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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 (16315 )
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  •  
    Amazon Customer LA 01-28-13
    Amazon Customer LA 01-28-13 Member Since 2013
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    "A must read!!"
    Any additional comments?

    This book is a must read for anyone who even liked Ender's Game. This a modern version with some really interesting points about where our society could wind-up at!! Plus who does not love that Will Wheaton is mentioned in the book and also is narrating!! I'm a teacher and have been able to get several of my boys to read this book when they won't read anything else!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tamara Vista, CA, United States 01-28-13
    Tamara Vista, CA, United States 01-28-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Nerd Porn!"

    I could have done without the "God is BS" garbage at the beginning ... am glad I kept listening ...
    as a gamer, I loved this book! As a child of the 80's, it was delightful to "know" all the references.

    Will Wheaton is a fantastic narrator! I actually chose the book because I love his story telling ability!


    I did have two technical "issues" towards the end of the book which I'll not post here and spoil for anyone ... if you're curious, send me a note and we'll compare complaints :D

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane Snohomish, WA, United States 01-28-13
    Diane Snohomish, WA, United States 01-28-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Captivating! Didn't want it to end!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Ready Player One to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the print version.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Wade.


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

    Pacing, and the various characters' voices.


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

    At times I laughed, and I teared up at the end.


    Any additional comments?

    I was born in 1944. I began working with computers in the 80s. My children played Atari games then, and went on to become avid video game fans. The entire premise of the book was a delight as were the characters and plot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Pueblo West, CO, United States 01-27-13
    Jason Pueblo West, CO, United States 01-27-13
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    "Best listen in a long time!!"
    Any additional comments?

    If you grew up in the 80's or loved the decade whether it be the music, TV shows, video games, or all of it this book is for you. Get ready to not be able to put it down once you get into it!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Billy Boise, ID 01-24-13
    Billy Boise, ID 01-24-13

    Say something about yourself!

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    "A new favorite"

    Really, really great. Growing up in the 80s and having a frame of reference for the video games, songs, movies and TV shows that are mentioned will probably enhance your enjoyment, but at the center of the story there's a teen-aged protagonist dealing with some universal adolescent struggles that will resonate regardless of your knowledge of 80s pop culture.

    Wil Wheaton's narration adds to the story. He speaks with the cocky tone of a teenager for most of the story, but manages to convey the main character's fear and uncertainty when the story calls for it. This is once of those cases where I'd probably suggest someone choose the audio version over the print if they hadn't read the book before.

    Totally recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Virginia 01-23-13
    Virginia 01-23-13 Member Since 2005
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    "Don't wait... Get this book immediately!!!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes... and I have told all of my friends to read this book ASAP! I am a child of the 80's and a huge gamer dork so this book just took me to my happy place.


    Any additional comments?

    This is one of my favorite books of the last decade. The story is creative and exciting and the constant references to the 1980's and 90's really pulled me into the world of the Oasis.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Valerie Butera Falls Church, VA 01-21-13
    Valerie Butera Falls Church, VA 01-21-13
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    "On my top ten list of favorite books of all time"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes! Anyone who was born between say 1965 and 1980, who was a geek in any sense, or obsessed with pop culture would love this book. The story is completely engaging and set in 2040 or so, so you get a combination of a blast from the past with a fascinating rendering of a possible future. Loved it. Was sorry when it was over. I can't say that about many books. And Wil Wheaton was an outstanding narrator.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Artemis - bad ass girl who was also endearing and sensitive but almost never let you know it.


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

    Just knowing about his interests made it SO easy to imagine him as the main character. At the same time he did an exceptional job handling all of the other characters as well. The man knows his sci fi.


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

    Laughed a lot. Was entranced a lot - couldn't wait to know what would happen next and see if I could figure out the puzzles.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kimberly Plourde Vermont 01-21-13
    Kimberly Plourde Vermont 01-21-13 Member Since 2012
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    "A Lot of Fun"
    What did you love best about Ready Player One?

    A lot of fun. Lots and lots of 80's references, but even if you don't get them all, you'll still enjoy the classic underdog vs. evil corporate villain story.


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

    Just as good as his other performances. I could listen to Wil narrate the phone book and be enthralled.


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

    “If my calculations are correct, when this baby hits eighty-eight miles an hour, you're going to see some serious sh*t.” – Doc Brown


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    antonio Paradis, LA, United States 01-18-13
    antonio Paradis, LA, United States 01-18-13 Member Since 2015

    I like Sci Fi on the Hi Fi

    ratings
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    "Listened to it 5 times in a row"
    Would you listen to Ready Player One again? Why?

    Yes, I've listened to it five times. Even though I was a teenager in the 90's, Cline does a wonderful job of explaining the 80's references in a way that makes you feel like you already know what he is talking about. I do remember or was a fan of some of the things he talks about, but some references are a little obscure. The story has everything: action, comedy, love, comedy, and glorious geekiness. I listened to it the first time and couldn't get enough. I immediately started listening to it again. The more you listen to it, the more you catch things. There is a l great deal of number correlations, 256 512 1024. Overall it's not only a book I would recommend, it's a book I would recommend experiencing multiple times.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    All the characters are great. However, I would have to say Parzival. He's funny and confident at the same time being a typical antisocial geek with low self esteem. I enjoy his character's correlations with James Halliday, the creator of the OASIS. And for some reason I have always enjoyed first person narratives, like The Wonder Years.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    This seems like a question that, for me, could have a person answering with a spoiler. The line that sticks out to me is: I'm just going to go in there wearing my default skin and a f**k off attitude.


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

    First of all, I've seen that the rights have already been purchased by one of the big studios, and I can't wait till this is made into a movie. It would make a great one! Aaron Eckhart should totally play Nolan Sorrento, and Adrian Brody is so method he could probably pull off Halliday. I can't think of a tag line, but the trailer should start with "In a world where..."


    Any additional comments?

    Why isn't there a question about Wil Wheaton? Or does everyone know that he is totally Airwolf? He nails every character in this story. I mean nails it! Maybe this is why I don't see him on TV or films much, narration is his true calling.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CK Clayton, IN, United States 01-16-13
    CK Clayton, IN, United States 01-16-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Very entertaining"

    Both the story and narrations were excellent. A great story for anyone who grew up the in 80's and was interested in computers and/or video games.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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