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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 (11341 )
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  •  
    Vincent Ogden, UT, United States 10-11-11
    Vincent Ogden, UT, United States 10-11-11

    Vinny

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    "Best Geek plot EVER!"

    This book touches so many nostalgia nerves it's ridiculous. Great characters in a vividly imagined slightly distopian future in an amazing story. Wil Wheaton does a great job narrating it too. His voice can be a bit harsh at times, but for me it helped to keep me focused on the story as I was driving or working out.

    If you're into video games, you HAVE to read/listen to this book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessica St Paul, MN, United States 10-11-11
    Jessica St Paul, MN, United States 10-11-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Awesome!!!!"

    One of the best books ever!!! I laughed, I cried, I cheered!! This book is about so much more than the 80's. Wil Wheaton was a wonderful narrator. I can't say enough about this book.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cason Hillsborough, NC, United States 10-09-11
    Cason Hillsborough, NC, United States 10-09-11 Member Since 2006
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    "Fun and riveting"

    I loved this book! It took me into a world that I don't know much about and led me through a cyber Willy-Wonka like story about a poor 18-year old tech geek who goes on a quest to win the inheritance of a hugely rich, eccentric programmer who built the world's greatest alternative reality, Oasis. I could hardly stand to stop reading it when I had to go to work as Wade Owen Watts (WoW -- nice tip of the hat to World of Warcraft) works his way through the three levels of the quest in a race against a mega-corporation who is putting all of their resources and personnel into winning the prize. Wil Wheaton does a great job reading it too!

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dianne Cedar Hill, TX, United States 10-09-11
    Dianne Cedar Hill, TX, United States 10-09-11 Member Since 2009
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    "SO great - fun read!"

    If you grew up in the 80s, or are an 80s fan - this book is a MUST. It is such a fun and entertaining story with great characters. I looked forward to listening every chance I could - it's one of those that keeps you coming back. I was really disappointed when it was over! I passed it on to my husband, and now he can't put it down either. Well worth every penny!

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Weston, FL, United States 10-08-11
    Michael Weston, FL, United States 10-08-11 Member Since 2003
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    "Excellent read. Hands down best this year."

    I am not a gamer in any sense of the word. But this book is so good that I was totally engrossed in the Oasis from the first chapter. Be ready to give up some sleep. The narration is excellent. The author really takes you into the virtual world and leaves no detail unexplored. Helps that I am old enough to remember all of the 80's. Loved every reference to Captain Crunch, Atari, TRS-80's, etc... very nostalgic. This book is so rich in detail and so well crafted that you can immediately see the movie that surely is coming as the pages unfold. Amazing that this is the authors first book. Can't wait to read his next book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    agnes rye, NY, United States 10-07-11
    agnes rye, NY, United States 10-07-11 Member Since 2006
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    "I did not think I would enjoy this"
    What was one of the most memorable moments of Ready Player One?

    You could feel the hopelessness ( at times ) of the main character, a regular kid, a nerdy kid, not that good looking maybe fat , socially awkward. He was able to be someone else online, interesting direction , it could happen.


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

    I listened to it on a car trip and then put on my head phones and listened most of the rest of the day.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sgtbuk1 Knoxville, TN United States 10-06-11
    sgtbuk1 Knoxville, TN United States 10-06-11 Listener Since 2003

    sgtbuk1

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    "I'm sorry it's over!"

    By far the best book I've read/listened to in years. I can't recommend it more highly.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S 10-05-11
    S 10-05-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Perfect match between story and narrator"

    I haven't finished it yet, but it's an amazing story and Cline does an excellent job of creating a future world and sympathetic characters. If I were reading this in print, I'd call it a real page-turner. Having a narrator who is probably familiar with most of the movies/books/games referenced really adds something to the telling. I would have loved this book in print or audio, but Wheaton is really good at giving different voices to characters without going over the top or detracting from the story. A great audiobook all the way around!

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael AVON, IN, United States 10-05-11
    Michael AVON, IN, United States 10-05-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Great book and could be a great movie."

    I picked this book up after a review on This Week In Tech. I got hooked pretty fast and thought that while yes some of it was a little cheesy, it was a great story. I like tech but am not much of a gamer and that didn't seem to matter much. Wil does a good job narrating and I think that since his voice is synonymous with geek culture it keeps you in a geeky mindset. If I had to pick a Con to go with the Pros I would have to say that reading of the scoreboard had me ready to skip forward from time to time. Like the other commentor mentions, you might want to be near a PC when somethings are mentioned be cause I knew about but had long forgotten some of the characters and things mentioned, I was born in 77 so some references were a little of a stretch.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joelle Alexandria, VA, United States 10-05-11
    Joelle Alexandria, VA, United States 10-05-11 Member Since 2009
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    "Even the Casual Nerd Will Appreciate it"
    What did you love best about Ready Player One?

    The incredibly detailed 80s pop culture references.


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

    The WarGames Scene.


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

    Only podcasts, Wil Wheaton was meant for this book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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