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)
This is one of the better books on my list, I would listen to this one again.
All the characters were well written, it's hard to pick out just one.
I have not listen to Wil Wheaton before, but I was very surprised on how well he did in this book. I only knew him from Star Trek, but he was much much better with this book.
not just one sitting, but I looked forward everytime I was driving.
This is THE book for anyone who has a passion for games and the culture of gaming. This is a book for every geek that has ever escaped real life by playing video games. Ernest Cline you have my admiration and thanks for writing this book. This is my first audible review I've written despite hundreds of downloads, and you have written a book that instantly makes the must read list for every gamer.
The virtual world Cline created in vivid detail and interesting references to the 80's
Ender's Game or Old Man's War where the main character faces a series of challenges in a futuristic world.
The scenes where the puzzle solving happens
Recommend this book. a good easy read, some profanity which would otherwise make it a perfect teenager book (still may depending on your take on it). Very engaging to the imagination and the mind.
Just a great story. It helps if you lived through the '80's, but even without that, it is still a great story. My12 year old son said it was the best book he had ever listened to when he heard it. All of my friends have listened now, and loved it. Of course, after listening to it I had to pull out my copy of 2112 on vinyl and make the entire family listen to the beginning while I explained the story. They were enthralled. As an adolescent, I played almost every game he described in the story, but even non 80's geeks can enjoy this book.
So many memories.
I have listened to Will Wheaton in many other performances, he always delivers.
I laughed sooo hard. I just had to retell parts of the books to friends I know would understand.
If you lived through the 80's and played a lot of video games GET THIS BOOK!
Fantasy comic artist/writer (by night!) and video game developer (by day!) who thrives on audiobooks while working on her latest project.
I put off reading this one for some time because I am a 90s child and thought all of the references would go over my head and I wouldn't enjoy it. Quite the contrary! This was a great book and I loved it.
There are not many books that have computer games as their main themes, and among them, this is outright the best!
Wow, Wil Wheaton's performance was flawless, a bulls-eye choice for the setting of this story!
I loved how the story explored the vulnerability of social nerds who hide their real-life flaws in online interactions, not dismissing the characters seriously, but taking them seriously.
Like 80s pop-culture? Like computer games? Must read this book!!
Other reviewers spoke a lot about liking this book if you liked the 80s - and I suppose that there is a lot of truth in that. What I liked about this book was not so much that it discussed a lot of things that happened in the 80s, although I enjoyed that too. What I enjoyed most was the adventure that characters in the book had of exploring an entirely different reality, that, although familiar, was different from what people in the book lived on a daily basis. I suppose in a way it mirrored what readers do when they read - only more vivid and more involved. This book reminded me of the light-hearted enjoyment I had of "Old Man's War" by John Scalzi.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Although I have bought many other books since I bought this one, this one is the only one I have come back and listened to over and over among the books I bought within the last few months.
If you are looking for a light-hearted adventure, this one might be right for you. If you enjoyed "Old Man's War," you will most likely enjoy this book as well.
I can't say that there was any particular depth to the story, or even that the idea was particularly original. However, as a child of the 80's I loved ever minute of it. It's this 80's nostalgia that really elevated this story from a good effort to a great read. I would be remiss not to mention that WW does a great job narrating this book.
So... If you ever played Atari, owned a Commodore 64, played AD&D, or watched Weird Science (obsessively), then I think you will find this book good fun.
Say something about yourself!
The Atari 2600, Dungeons & Dragons gold box games, flux capacitors, if these are things you remember fondly then you will have a hard time not enjoying this book. I was ten years old in 1985 and this book was like sitting on the linoleum floor surrounded by faux wood panel walls looking through a box of books and video game user's manuals from my childhood. Ernest Cline's knowledge of what made being part of the first wave of 'video game kids' so special is clearly evident.
His writing style is fast and easy and suits the narrative just fine. The performance on the other hand, I found merely 'ok'. I don't really get the Internet's love affair with Wil Wheaton and perhaps this impacted my opinion of his narration. I just found his delivery to carry with it an air of pretentiousness that was not indicated in the writing and was unnecessary.
Even if you don't feel the connection to the 80s I think enjoying this book shouldn't be a problem. It's a fast and easy read/listen and is lots of fun. If you do feel the connection then I truly believe it is a must listen.
I have had Ready Player One on my wish list since it was first released and for some reason just never got around to it. Within five minutes or so I bought in. Wil Wheaton does a fantastic job as the main character and the true love of all things nerdy is incredible.
The quest is one that any video game fan can understand. My problem was 2/3's of the way through the quest the main character makes some pretty weird decisions. One's that didn't necessarily match the character they portrayed for the first half of the book.
Even with that being said the constant throw backs to the classic 80's movies, TV, music, and video games were a ton of fun. Any fan of the era will get a kick out of that stuff. I just wish the book would have ended as well as it started.
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