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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 (9984 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jen Nokesville, VA, United States 05-19-14
    Jen Nokesville, VA, United States 05-19-14 Member Since 2008
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    "Fun Entertainment Even for the Non-Gamer"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this book to anyone who is nostalgic for the 1980s and possibly into gaming. That said, I am not a gamer at all, but I still enjoyed the book a lot.


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

    Too many to name - all of the references to 80s music, movies, TV, etc.


    Which character – as performed by Wil Wheaton – was your favorite?

    Wheaton did a good job with the narration overall. Since this was a first person story, I didn't expect character voices as much as I would with narration from other POVs. He did do a great job of reading.


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

    I can't explain it without it spoiling.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved the book and I thought Wil Wheaton did a great job as narrator.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Geoff Bradford, Ontario, Canada 05-14-14
    Geoff Bradford, Ontario, Canada 05-14-14 Member Since 2013
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    "A Unique Combination of Action and Nostalgia"
    What did you love best about Ready Player One?

    It reminded me of so many parts of my younger years, all intertwined with my days playing MMOs with friends.


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

    I can't compare it to anything, and believe me, I have tried to find something similar.


    What about Wil Wheaton’s performance did you like?

    Mr. Wheaton was able to convey the emotions, attitudes and personalities of very different characters, without resorting to silly, unbelievable voices.


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

    I laughed on MANY occasions while listening.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sheldon Augusta, ME, United States 04-18-14
    Sheldon Augusta, ME, United States 04-18-14 Member Since 2012
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    "I'm so glad I took a chance on this one"

    I wasn't sure what to expect when I got this book, but it was better than anything I could try and explain to you here. Geek nostalgia, trivia, random shout-outs and references, it's all here.

    Fair warning, you're going to end up with a bunch of 80's songs stuck in your head during and after listening to this, and you'll listen to it more than once. FACT. You just want more and more. If you liked Snow Crash don't even think about skipping over this one. Douglas Adams fan? This is for you. Still have an Atari sitting around? Dust it off because you'll be fiending to play it after.

    Wil Wheaton nails the narration and brings quite a bit of geek cred to the table. The only downside of the book is that it ends. I can safely say that this book has secured a site in my top ten favorites. Give it a go and you won't be disappointed.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy Duong 04-17-14
    Amy Duong 04-17-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Easily one of my favorite books now"
    What did you love best about Ready Player One?

    This book was amazing. I didn't get many of the 80's references but I love the video game aspect of the book.


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

    This was the first one. He was an amazing narrator. I'm going to look into more books that he's narrated now!


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    melanie United States 04-16-14
    melanie United States 04-16-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Number one favorite audibook!"

    If you grew up in the 80's you will laugh your face off at this book. My husband and I have a once a month 16 1/2 hour commute. We go through a lot of audiobooks. My only regret about this book is that there is not another one like it to read. We've recommended it to a lot of our friends, and I would like to recommend it to anyone who wants to walk down memory lane, and be treated to an original interesting story at the same time.

    Wil Wheaton really did a great job narrating, I've gone on to listen to Scalzi books because his performance was so good in this one.

    I don't know what took me so long to get around to reading it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jay Vancouver, BC, Canada 04-16-14
    Jay Vancouver, BC, Canada 04-16-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Wonderfully geeky!"

    This book is so incredibly nerdy that I caught myself rolling my eyes on more than one occasion, completely embarrassed to even be listening to it.... and yet.... I couldn't... stop... listening...

    This book was amazing! Full of nerdy nostalgia! And honestly, even if you weren't around for the 80's, or even if you're not into video games, you'll still enjoy it immensely.

    However, if you ARE an 80's baby or a video gamer.... you're in for a treat...

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily M. Birch 04-14-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Good even for non-gaming children of the 1970s"
    What did you love best about Ready Player One?

    Its irreverence, nostalgia, and focus on how America is being bought and sold by corporations with the cooperation of its citizens.


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

    When Wade gets the first key and is invited to an interview with the corporation that wants to control OASIS and is told that if he doesn't comply, they will blow up his home.


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

    No.


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

    When Wade discovers that Artemis has a beauty mark on her face that makes her think she's ugly.


    Any additional comments?

    It doesn't matter if you're a non-gamer (like me). It doesn't matter if you're not a child of the 1980s (as long as you remember a little bit about them, like some of the movies and video arcades and the insane mania over things like Pacman). This book is really about being very scared (with good reason) about the corporate takeover of America. Luckily (although this is only fantasy), the good guys win here. Let's hope that's what happens IRL by the year 2045.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P. Vegdahl Santa Barbara, CA 04-11-14
    P. Vegdahl Santa Barbara, CA 04-11-14
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    "Very fun book!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Ready Player One to be better than the print version?

    You can tell that Wil Wheaton was enjoying himself while performing "Ready Player One," and that made an already enjoyable book even more fun.


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

    This book is a love letter to geek culture, particularly 80's video game culture.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rock Conner Dallas, GA 04-10-14
    Rock Conner Dallas, GA 04-10-14 Member Since 2011
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    "I really iked it!"

    Good story. Up-all-night good. I stayed past with this one long past midnight.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gregory Virginia Beach, VA, United States 04-09-14
    Gregory Virginia Beach, VA, United States 04-09-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Surprisingly Good Listen"
    Would you listen to Ready Player One again? Why?

    If you grew up in the 80's you will want to listen to this book multiple times. Not only was it a surprisingly good listen, but many of the references to 80's culture made me somewhat nostalgic.


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

    I laughed out loud quite a few times, usually when something from the 80's was mentioned that I remembered or it was something that I did when I was a kid.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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