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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 (17474 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Sami 03-31-13
    Sami 03-31-13
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    "an entertaining story, but could've been better"

    the narration is a little.. overbearing? if such a word can be used for someone reading a book. it's not bad, per se, just spoon-fed. it's like narrator doesn't expect the listener to understand what's going without over-stressing everything. i hate to say this, as i like what i know of wil wheaton in real life.

    but to be fair, the narration is a reflection of the content of the book. it also spoon-feeds the reader, with no mystery of understanding, just "this is the world, this is how it came to be, etc. etc.". the reader's intelligence is not taxed at all. the story is entertaining enough - i did enjoy the events and characters - but it's just not amazing.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christy 03-29-13
    Christy 03-29-13 Member Since 2014

    DMB fan

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    "Great audiobook!"

    What a wonderful performance from Wheaton! The book is well written, creative, & engaging. Especially it is a delight to anyone like myself who grew up in the 80's.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Apache junction, AZ, United States 03-29-13
    Chris Apache junction, AZ, United States 03-29-13

    A business professional with a voracious reading habit. My favorites are crime dramas and sci-fi/fantasy, but the occasional romance or history read is great too.

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    "Futuristic 80's reboot"
    Where does Ready Player One rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's a good book, if not a little long winded. It is very vivid in its description of thing I had long forgotten in my youth. I grew up in the late 70's and 80's and remember fondly arcades, Joust, Pacman, Quest, and many of the other things mentioned. I recommend it if only to remember and relive your childhood as an adolescent in the 80's.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The memories of thing long stored away in my subconcious.


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

    A flair of the science fiction and a good voice. I am a fan of TNG and his other credits, this just adds to the enjoyment.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Futuristic 1980's reboot!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Kailua, HI, United States 03-28-13
    Christopher Kailua, HI, United States 03-28-13 Member Since 2014

    My name is Chris and I am an addict.

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    "Nerdvana"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Ready Player One to be better than the print version?

    I enjoyed the narration, but this book must be wonderful in paperback as much as it is as an audiobook.


    What did you like best about this story?

    This is a story that appealed to my nerdy side. The author really did paint a picture of the story.


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

    Will Wheaton has a good voice for narrating.


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

    When you find out who all the characters are in real life it shows how people do not need to know your face to know you.


    Any additional comments?

    At first the premise of the book did not appeal to myself truthfully, but is possibly one of my favorite standalone audio-books I have ever read. The author does not only make you understand the characters, but makes them really feel like real people.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason 03-26-13
    Jason 03-26-13

    Alpha Dork

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    "Cannot wait for more from this author!"

    The brief synopsis of this book doesn't capture the brilliance of Ernest Cline. As one who was a teenager in the 1980s, and who was a computer nerd and D&D fan, this book is a brilliant look at a character from the future who must immerse himself in OUR culture much more than we ever did.

    It is a story about the unrestricted and frightening power of corporate entities, of the power (and downsides) of immersion in technology to the exclusion of reality, of first love and teen angst, and of course the David vs. Goliath fight.

    I am a 45 year old professor of educational psychology now. I do not live in my mother's basement and I don't pine for the 1980s-- for my money, they are better left to nostalgia. You don't have to be a hacker, nerd, 1980s throwback, teenager, D&D aficionado, sci-fi buff, or video gamer to love this book. But if you are any of those, I suspect you will enjoy the book even more. It is SMART, and I didn't want to put it down.

    The narrator is as excellent-- I have heard him do other books and he is just great here too. Listen to the book-- you won't be disappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth FREDERICKSBURG, VA, United States 03-26-13
    Kenneth FREDERICKSBURG, VA, United States 03-26-13
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    "Awesome story mixed with awesome narrator!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    The story had me hooked from start to finish. Wil Wheaton adds just the right amount of personality to the characters, you can tell he enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed listening to it.


    What did you like best about this story?

    A book about virtual reality with heavy influence from the 80's. So much so that Wil Wheaton chose to read it! If any of that piqued your interest, then this book is for you.


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

    If ever there was a person who should read this book, it would be Wil Wheaton. He does a flawless job bringing these characters to life and you can tell he enjoyed reading it. This always makes listening better when you can feel his emotion but be able to separate it from the story. It adds another level without saying a word.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Insert Coin to begin.


    Any additional comments?

    Just listen to it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    DONALD PHILADELPHIA, PA, United States 03-25-13
    DONALD PHILADELPHIA, PA, United States 03-25-13 Member Since 2008
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    "Awesome start to finish - couldn't put it down!"
    What made the experience of listening to Ready Player One the most enjoyable?

    great story and characters told by a terrific narrator


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

    Hunger Games - not exactly for the plot but because of they way you end up really caring and rooting for the characters


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

    he puts just the right emotional inflection on each line of the book


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

    Laughed out loud often but was truly surprised by it's depth of feelings and character


    Any additional comments?

    I dare anybody to put this thing down!!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave Nelson Marietta, GA, United States 03-25-13
    Dave Nelson Marietta, GA, United States 03-25-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Can't wait to read this to my son when he groes up"

    A tour-de-force for Wil Wheaton, easily the best performance I have every heard or seen from him.

    If Cory Doctorow and William Gibson wrote a book together, I imagine that it would be a lot like this one. It has the fun and pacing of a Doctorow book with the environment and physical elements of a Gibson novel. But I am not saying that this story is derivative in any way, it is its own story in its own world with fantastic characters that I am going to remember for a long time.

    This story really works for me because it is character driven with the science fiction elements playing important roles without getting in the way of the character’s lives. By the end of the book the protagonists are our friends and antagonists are the hated enemy, just as it should be in any great story.

    I can’t wait to share this book with my 2-year-old son when he gets older, hopefully it will help create an appreciation of the video games and movies I grew up playing.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Timothy Loomis, CA, United States 03-25-13
    Timothy Loomis, CA, United States 03-25-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Best...Book...Ever"
    What did you love best about Ready Player One?

    I've never written one of these reviews before but this book captivated me so much that I can't help geeking out about this one. The story is written in a way that will pull you in and keep you listening for hours; unable to quit the story. There are so many many references, and nostalgic reminders of the glory the 1980's, it made me want to brush up on my old movies and games. Like I said before, it's a good book to geek out to.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 03-24-13
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    "My first audible review ever"

    Awesome book. I highly recommend to read it. It's well written, well read, and keeps you on the edge of your seat.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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