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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 (12862 )
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Performance
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  •  
    David ASBURY, NJ, United States 03-17-12
    David ASBURY, NJ, United States 03-17-12 Listener Since 2007

    Fantasy Sports-Guru

    ratings
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    1
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    "High Five"
    Would you listen to Ready Player One again? Why?

    Definitely going to buy the book and read in hardcopy to savor the experience again in another medium.


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

    One of the first computers that I used was a TRS-80 and I remember having to load content on it via a cassette tape player, the author captured the memory perfectly.


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

    I was smiling the whole time I was listening to it, like it was my secret and I was a gunter with a key in my hand.


    Any additional comments?

    This book in now in my

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leesa 03-16-12
    Leesa 03-16-12
    ratings
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    161
    4
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    Performance
    Story
    "Want to play a game?"

    At its heart, Ready Player One is an Arthurian tale. Yeah, sure, it's about 80s culture, and video games, and virtual reality, and video games...

    But it's also about the dark ages of a dystopian world invaded by Saxons, I mean Sixers, who will do anything to get all the phat lewt. The common people are stacked together, scrabbling for survival, and if anyone can afford it, jacking into Camelot (OASIS) is a far better alternative to real life.

    Halliday is this story's King Arthur, and he, along with his best friend, Ogden (Lancelot), created the OASIS, an operating and virtual reality system (you can even go to school here). When he dies, his will states to the world that he will give his vast fortune and control over OASIS to whoever finds the Holy Easter Egg. Three keys unlock three gates, and only the most worthy will win. And if you are a hard-core gamer, you will *want* to find that Easter Egg. That's the whole point of playing these games: find what most people can't or don't even know exists.

    Enter Wade Watts, our (not always) humble knight, whose avatar is named Parzival. He doesn't have much in or out of the game--he's only level 3--but he manages with what he's got, and what he's got most of is cunning and intelligence. He, along with other knights of the l33t table--Aech, Art3mis, Shoto, and Daito--are in a race to beat every other knight errant and the Sax--Sixers to the ultimate prize: control over OASIS.

    I loved this book. Cline had me at Wade's in-game name, Parzival. I'm not all that familiar with most 80s arcade and video games, but I sure knew the movies, and I know a thing or two about Arthuriana, which gets decent mention in the story. There's something here for everyone that grew up back then. Awkward teenager, D&D player, video/arcade gamer, movie buff. I think we all want to quest for something meaningful, and can identify with these characters in some small or great way.

    I listened to this book narrated by the only person qualified to read it: Wil Wheaton.

    Wil Wheaton.

    If this does not pique your interest, then this *really* is not the book you're looking for; move along.

    I don't think I would have enjoyed the book if I had read it instead of listening to Wheaton read it to me. There were many times I would laugh out loud at the story and how Wheaton expressed it. I want so much to share those funny moments with you, but that would be spoiling. You'll just have to read it so we can laugh together when you're done.

    I can wait.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kent Springfield, VA, United States 03-15-12
    Kent Springfield, VA, United States 03-15-12 Member Since 2014
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    9
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    "What a FUN story! And, LOTS of '80's trivia!"
    What did you love best about Ready Player One?

    It was an enjoyable stroll down memory lane for those of us who lived through the early development of computer gaming, and the 80's!


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

    It felt a little like


    What about Wil Wheaton’s performance did you like?

    Wil Wheaton did a great job - good inflections, great pronunciation, emphasis in the right places (as action increased), handled multiple voices well enough. OH, and, I especially liked when he came to the part in the book where there is a


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

    It made me want to keep listening! The plot is SO compelling...and fun. I was anxious to have more time to listen. I don't think there was any part where the pacing slipped or lagged. And, it speaks to everybody's


    Any additional comments?

    This book is very much worth the time! I can't say for certain that the audio-version was significantly a better experience than if I'd read the paper-version/e-version. But, hey...who doesn't like having a good story read to them??? Besides, for maximizing my in-car commute time - this audiobook was a real BLAST! (I hate when audiobooks start making me wish that my commute were LONGER! Drats and curses on you, Audible.com!!!!) [wink!]

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terri Pasadena, CA, United States 03-13-12
    Terri Pasadena, CA, United States 03-13-12 Member Since 2011
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    8
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    "Totally Enjoyable Read"
    If you could sum up Ready Player One in three words, what would they be?

    Captivating, imaginative, engrossing


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

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    I just loved this book; it surprised the heck out of me. The story grabbed me right away I could relate to all the 80’s references, the movies, music and pop culture. I enjoyed the characters and could actually visualize the evolution of technology in the near future. Scary but very exciting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick Clovis, CA, United States 03-12-12
    Patrick Clovis, CA, United States 03-12-12 Member Since 2013
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    "Excellent!"
    If you could sum up Ready Player One in three words, what would they be?

    Wil for President!


    What did you like best about this story?

    Great story rife with every possible awesome 80's reference anyone child of the 80's could ever want.


    Have you listened to any of Wil Wheaton’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    First Audiobook I've listened to read by Wil, Just as awesome as I hoped it would be. Did not expect any less.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Rehoboth Beach, DE, United States 03-10-12
    David Rehoboth Beach, DE, United States 03-10-12
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    6
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    "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
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    2
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    "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
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    "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
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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
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
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