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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 (10637 )
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Performance
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  •  
    WM East Ellijay, GA, United States 09-23-11
    WM East Ellijay, GA, United States 09-23-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
    3
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    10
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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
    4
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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
  •  
    Fink Harriman, TN, United States 09-20-11
    Fink Harriman, TN, United States 09-20-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Nostalgia"

    Growing up in the late 70's and 80's gave extra depth to this amazing book. Mr. Wheaton is perfect in this role as narrator and the book is a must have. I enjoyed the book so much it inspired me to dust off the Atari console.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Sparks, NV, United States 09-20-11
    James Sparks, NV, United States 09-20-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting puzzle the whole way through."

    Great book. Hooked me from the beginning. The new world is delivered in great detail as needed. The thrill of the hunt never lets up. It's a fun and exciting brain teaser. Loved it from begining to end! Can you figure out the clues before they do?

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    N. DiGiovanni Tampa, FL 09-18-11
    N. DiGiovanni Tampa, FL 09-18-11 Listener Since 2009
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    "Trip down memory lane with a twist"

    I couldn't stop listening! I am already thinking about listening to the whole thing again. The story was entertaining, compelling, and most of all, fun. Many times I laughed out loud and said "I remember that!". Was there a fair amount of "cheese"? Absolutely there was! And I loved every cheese-filled minute of it! As a child of the '80s, I have to say, this book really hit home. Bravo!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Huntington Beach, CA, United States 09-13-11
    John Huntington Beach, CA, United States 09-13-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A great change of pace"

    This was not my usual genre of book. I guess you would call this near future Sci-Fi. I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. At times sitting in my car to finish a chapter. A great combination of plot, fun characters and well paced action. Would highly recommend. Looking forward to his next book.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie Lynn, MA, United States 09-13-11
    Stephanie Lynn, MA, United States 09-13-11
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    "Totally awesome geekasm!"

    I got this title based on the 80s context alone.. not a gamer or a fantasy addict, even if I have an appreciation for those things. I don't even think of myself as nostalgic. Ever. But this book totally grabbed me, and even if I was a little nervous about the fatalism and depressing backdrop.. I am now at the very end and I so don't want it to stop! Loved this book and found myself getting out the buds to listen to it while doing dishes and other non-driving activities (a first for me:). Ok yes, I am an 80s girl.. but the story is just so original. Really great job on the writing, editing and narrating. Seemingly minor details.. Rush songs or specific video games.. brought me right back to my childhood. There were just a couple of mispronunciations that I'm not sure were part of the story or not.. but they distracted the crap out of me (poseur, for example, is not spoken in the French sense when we're talking about 80s "posers"). Otherwise I think the narrator added so much to the story that I can't imagine (as with Tina and Bossypants) having to read this in print. It's that good.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
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