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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 (13762 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Chad ANAHEIM, CA, United States 05-16-12
    Chad ANAHEIM, CA, United States 05-16-12 Member Since 2012
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    21
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    "LOVED IT!"
    What did you love best about Ready Player One?

    Being a child of the 80's I loved all the pop cultural references. The video game detail was unreal. I wish this was just one in a series of 10 such books from Mr Cline. SO GOOD!


    What about Wil Wheaton’s performance did you like?

    He was made for reading "nerd fiction" so great


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Woodstock, GA, United States 05-16-12
    Mark Woodstock, GA, United States 05-16-12 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Vintage video hardware"
    If you could sum up Ready Player One in three words, what would they be?

    New high score


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    My favorite character was 'H' who lived one life but created a completely different electronic life.


    What about Wil Wheaton???s performance did you like?

    Wheaton read the book like the adventure it was - fast paced and exciting.


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

    I looked forward to getting back to the book as soon as I could. Because of the references to vintage electronics I kept a reminiscent smile on my face as the story unfolded. This story took me back to the days of dropping an endless stream of quarters in Ms. Pacman.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Keith 05-15-12
    Keith 05-15-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Listened to it twice in a row"
    Would you listen to Ready Player One again? Why?

    That would be three times in a row and yes after some time I will listen to it again


    What did you like best about this story?

    Setting, narration, and with how technology is going and being only two years younger than the OASIS inventor it is a trip down memory lane for me.


    What about Wil Wheaton’s performance did you like?

    He read it with clarity and energy but didn't interject phony accents that some narrators do. You could tell he loved the material and it came through in his performance.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The mention of Yar's Revenge when listing the Atari games. That was a wicked game I loved to play.


    Any additional comments?

    This book and Ender's Game are the two best out there right now.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tina Tipton Camarillo, CA, United States 05-14-12
    Tina Tipton Camarillo, CA, United States 05-14-12 Member Since 2013

    RPG, history and movie fan

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    "A Trip Down Memory Lane... with a twist"
    What made the experience of listening to Ready Player One the most enjoyable?

    Wil Wheaton's narration was convincing. And the frequent mention of old movies, TV shows, books, arcade and video games and D&D modules was terrific fun.


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

    There are many. I suppose "H"'s virtual basement was one that stuck with me. As well as how real Oasis became for me.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Finding the first key. It was exciting, brought back great arcade memories AND memories of a tough D&D module. And, strangely, it managed to bring romance into the story.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Welcome to Oasis... refuge or mirage?


    Any additional comments?

    This book has joined a growing list of wonderful audiobooks. It's a perfect blend of author and narrator. I will be recommending this to several of my friends and will listen to it again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Luanne Okemah, OK, United States 05-14-12
    Luanne Okemah, OK, United States 05-14-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of the greatest audible books ever!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    You need to get this book. I've listened to it several times. My husband and son both wanted it after I played a portion of it on our car trip. The narration is excellent, the story fantastic! Great ending as well!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia Costa Mesa, CA, United States 05-14-12
    Cynthia Costa Mesa, CA, United States 05-14-12 Member Since 2007
    ratings
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    5
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    "For any age"
    Would you listen to Ready Player One again? Why?

    Yes it's a great story


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

    Visualizing the trailer homes stacked on each other, I could visualize everything


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

    His different character voices....the way he phrases the sentences...


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

    yes


    Any additional comments?

    One of my work mates and I had to drive quite a distance for a work seminar. I had forgotten my ipod. He brought his out, and I thought "oh great I'm 50 he's 22 what could we have in common?"...loved it I wanted to take his ipod...but was very excited to find it in your collection.
    Cynthia Jeheber

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Borghoff New York, New York 05-13-12
    D. Borghoff New York, New York 05-13-12 Member Since 2012

    Dominus Verum

    ratings
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    "It's like a flashback and flash forward all in one"
    What did you love best about Ready Player One?

    The 80's nostalgia really got to me, in a good way. I knew almost everything they were talking about throughout the story. It was awesome!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Og, hands down. If he isn't the embodiment of Woz then you people need to read more!


    What about Wil Wheaton’s performance did you like?

    He was pretty good. Gotta give it to him. Would have liked to hear a bit more difference in his tones, but overall, pretty good.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Don't want to give anything away... but reading files has never been so moving...


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MoxyIdeas 05-11-12
    MoxyIdeas 05-11-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Something for everyone!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Ready Player One to be better than the print version?

    Yes because of Wil Wheaton's narration. Maybe a little no also because there are a lot of lists...list of the current top 10 scorers, list of games, lists of computers, etc. I would probably have skimmed those in a regular book.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Wade was my favorite character. Smart, funny, humble, likeable - I wanted him to win the whole time.


    What about Wil Wheaton’s performance did you like?

    Everything.


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

    YES.


    Any additional comments?

    Props to Ernest Cline for creating a spectacular world. I love all the influences and how they rear their heads throughout the story, but Mr. Cline put it all together perfectly in his own very unique way. Who doesn't dream of a 'world' where there's a Firefly galaxy next to a Star Wars galaxy next to a Star Trek galaxy? And you can play quidditch? Totally awesome. Also, it's rare that a book appeals to both sexes equally, but I think this one does. Highly recommended, and totally credit-worthy!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura Straub 05-10-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wil Wheaton makes this an epic story"
    Any additional comments?

    Wil Wheaton's love and knowledge of 80s pop culture comes shining through and adds a whole other level of awesome sauce to this book. If you have an love of 80's movies, music and especially video games you will love this book. I also think that Wil did a great job giving each character a unique voice and identity and I had not problems understanding which characters were speaking.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura Raleigh, NC, United States 05-10-12
    Laura Raleigh, NC, United States 05-10-12 Member Since 2012
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    2
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    "Loved this book!"

    This was my first purchase of fiction on audible. It turned out to be absolutely incredible. I will be purchasing everything Ernest Cline writes from now on. Wil Wheaton breathes life into a well-crafted story with his fabulous delivery.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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