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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 (15122 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Matt Unalaska, AK, United States 10-03-12
    Matt Unalaska, AK, United States 10-03-12 Member Since 2007
    ratings
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    5
    1
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    "Loved it"
    Where does Ready Player One rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This was the best audiobook by far for me.


    What did you like best about this story?

    From the start I was listening the the story like I was watching a great movie.


    What about Wil Wheaton’s performance did you like?

    He nailed it. Believable and articulate.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed out loud and had a permagrin through many moments in this book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brandi Vicksburg, MS, United States 10-03-12
    Brandi Vicksburg, MS, United States 10-03-12 Member Since 2011

    Omnivorous Reader

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Man, I do love this book."
    Would you listen to Ready Player One again? Why?

    Yes. Repeatedly. I'm up to listen # 9 or 10 now. I really can't narrow down a single reason why I love this so much. It's comfort food for my brain; the perfect combo platter of wildly imaginative story and brilliant audio performance.


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

    I really had to think about this one. I have to settle on "The Hobbit". I read Tolkien for the first time in the 5th grade, and it completely transported me to another world. It's full of people that were so different from me but with whom I could still identify strongly. For many years that series was my go-to literary escape.


    What does Wil Wheaton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Without a doubt he is the very essence of Parzival. In addition, his amazing talent at differentiating the other characters without resorting to ridiculous-sounding voices is something not every narrator can pull off.


    Any additional comments?

    This book - its characters, its premise, its execution - absolutely resonated with me even though I am not what some would call its target demographic. I'm not a geekboy or a big-time gamer. I'm a 45-year-old wife and mom who's fairly technically adept but no IT pro. I went into it expecting not to 'get' all the tech references but was pleasantly surprised to get almost all of it. If you thought this book wouldn't interest you, you just might be completely wrong. :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    william SUGAR HILL, GA, United States 10-02-12
    william SUGAR HILL, GA, United States 10-02-12 Member Since 2012
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    12
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    "New Favorite"

    I'm not a fan of Wil Wheaton...so it truly pains me to admit he did one of the best narrations I've ever listen too.

    The story was also superb, creative, and now one of my new favorites.

    Well worth the price/credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SGTiplady Palmer, AK, United States 10-01-12
    SGTiplady Palmer, AK, United States 10-01-12 Member Since 2012

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What Fun! Excellent Vicarious Thrills!"
    What made the experience of listening to Ready Player One the most enjoyable?

    I really like listening to Wil Wheaton. He has a pleasant, well-modulated voice and captured the essence of the characters without being intrusive into the listening experience.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I liked Wade very much. He was able to grow and change as the story went on into a more and more likeable person who just happened to be superhuman at gaming and computer skills.


    What does Wil Wheaton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Wil's characterization and presentation of all the characters was spot-on! I could listen to him all day; in fact, I practically did do that while cleaning my house one weekend while also listening to this story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary FL 10-01-12
    Gary FL 10-01-12 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "For younger Readers"
    Would you try another book from Ernest Cline and/or Wil Wheaton?

    Wheaton definetely, Cline if a more mature theme. I misread the the reviews, this is a book for teenagers


    Was Ready Player One worth the listening time?

    No


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna LITTLETON, CO, United States 10-01-12
    Anna LITTLETON, CO, United States 10-01-12 Member Since 2005
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    6
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    "Loved this book!!"
    If you could sum up Ready Player One in three words, what would they be?

    I believe that being of a certain age benefits the reader (45+). Remembering back to the arcades, changing money for tokens, playing many of the games listed in the book helped me to relate to the book. Really brought back fun, happy memories. I think someone who is from the PC/Wii generation may not have the same emotional tie to this book. I couldn't wait to find out what game would be played next, what adventures were to follow seeking out the quest.


    What about Wil Wheaton’s performance did you like?

    Pleasantly surprised - I thought he did a great job reading this book.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Ready Player One - makes perfect sense!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J Reed Keller, Texas United States 09-30-12
    J Reed Keller, Texas United States 09-30-12 Member Since 2014

    I have a very solitary job, so I have quite a few hours to listen to books every week. I try to rate this books fairly, as I hate the 1 star or 5 star trend. 5 stars shall be reserved for the best of the best. 3 stars is still a good book to me.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Nerdiest Book Ever!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Ready Player One to be better than the print version?

    I don't know if it is better or not, but it's quite good. Wil Wheaton adds a lot to this story.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Hard decision. All of the characters are great.


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

    Wade Watts, I'm pretty sure that a few pages into writing this book, Ernie Cline knew exactly who was going to read it.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No crying involved, definitely some laughing, and a bit of heart racing.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm probably quite biased in this as this book is so far up my alley.It really makes me miss the whole Saturdays I could waste in an arcade.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew 09-29-12
    Andrew 09-29-12 Member Since 2009
    ratings
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    11
    2
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    "Do you like video games and remember the 80's?"
    What about Wil Wheaton???s performance did you like?

    Firstly that it was Wil Wheaton (Lt. Crusher) and second that he was good at it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Raymond Easton, MD, United States 09-27-12
    Raymond Easton, MD, United States 09-27-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Honestly Addicting"
    Would you listen to Ready Player One again? Why?

    This title is so full of 80's trivia, pop culture references, and nostalgia (for any age) that it's easy to overlook how solid it works as a stand alone sci-fi novel. The futuristic world the character's live in is as much a three-dimensional, fully developed character as the ones I've come to like while listening. And their world within a world becomes even more so. At just over 15 hours this book still felt way too short and I'm counting the days until a sequel comes out, and passing that time by starting a second listen. Honestly loved it.


    What about Wil Wheaton’s performance did you like?

    Well play Wil, well played.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T. Yang Virginia 09-27-12
    T. Yang Virginia 09-27-12 Member Since 2011
    ratings
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    2
    1
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    "Love it!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Those who likes and plays MMOs would like this one.


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

    Giant robot battle.


    What about Wil Wheaton’s performance did you like?

    n/a


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

    I love the end, I wish it would have been maybe a chapter or two longer...


    Any additional comments?

    Even though I didn't get most of the references, I still really enjoyed this book mainly because I love dystopian futures and MMOs.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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