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Ready Player One Audiobook

Ready Player One

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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 (56258 )
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4.8 (52592 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Robert Colona, IL, United States 08-20-11
    Robert Colona, IL, United States 08-20-11 Member Since 2016

    Shogun

    HELPFUL VOTES
    86
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    "Best book I've read in years!"

    This book is a mish-mash of different genres. Part treasure hunt, part trip down memory lane (if alive during the 80's, if not a new look into one of the greatest decades in history) this book will grab you and not let go.
    A billionaire game designer with an obsession with the 80's decides to leave his sizable estate to whoever can follow the clues he left in the internet world he created called the Oasis that will lead the hunter to his ultimate prize. The first clue is hidden for 5 years until a young man finally gets the ball rolling...
    I can't recommend this book enough for geeks or anyone that grew up in this amazing time.

    62 of 87 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Eberhart Chicago 03-11-15
    Scott Eberhart Chicago 03-11-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ""Naming 80's things" the book"
    What did you like best about Ready Player One? What did you like least?

    This started out a lot of fun but as it went on I liked it less and less. It had a cool semi-dystopian future set-up with this really cool facebook-meets-video games-meets-virtual reality immersive secondary world which never really explored more than being a big video game. That's fine, that's the point of the book, but if something like this were ever real, it'd be so much more.

    The thing that got to me was eventually the book just became a list of things from the 80's and talking about how they were "THE coolest" robot/game/character/movie.

    There's no twist. Every plot development is the discovery of another obscure 80's relic that the listener has to be let in on. We dont get to discover much of anything for ourselves.

    The bad guy is 2 dimensional. (Also a thinly veiled metaphor for Comcast) The dialogue gets old quick. And the whole thing is just a little too neckbeardy.

    I enjoyed most of it. I couldve used a better third act, some real human dialogue and plot twist or two


    Would you recommend Ready Player One to your friends? Why or why not?

    Only if you actively call yourself a "gamer" or really miss the 80's


    45 of 65 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Macie 08-20-16
    Macie 08-20-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wil Wheaton is Terrible"

    Wil Wheaton is a terrible narrator. Every single time the word "then" appears in the novel, he says, "THEN?" And continues.

    For example: "FIRST. I put on my backpack. THEN? I opened the door." Literally every. Single. Time. It's completely jarring and I suffered through the book only because I'm stubborn and had to finish it as part of a reading challenge I'm doing.

    The book itself I boring and poorly written. I like the premise, but the main character is an arrogant, simpering, Nice Guy TM Gary Stu and I found it impossible to sympathize with or root for him in any way.

    Absolutely brutal; I do not recommend.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tstewart 08-20-16
    tstewart 08-20-16 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Made for preteens"

    As charming and nostalgic as the barrage of 80s cultural references were (initially), this story lacked any depth for me and actually became gut ringingly painful to finish. Sorry all, it's just my opinion. I'm sure some will love this book. It seemed Will Wheaton may have been bored as well as I've heard him narrate other stories with much more vigor (anything by John Scalzi). The focus on teen romance made me feel this book would be better suited to those who've not yet ventured down this path so it could still spark excitement & not a sense of cringing at the shallow teen angst.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine Harman 07-29-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Irritation"

    My phone just ate the multi-paragraph review I had been writing about how irritating I found this book as a reread. This disappearance has done nothing to decrease my irritation.

    Harumph.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 07-28-16
    David 07-28-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Manchild's Twilight-Unceasing 80s Wish Fulfillment"
    What disappointed you about Ready Player One?

    Have you ever known someone whose best years were in high school? Who looks back and idolizes (and fetishizes) those years? Listening to this book is like hearing that person tell you, in 20-hour detail, how awesome their local school's football team was, how Cindy was so hot, and how Mrs. Crandall was so strict.

    Well I grew up in the 80's and played more than my fair share of games, but the sheer volume of shameless attempts to exploit 80's nostalgia is nauseating. We get it, you liked games, TV, and music from the time when you were young. However, slapping a poorly-thought-out virtual reality, childish world-view, and predictable plot onto your fetish does not make for an interesting book. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory without the humor. A politician you've seen through, who's desperately trying to tell you what he thinks you want to hear.

    Why don't the reviews average to 2 stars? I'm told these ratings are only posted if accompanied by a photo proving the review was written by an overweight unmarried antisocial male. Childhood must begin in the 80's.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracy Madison, WI 11-23-15
    Tracy Madison, WI 11-23-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Finally!"

    love love loved it! I have been waiting for a book just like this! A fantastic mix between Charlie and the chocolate factory and the movie Gamer. I couldn't be happier with this book. Lots of action and page turning action! I would recommend this to any distopia lover!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JoeyM 11-23-15
    JoeyM 11-23-15 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Story"
    If you could sum up Ready Player One in three words, what would they be?

    80s nostalgic adventure


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved the way the book kept me at the edge of my seat.


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

    I have not. I must say that he did a fine job. His woman voices could have been better, but other than that I found myself immersed in the story without the narration getting in the way.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sonni Goodman 11-23-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Love... Love... Loved It!!!"

    An Absolute Must Have!!! Funny, Exciting, Suspenseful, Romantic all in One!!! I enjoyed this book throughly and it's reading.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daryll Henrich 10-23-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Don't overlook this one!!"

    Beyond fantastic. Top 5 for sure. I avoided this for a long time because the description made me think that I would hate it, but I loved every minute and binge-listened the entire thing in a few days.

    If you played video games in the 80s this is an absolute must. Such a clever story-- I could really not have imagined that anyone could make a virtual world interesting whatsoever, but Cline pulls it off and then some.

    I wish it could've kept going.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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