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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 (10619 )
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Performance
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  •  
    brian Buena park, CA, United States 11-11-13
    brian Buena park, CA, United States 11-11-13 Member Since 2004
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    "A very good surprise, well worth the listen..."
    Where does Ready Player One rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the better books on my list, I would listen to this one again.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    All the characters were well written, it's hard to pick out just one.


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

    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.


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

    not just one sitting, but I looked forward everytime I was driving.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian MERRICK, NY, United States 11-09-13
    Brian MERRICK, NY, United States 11-09-13 Member Since 2011
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    "OMG best book ever"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mario Wayne, NJ, United States 11-05-13
    Mario Wayne, NJ, United States 11-05-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Great story and well told"
    What did you love best about Ready Player One?

    The virtual world Cline created in vivid detail and interesting references to the 80's


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

    Ender's Game or Old Man's War where the main character faces a series of challenges in a futuristic world.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The scenes where the puzzle solving happens


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Cedar Hill, TX, United States 11-03-13
    Brian Cedar Hill, TX, United States 11-03-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Like, Totally Awesome!"
    What made the experience of listening to Ready Player One the most enjoyable?

    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.


    What did you like best about this story?

    So many memories.


    What about Wil Wheaton’s performance did you like?

    I have listened to Will Wheaton in many other performances, he always delivers.


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

    I laughed sooo hard. I just had to retell parts of the books to friends I know would understand.


    Any additional comments?

    If you lived through the 80's and played a lot of video games GET THIS BOOK!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne Needham, MA, United States 10-30-13
    Anne Needham, MA, United States 10-30-13 Member Since 2010

    Fantasy comic artist/writer (by night!) and video game developer (by day!) who thrives on audiobooks while working on her latest project.

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    "Excellent"

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Johannes ASTORIA, NY, United States 10-27-13
    Johannes ASTORIA, NY, United States 10-27-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Must-read for every computer gaming fan!"
    What did you like best about this story?

    There are not many books that have computer games as their main themes, and among them, this is outright the best!


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

    Wow, Wil Wheaton's performance was flawless, a bulls-eye choice for the setting of this story!


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

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    Like 80s pop-culture? Like computer games? Must read this book!!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe Modesto, CA 10-25-13
    Joe Modesto, CA 10-25-13 Member Since 2009
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    "Very enjoyable read"

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Oakville, ON, Canada 10-24-13
    Paul Oakville, ON, Canada 10-24-13 Member Since 2011
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    "A very fun read"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Giovanni Youngsville, LA, United States 03-28-13
    Giovanni Youngsville, LA, United States 03-28-13 Member Since 2010

    Say something about yourself!

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    "More fun then a barrel of 2600 cartridges"

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joel NEWPORT BEACH, CA, United States 03-22-13
    Joel NEWPORT BEACH, CA, United States 03-22-13 Member Since 2007

    Joel Szerlip

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    "Starts Strong And Ends With a Whimper"

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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