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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 (10793 )
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  •  
    John WILMINGTON, NC, United States 09-26-11
    John WILMINGTON, NC, United States 09-26-11 Member Since 2001
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    "Great book"

    Great book, really engaging and hard to stop listening to....I would highly recommend to anyone, especially anyone who really likes technology fiction.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    The Lone Wolf 31878 09-25-11 Member Since 2006
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    "What an outstanding book...10 stars if I could..."

    I really am in awe about how truly great this book is. If at any time in your life you had played video games, or spent any time in the 80s, this book is so for you. There are so many references to games and pop culture, that you will feel a part of this book...like an actual character playing the role. It's laugh-out-loud funny at many times, and I actually caught myself tear up at times, and especially at the end. It will have you gripping with anticipation on what might happen next, and you may be right if you guess what could happen. There are many surprising moments that will catch you off-guard and will always keep you wanting to know what will happen next. If you played any role-playing games, this book will feel right at home. The visual descriptions of any scene will have you picture in your head what the main character is doing all the time. Wil Wheaton reads the book with such inflection and emotion that you will never be bored with this book. If it seems like I'm rambling, its only because there is so much great things I want to say about this book, my fingers might get tired going on. All I can say is that if you have a credit (this book is even worthy of purchasing with $), if the things I've said interest you, don't doubt listening to this book. You will not be disappointed...now with that said, if you have never touched a video game or played games that immerse you in its virtual reality, you might find it hard to picture actions portrayed in this book, so that might be a risky venture, but a fun one nonetheless because of the vast pop culture references of the 80s that appear throughout the book. As my final word, this is probably the best book I have ever downloaded. Ready Player One is truly an outstanding book.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bradford Omaha, NE, United States 09-25-11
    Bradford Omaha, NE, United States 09-25-11 Member Since 2001
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    "A must read for 1980's geeks"

    This book was one of the most entertaining books I've listened to in years. Cline is obviously a true Geek with enough trivia, movie quotes, comic book references and computer knowledge to satisfy anyone who grew up in the 1980's world of video games, Saturday morning cartoons and role-playing games. I found numerous times saying, "Oh, wow, I remember that!" when he added some obscure reference to his story from a cartoon I hadn't thought about in years. It was an enjoyable blast into my past. At the same time, you come to root for the heroes of the book, cheering at their successes and shaking your head at their failures. You can't help but imagine yourself sitting at the controls of the starship, wielding the weapons or dancing in the air with them. Wheaton was perfectly cast to read this book given his personal love of everything mentioned in the book, and his performance is filled with the right kind of passion to keep you rivted to the story. This is a must read for anyone who knows who Ultraman was, who knows the difference between a Firefly-class starship and the Millenium Falcon and anyone who wishes they could have stepped into a video game and played it as themselves.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris W Des Moines, IA, United States 09-24-11
    Chris W Des Moines, IA, United States 09-24-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Fantastic book!"

    I was hooked and couldn't stop listening. It brought back so many memories of that time period in my life. Very engaging story.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cherrificus FORT SMITH, AR, United States 09-23-11
    Cherrificus FORT SMITH, AR, United States 09-23-11 Member Since 2011

    Ayatollah of Rock n Rollah

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    "Wish I could give it more stars!"
    What made the experience of listening to Ready Player One the most enjoyable?

    I absolutely loved this book! I got it to listen to because I am undergoing radiation treatments 3 hours away from my hometown. I drive on Mondays and Fridays. I found myself not able to wait till the end of the week and listened to it every night before I went to bed. The story was very engaging and helped me to take my mind off my troubles. I'm a huge Star Trek fan and I have to admit that the main reason I got it was because it was read by Wil Wheaton. He did not disappoint! I will be purchasing other titles read by him.


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

    His performance was excellent. The voices he did for the different characters were great and I just love his style.


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

    I did laugh out loud at several moments.


    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    WM East Ellijay, GA, United States 09-23-11
    WM East Ellijay, GA, United States 09-23-11
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    "Amazing"

    Could not stop listening to this... Amazing Performance by Wil. Can not wait to read cline's next book.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marko Waterford, MI, United States 09-22-11
    Marko Waterford, MI, United States 09-22-11
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    "Simply the best"

    This is an incredible book for those who grew up in the 80s and 90s. The amount of pop culture references per minute are astounding, and even I had to look up a few of them. Bravo Mr. Cline, Bravo. Finally Wil Wheaton's ready is REALLY good.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan STERLING, VA, United States 09-22-11
    Jonathan STERLING, VA, United States 09-22-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Simply Wow!"

    I bought this book on a whim while browsing for books read by Wil Wheaton. Oh my goodness this is an excellent book. I have already listened to it twice through, and I went out and purchased the actual hardback book. I knew about 30 minutes into the story that I was going to love it, and suggested it to a geek culture discussion group I help run. Ernest Cline is simply an amazing story teller, and Wil Wheaton is the absolute perfect voice for this story. I love how meta it gets, like when Wil Wheaton reads the part about the main character voting for Wil Wheaton in the election. I give this 3 thumbs up!

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edward Weston, FL, United States 09-21-11
    Edward Weston, FL, United States 09-21-11 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Listen - Could not put it down"

    I have been an audible listener for many years. This book is in my top 5. The story starts out and captivates from the very begining. Also the narrarator is excellent. I highly recommend this book.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Coleen Richmond, BC, Canada 09-21-11
    Coleen Richmond, BC, Canada 09-21-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Weekend Marathon listen"

    I listened to this book non-stop for two days - it was an 80's geekathon and I loved it. Sure, the love story was a little hokey and a few of the 'twists' predictable but the references to John Hughes movies and stand up arcade games took right back to jr high and all the cultural references that we all loved from back in the day. The protagonist was heroic but still relateable and the narration was really good. I especially got a kick out of the references to Wil Weaton in the book... as read by Wil Wheaton. Fun, easy and highly enjoyable read/listen.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
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