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)
Yes, this narrator really brought out the character especially the Wade
When he found the first key was probably my favorite part. The ending was also good.
Wil Wheaton is a fabulous narrator! This was the first audio book I ever listened to, and it got me excited about listening to audio books over reading books. This was largely due to the superior narration. I have since listened to many audio books, and have had some completely ruined due to poor narration. It really makes all the difference.
I am a 27 year old nurse pursuing a nurse practitioner degree. My favorite book genres are: fantasy, science fiction, medicine and sociology
This was a very entertaining read. The main character's personality and voice was so distinct that I immediately found him likeable as well as believeable. I enjoyed the plot immensely and rooted from start to finish for our hapless hero.
I highly recommend this book, and don't want to spoil too much of the plot here, so all I will say is, I enjoyed not only the personas of the main character's friends via virtual world interactions, but as the plot progressed, I enjoyed learning the truth about the people behind the online personas, basically their "real life" selves.
The setting of the plot would likely be most easily understood by those who have played or are familiar with MMORPG games, and a lot of the novel takes place online within a virtual reality. However, I firmly believe someone like my mom would enjoy the novel, and she hasn't played anything except Dr Mario on Super Nintendo way back in the day. The familiar challenge of puzzles and quests, difficult opponents, needing equal parts weapons, armor and strategy - in one way or another, this is present in a lot of epic fantasy novels. It just so happens to be a part of this science fiction novel, as well.
This book might appeal most to certain target audiences, but I think it has a lot of potential for wide range appeal as well. I was recommended this novel by my tattoo artist, who had hours upon hours of time to chit chat with me as he inked me. He hadn't read a novel in a while, apparently, but the 80s nostalgia and video game culture references sucked him in. As I read this novel, I felt the author must have been at least somewhat like me - ultimately, a nerd that was interested in 80s culture, video games (both retro and modern), MMORPG culture, science fiction and the possibilities of a dystopian future. It felt like the sort of novel my friends would enjoy, and I find it a great book to recommend to friends when they ask.
EPIC throwback 80s
No, Wheaton was great but I don't have a comparison point.
Yes, it's too long to complete in a day but I certainly wanted to pull an all nighter.
Best book in a long time... seriously, not sure how I missed this in 2012 but if you lived through any part of the 80s and/or enjoy video games this is a must read/hear book.
While I"m not sure a sequel is needed, the movie and book sequel will also be must buys.
I thoroughly enjoyed this! I'm a gamer gal who especially loves RPG-style games with quests and missions and "find the princess in the castle". This book, which is nothing more or less than one epic quest, was right up my alley. I could see it unfolding in front of me, and more than once, wished for the movie version. But not just any movie - an EIGHTIES movie. It would be epic. (And epically expensive, omg the licensing fees alone)
The story and all the 80s references. As someone who was a child and teenager in the 80s it was fun to try and remember all the references. Some were too obscure for me but still a lot of fun.
Did I mention the 80s references?
A weird link to Star Trek Next Generation
It made me laugh
1. were born anywhere between the mid 60's and the very early 80's
2. are a gamer, reader, cult movie buff, geek, nerd, etc
3. are cool with speculative sci-fi
4. have a soft spot for the 80's
5. are a romantic
6. think Wil Wheaton is pretty awesome or at least clever or ironic
- then this will be the greatest audio experience of your life.
Neal Stephenson's SnowCrash, Diamond Age and Reamde because they deal with similar technologies are have the same ironic humor.
Top notch as always
Yes, but at 15 hours, I had to do it over the course of 4 or 5 days.
This was an amazing audio book narrated by Wil Wheaton. The 80s geek culture references come early and often throughout the book making it one of the few that I couldn't stop listening to.
Scott Pilgrim vs the World, Snow Crash, Jennifer Goverent
Adventures in cyberspace.
Of course, you might not hate this book, but I did; I'll explain *why* I hated it so you know whether to disagree.
First up, the premise of this book is wonderful; a ecological-crisis-wracked, devastated future earth where everyone spends their lives online to escape the drudgery of their grinding poverty - an online quest in this future video-game-world, assembled by an obsessive pop-culture fanatic to gain a controlling share in the company that runs it.
In the 21st century where, where we have brought the pomo remix to a high art form, this should be a great excuse to do so much clever stuff, with homage and reference and playful mockery and all that stuff. That's what I would have enjoyed.
Instead, for me, it had all the charm of a shopping list. Endless name-checking of 80s films and video games without wit or self-awareness; fantasy football leagues of giant robots clobbering each other. Arbitrary mashing together of various pop cultural figures without motivation or reflection. You can do so much more with pop heritage than mention it, briefly marvel at how cool it is, then put it away again. Am I missing something here? Where the jokes there but just so deeply buried that only the most subtle of pop-culture experts can excavate them?
I found the characters flat and hard to care about... which isn't necessarily a criticism; if there were a driving plot to keep the entire thing in motion I would still enjoy it, or some clever formal structure. Instead it has the contrived, awkward and arbitrary plot-line of an ancient video game, full of level ups and ill-explained big bosses, but without ever achieving much intrinsic momentum. It felt to me like "gamified reading". If you can get through this next paragraph you can read about the here acquiring some more points. Why do you want more points? To get to the next level. Why? To get more points.
Moreover, I found it hard to acquire the feeling that the characters were even in *danger*. They are all so very much the vehicle for geeky wish-fulfilment that they are in no risk of failing to triumph. (there is some death toll along the way, but I will wager you can tell with 1:1 odds who bites the bullet long before) Half way through some scene where a character has to be a world champion at reciting the script from ancient science fiction movies I was suddenly struck with the feeling that the entire thing was a vehicle to make teenage video game shut-ins feel like they weren't wasting their time; that just maybe one day pac-man high scores would be enough to save the world and make them a hero.
I listened through to the end hoping for some twist or other that would make the marathon effort worthwhile to me, but there are no surprises at the end either.
One curious feature of this book is the amazing job Wil Wheaton does. The dude really tries put 4 million volts into this parrot, but it does not voom. You can really feel for him when he has to read out endless list of numerical high-scores of interest only to high-level obsessives and completists. I have never heard so much passion put into the enunciation of 6 digit employee numbers. Stirling work in adverse circumstances.
Still, that is not enough to make the book fun for me. Glad to reach game over on this one.
Love every genre - read a book every 2 weeks or so- I mix between business books, classics, modern fiction, and biographies
Yes, actually did refer it to my Cousin and his son and we all loved it. Nostalgic story that reminds me of my childhood - every detail was great.
Helen revealed- totally had me fulled
Ready player one - The ultimate 80's gamer fantasy
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