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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 (12814 )
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Performance
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  •  
    David Rehoboth Beach, DE, United States 03-10-12
    David Rehoboth Beach, DE, United States 03-10-12 Listener Since 2006
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fresh"
    Would you listen to Ready Player One again? Why?

    This was a great book, with a fresh and interesting take on the future and the past. As a child of the 1980's myself I found the books references to be very rewarding in terms of making me think about some parallels with my own happy childhood.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sonya Crittenden, KY, United States 03-09-12
    Sonya Crittenden, KY, United States 03-09-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "My new favorite book"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I have already recommended this book to friends. The story is interesting even if you're not into video games.


    What did you like best about this story?

    As a woman who enjoys science fiction/fantasy, I enjoyed having a female character who felt honest. I also enjoyed that the romance stayed secondary to the game.


    What about Wil Wheaton’s performance did you like?

    He is able to make characters easily discernible (sp?) without giving them ridiculous voices.


    Any additional comments?

    I think some people may not give this story a chance because of the gaming theme. But it really is about more than the video games. This may be one of very few books I ever re-read (or re-hear).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Seth United States 03-06-12
    Seth United States 03-06-12 Member Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    50
    2
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    Story
    "Exactly the kind of story I like to read"
    Any additional comments?

    Perfect for a child of the 80s with a good story. Only knock is that it moved along great throughout the story but then sped up to finish.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sara Napa, CA, United States 03-05-12
    Sara Napa, CA, United States 03-05-12 Member Since 2012
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    11
    9
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    "One of the Best I've Heard in a While"
    What made the experience of listening to Ready Player One the most enjoyable?

    SO entertaining and original. If you lived through the 80's; it's worth it just for the nostalgia. If not, it is probably still just as good.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Pittsburgh, PA, United States 03-05-12
    John Pittsburgh, PA, United States 03-05-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Grew up as a geek in the 80s? You must read this!"
    If you could sum up Ready Player One in three words, what would they be?

    Answer the question (Claire)


    What did you like best about this story?

    Yes, the 80s references were great, but the way they were intertwined was what hit the mark for me. Either the reference was thrown in with no explanation (which I liked because I was familiar with it) or it was introduced with a whole bunch of additional information I didn't know about the reference but enjoyed hearing.


    What about Wil Wheaton’s performance did you like?

    He's in the book as a character too (minor mention. No spoiler there)! He's a part of this world and his voice is perfect for the main character.


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

    Yes. With one caveat. Although I wanted to reach the end of this book, I also didn't want it to end. Listening to it had become such a great part of my day, that I actually feel sad that the book is over.


    Any additional comments?

    Thank you to Ernest Cline and Wil Wheaton. Thank you for a wonderful ride.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    pete decatur, IL, United States 03-03-12
    pete decatur, IL, United States 03-03-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    14
    10
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    0
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    "Attention Gamers"

    Wil Wheaton brings a depth to this story I would not have thought. The reading he brought was fantastic.
    The story was very well assembled and creative. Ready Player One brinbgs the reality of VR to book/story form. I strongly suggest this book for any gamer or sci-fi enthusiast.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Durham, NC, United States 03-02-12
    Mark Durham, NC, United States 03-02-12

    I love to read and I love to listen to stories, something that has been with me since I was a child and I expect will last my whole life.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
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    "Interesting take on a possible future"

    If you like sci-fi and computer games, especially MRPG's, you will enjoy this book. Straight forward and fun with an easy prose suitable for a range of ages this is an amusing listen. Enjoyable but won't appeal to older readers/listeners who like a complex plot as it sometimes seems a little simplistic... but I am 36 years old and at 14 I expect I would have been truly mesmerised.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James W. 02-28-12
    James W. 02-28-12 Member Since 2014
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    36
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    "Great Book"

    This is one of my favorite books out there. Will Wheaton does a excellent job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Belton, MO, United States 02-27-12
    Stephen Belton, MO, United States 02-27-12 Member Since 2012

    Steve

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    "Excellent cyberpunk"

    This is a easy recommend for any geek whose teenage years are largely spent in the 80's. It hit on so many guilty pleasures in story line and story telling that it just may be that my favorite audible book ever is just low-grade literature, but I don't care. It was great for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 02-27-12
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    22
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    "Cool !!"

    I lived in the 80's. I like technology. With the story and period references, the author provided a very enjoyable ride.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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