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
"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)
Definitely going to buy the book and read in hardcopy to savor the experience again in another medium.
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.
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.
This book in now in my
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.
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.
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!
It felt a little 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
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
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!]
Captivating, imaginative, engrossing
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.
Wil for President!
Great story rife with every possible awesome 80's reference anyone child of the 80's could ever want.
First Audiobook I've listened to read by Wil, Just as awesome as I hoped it would be. Did not expect any less.
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.
I have already recommended this book to friends. The story is interesting even if you're not into video games.
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.
He is able to make characters easily discernible (sp?) without giving them ridiculous voices.
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).
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.
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.
Answer the question (Claire)
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.
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.
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.
Thank you to Ernest Cline and Wil Wheaton. Thank you for a wonderful ride.
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