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)
I am a child of the 90's, so I have an appreciation for early video game development and 80's pop culture--but I am certainly not well versed by any means. Didn't matter. Loved every minute of this audiobook and I couldn't stop listening to it. Wil Wheaton does an excellent job narrating. It was inventive and funny and enthralling.
It's young adult fiction that is only appealing if you love or loved to play Atari. Premise is ok, but a lit of the character motivations are suspect or just plain young adult genre-formulaic. There is a huge Deus Ex Machina plot device use at the end that ruins the whole book, but I'm sure it will be just fine for your average immature 40-something who loved The Hunger Games, 1984 (not the book, mind you), or who otherwise just never reads or expects too much. Blah. Waste of time.
I have been on audible since darn near the very start. Many books over many years. Never has a book so quickly captured my attention and kept me glued until the end.
Will Wheaton does a fantastic job narrating and I found myself able to personally relate to a myriad of instances within the storyline.
If you were born
Will Wheaton is amazing and the story's detail of gaming history with a compelling story is a great read for young adults. some foul language, but not bad.
For me, RPO was the perfect mix of nostalgia, new age technology and action. Throw in a three-tiered epic quest, an immersive technology/creative new world, generous throw backs to (my own formative years in) the 80s, characters you just want to root for, and a sinister institution/master villain and you get this book. Not to mention an engaging Audible performance from Will Wheaton (I read and listened).
Bonus points for mentioning Vancouver, Canada!
I read RPO long after the pomp and circumstance surrounding its explosion onto the SF scene a few years back. And as I had hoped from what I'd heard since its release, RPO was a thrilling ride.
Getting down to brass tacks, this was an adventure in every sense. What I think took it over the top were the "retro hooks" that Mr. Cline wove into the plot that got readers like me (I'm hoping so, at least), reminiscing about the glory days of a time long forgotten. One where you worried over things like, let's say, getting your homework done, high school dances, or getting to ball practice on time. Not to mention trying to ride a skateboard behind a moving car while causing a manure truck to drop it's payload into Biff's convertible.
Easy five stars out of five, net of the deductions for all the Rush references (ugh) :)
Pop cultural references abound in such quantity that I was flooded with all my memories of having lived through the period. So many things that I had forgotten were brought back to life. The video game references, School House Rock, the movies, the music. Wow, thanks for the walk down memory lane.
Wade responding to Sorento's "proprosals". I don't know anyone that hasn't wished for an opportunity to tell someone that believes they control everything, what they can do with it.
I did find that the plot line vaguely mimics the story line of Daniel Suarez's books, Daemon and Freedom. It doesn't have all the pop cultural references. More of a reality check than an escape from reality. If you read Ready Player One, check out Daemon next. Slanted towards the technical, but closer to reality than ever.
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