought Wil Wheaton did an awesome job narrating. I hope he does more narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vincent Ogden, UT, United States 10-11-11
    Vincent Ogden, UT, United States 10-11-11

    Vinny

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    "Best Geek plot EVER!"

    This book touches so many nostalgia nerves it's ridiculous. Great characters in a vividly imagined slightly distopian future in an amazing story. Wil Wheaton does a great job narrating it too. His voice can be a bit harsh at times, but for me it helped to keep me focused on the story as I was driving or working out.

    If you're into video games, you HAVE to read/listen to this book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessica St Paul, MN, United States 10-11-11
    Jessica St Paul, MN, United States 10-11-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Awesome!!!!"

    One of the best books ever!!! I laughed, I cried, I cheered!! This book is about so much more than the 80's. Wil Wheaton was a wonderful narrator. I can't say enough about this book.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cason Hillsborough, NC, United States 10-09-11
    Cason Hillsborough, NC, United States 10-09-11 Member Since 2006
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    "Fun and riveting"

    I loved this book! It took me into a world that I don't know much about and led me through a cyber Willy-Wonka like story about a poor 18-year old tech geek who goes on a quest to win the inheritance of a hugely rich, eccentric programmer who built the world's greatest alternative reality, Oasis. I could hardly stand to stop reading it when I had to go to work as Wade Owen Watts (WoW -- nice tip of the hat to World of Warcraft) works his way through the three levels of the quest in a race against a mega-corporation who is putting all of their resources and personnel into winning the prize. Wil Wheaton does a great job reading it too!

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dianne Cedar Hill, TX, United States 10-09-11
    Dianne Cedar Hill, TX, United States 10-09-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "SO great - fun read!"

    If you grew up in the 80s, or are an 80s fan - this book is a MUST. It is such a fun and entertaining story with great characters. I looked forward to listening every chance I could - it's one of those that keeps you coming back. I was really disappointed when it was over! I passed it on to my husband, and now he can't put it down either. Well worth every penny!

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
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