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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 (12730 )
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  •  
    Stephanie SPRING, TX, United States 12-12-11
    Stephanie SPRING, TX, United States 12-12-11 Member Since 2012
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    "Good, not great"

    It's the near future, the world has gone to hell in a handbasket, and the best place to escape it all is the OASIS, a virtual world that is so well rendered, it's nearly real. When Robert Halladay, the creator of the OASIS and 1980's afficienado dies, he posthumously mails an invitation to ever user of the OASIS to find an easter egg that he has hidden within the OASIS itself. First person to find it wins control of the OASIS and Halladay's fortune.

    This is the story of Wade Watts, an orphaned teenager, who decides like many others to start searching for the egg. Each step in the journey is deeply steeped in the history and culture of the 1980s, which is when Halladay grew up. Luckily, Wade (known by his avatar's name Parzival through most of the story) has spent all of his childhood boning up on the 1980s and memorizing just about every movie, every TV show, and how to win every video game, so he's ready to meet the challenge.

    The book was entertaining and I enjoyed the chase. After awhile, though, I got tired of all the 1980s references. It's a good schtick, but too much of anything eventually becomes too much period, and that's how I started to feel about the 1980s here.

    Wil Wheaton does a really nice job as the narrator, with a nod of the head to his Star Trek days in the 1980s.

    Not my favorite book, but it's a good listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    megan Canada 12-10-11
    megan Canada 12-10-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Really entertaining read!"

    I'm not a big sci fi fan but this book was very gripping and a lot of fun to read so I wound up not wanting to turn it off! Wil Wheaton does a great job narrating and he makes the characters sound sincere so you feel really immersed in the book. Interesting story and great telling, you won't want it to end!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua United States 12-09-11
    Joshua United States 12-09-11 Member Since 2014
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    "One of the best books I've listened to."
    Would you listen to Ready Player One again? Why?

    Yes I would because the combination of a great story tightly woven into a wonderfully crafted universe and Wil Wheaton's narration makes it not just an audiobook but makes you feel like you're really there.


    What did you like best about this story?

    That it actually made my jaw drop a few times. I really didn't see everything coming from miles away, which is so refreshing in this age of cookie-cutter stories.


    What about Wil Wheaton’s performance did you like?

    He really


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

    Basically the whole thing. I especially loved when I was into the story and something happened that would make me think


    Any additional comments?

    This book was so good I get the feeling that I will not come across any other audiobook that compares to this in a long long time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer columbus, OH, United States 12-07-11
    Amazon Customer columbus, OH, United States 12-07-11
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    17
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    "A trip down Nostalgia Lane"
    If you could sum up Ready Player One in three words, what would they be?

    Good Fun Read.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Ernest Cline? Why or why not?

    I would definitely be willing to try another book by Ernest Cline although I think the reasons I liked Ready Player One may lose their novelty if used again. It was more the setting than the story that brought this book to life for me. If it had not been set in the world of my child hood I am not sure I would have enjoyed it so much.The story itself was a little predictable and cliche.


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

    Of course hearing this book read by Wil Wheaton, whose work I also enjoy immensely, it brought an extra special link to the world of Ready Player One.


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

    I have been telling many people about this book. It is definitely the best geek book of the year if not ever.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicholas Verona, WI, United States 12-06-11
    Nicholas Verona, WI, United States 12-06-11
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    "The 80's references don't get in the way"
    If you could sum up Ready Player One in three words, what would they be?

    Characters, action, drama.


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

    Wil Wheaton performs each character well. His portrayal of each character had a unique voice and style that matched their personality.


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

    There are some beautiful scenes that made me tear up. I laughed a lot at situational things, but I don't think I ever laughed at the characters, though I did find them very humorous.


    Any additional comments?

    I was skeptical when I got this book. I was afraid it would be charming but corny, like Cline's Fanboys. But I loved this book. The characters were believable (though I found some a little corny at times, it all makes sense at the end). The level of description was ideal. The dramatic tension kept me hooked, and everything heated up. I felt the direness of the situation. The biggest concern I would have for you would be the level of 80's and nerdy references. I'm not too versed in 80's pop culture, so I didn't get all of the references, and it didn't bother me. I my opinion, it all works for the plot very well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicole Redford, MI, United States 12-06-11
    Nicole Redford, MI, United States 12-06-11 Member Since 2011
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    "One of my all-time favorites"

    I've been an Audible member for many years and have listened to hundreds of books, and this is definitely one of my favorites. It was one of the few that made me look forward to my commute just so I could find out what would happen next. I'm sure that's partly due to the fact that I was a kid in the 80s and I'm somewhat of a geek today. So this was the perfect fit for me. The references to 80s pop culture had me repeatedly saying, "Hey, I remember that!" or guessing ahead if I knew an answer to one of the clues. The storyline moves along well, the characters are well-developed and I think Wil Wheaton was the perfect choice for narrator. I highly recommend this book if you're looking for something entertaining. I'm sure I'll be listening to it again before long, and I think it will be just as enjoyable the second time through.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Illinois USA 12-06-11
    Amazon Customer Illinois USA 12-06-11 Member Since 2008
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    "LOVED it."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Ready Player One to be better than the print version?

    Don't know.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Wade, the hero of the story, is a believable high school senior. The virtual world in which he


    What does Wil Wheaton bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

    Wil Wheaton is the perfect narrator. He brings both the science fiction cred and high school young man to life in his reading.


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

    I loved how Wade combined vehicles from the pop culture 1980s - Kit from KnightRider, the DeLorean from Back to the Future, the oscillation overthruster from Buckaroo Banzai, and of course the GhostBusters mobile. to make his virtual reality car.


    Any additional comments?

    Warning for parents: While my 13 year-old-boy did like this book very much, sensitive parents should be aware that there are occasional obscenities in this book, just as there are in most high schools.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan Wichita, Ks, United States 12-06-11
    Ryan Wichita, Ks, United States 12-06-11 Member Since 2013
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    "Loved this book"
    What did you love best about Ready Player One?

    The story was amazing. Wil Wheaton was incredable as the reader and I was engaged though the whole book.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    H. From the first time you meet him to the twist at the end he was a solid and fun charater.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Og's birthday party.


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

    I laughed alot. And the 80 references were alot of fun.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kate North Hollywood, CA, United States 12-06-11
    Kate North Hollywood, CA, United States 12-06-11 Member Since 2013
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    "BEST BOOK OF 2011!"

    Wil Wheaton made this book an experience I am giving to everyone I love this Christmas.

    I listen to books on my long daily commute ( which I LOATHE) and while listening to this book I would circle the block a few times before pulling into my driveway on the way home just to get a few more minutes in.

    I literally found myself laughing out loud in traffic, crying in the drivers seat and geeking out to a major degree over this book. I have listened to it more than once and have recommended it to everyone I know.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracie Westfield, MA, United States 12-04-11
    Tracie Westfield, MA, United States 12-04-11 Member Since 2013
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    "Get this, you won't be disappointed."

    This is one of the best audiobooks I have listened to. Wil's performance was spot on. I listen to a lot of books and read even more, and this is the most entertaining book I have read in years! Also the first audiobook my husband has listened to - he is an eighties geek like me. If you played Dungeons and Dragons or programmed a TRS 80, this book is for you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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