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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 (60425 )
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Performance
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  •  
    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


    49 of 70 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 10-23-15
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 10-23-15 Member Since 2015

    I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "GOING OUTSIDE IS HIGHLY OVER RATED"

    MY BULLET BILL THIS MONTH WAS GOING TO BE HUGE
    I am going to join the 30,000+ who have given this a 4.7 rating and say this is a wonderful book. I loved it from the get go and their was not a single dull moment. I am a little old for the generation that will love this the best. In the 80's I was in my 20's, married and had my two kids. I played some of the early systems and can even remember text games, where all you had was text and you could only give simple commands. I remember the first time I saw a pong machine (not mentioned in the book). I remember Space Invaders at the bowling alley.

    THE CROWD WENT WILD
    I might buck the crowd just a little and say, if you did or do not play video games, then you will not enjoy this. The bigger the nerd you were or are, than the more you will enjoy this. This is mostly for the hard core nerds and not the pop scene. For instance even though MTV is mentioned and even though Michael Jackson made MTV popular, his name is never mentioned. I had heard of most of the games, but not all and I had played a few. Games such as Master of Orion and Romance of The Three Kingdoms (my favorite games) are totally ignored. So, there is a certain amount of bias in the book.

    THE GAME WITHIN THE GAME
    The plot is a game, which is why I am sure none gamers will not like it. I loved the game within the game and thought it was very well done. I normally do not like shoot-em ups in any book, but this is so well done, that it holds your attention. There is a romance that is well done, there is suspense, some surprises, and even without the 80's references it would be a great book.

    THE GREAT AND POWERFUL OG
    Yea, there is also some serendipity help that takes place, especially toward the end and the main character just seems too knowledgeable at times. Watching nerdy movies is one thing, but memorizing the entire dialogue??? My wife and I did see War Games at the theater and War Games plays big in the book.

    Just before this book I listened to a Scalzi book, not narrated by Wil Wheaton and I followed that up with this book, read by Wil Wheaton, but not written by Scalzi, how weird is that? Anyways Wheaton is one of my favorites and was the perfect pick for this book. He Crushered it.

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Lynnwood, WA USA 12-04-15
    Paul Lynnwood, WA USA 12-04-15 Member Since 2016

    Morganducks

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    "A fun listen, but pretty empty"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would if they are into good yarns with very little substance.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Maybe the protagonist could run into a problem for which he has no solution (or even has to try a little bit to solve it).


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Meh. Probably not.


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed listening to this book. It's a good yarn. If you like puzzle-solving, this is probably a book for you. But everything seemed so streamlined. The main characters all have the pieces fall into place at exactly the right time. And that process is only explained by "I watched this movie 15 times" or "Then I remembered this line from the almanac." It seemed almost too simple. And in retrospect, I just felt like it wasn't very fulfilling.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    marumaru 11-27-15
    marumaru 11-27-15
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    "Enjoyable, mindless fun. Just don't look too close."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Ready Player One to be better than the print version?

    I have never read the print version of RP1, but after hearing the sample of the audiobook, I initially assumed that it would be difficult to follow the audiobook and that I'd want the print version so I could research and revel in the nostalgia as I read. However, after caving and listening to it, I now have the opposite impression: the book is so verbose and lengthy I'd most likely have struggled to get through it all if I'd only had the paper copy. As audio, I could half listen when it was getting too detailed and slow for my enjoyment.


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

    Ultimately I would, though not as a "must read." If your familiar with pop/nerd culture, particularly of the era, it's certainly fun. Additionally, you do not need to have grown up in the 80s to enjoy this novel, as many reviewers have suggested. I missed the 80s, but got enjoy them through my parents, friends, and curiosity, much the way Wade and the other players do in the novel. While the nostalgia buttons may not be mashed quite as hard, they certainly are pushed. If you like puzzles, I would especially recommend this. I was really gratified when I figured out the first key and the second gate before the main character did and I can imagine that other people obsessed with pop culture would feel vindicated by the idea that one day all thei trivia could lead somewhere, even if it's fantasy. I would, however, caution against looking too closely at the text. There are multiple inconsistencies and plot holes. I won't detail them here for the sake of spoilers, but there were enough that I gott a little angry at points. Also, the characters were kind of inconsistent and illogical at times, acting more with convenience to the plot than truth to their own characters. If you can roll with the punches, though, it's certainly a fun ride.


    What about Wil Wheaton’s performance did you like?

    Wil Wheaton is a great speaker. He reads well and does a good job differentiating the voices enough that you can tell whose speaking. I was little miffed that he pronounced all the Japanese correct except the word "manga." Why are we still mispronouncing this so much? It's not hard. Why was he allowed to go the entire audiobook with that pronunciation? As a fan, of both him and manga, it rubbed me the wrong way.


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

    I didn't have a particularly strong reaction to the book, except that the movie has the potential to be really, really cool if they do it right (like I hope they skip doing green screen for the OASIS and instead do computer animation. Except for the Japanese monster battles. People in costumes all the way!)


    Any additional comments?

    The writing of this book is actually pretty poor. It's fairly repetitive and amateurish. I feel like a stronger editing hand could have helped a lot. As an audiobook, though, it's failr easy to ignore these flaws.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doug Riechel 06-08-14
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    "Hits the notes, but leaves you sour."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I would have preferred if the story had done something more with the constant references to 80's culture besides just parroting the memes and expecting us to laugh along. Some level of analysis or critique would have been appreciated over 'HEY, THE SIMPSONS WERE A THING! LAUGH AT THE THING!' This was a decade full of changes in media, some positive, some negative, and I wish the book would have explored that.


    Has Ready Player One turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Not at all. In fact, it's only because I like Sci-Fi that I powered through the book as long as I did.


    What three words best describe Wil Wheaton’s voice?

    Laid-back, sarcastic,...bland? Not the kindest thing, to say, but his characters all sounded the same.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Ready Player One?

    All of the list scenes, and oh, are there many. Also, the chapter where he describes his new living arrangement in Columbus. And...actually, I would have left the book in ribbons.


    Any additional comments?

    I wish I'd liked this more, but the whole experience felt subpar. It was an 80's movie in an audiobook form, and let's just admit that 80's movies were not most well known for their plots. The tropes come thick in this tale, and even the inversions are obnoxiously obvious. I wanted to care about the characters, and the world, but at the end of the day, the book is as trapped in its virtual reality as the main character, and it only lazily swipes at anything beyond that.

    26 of 40 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arthur 08-03-12
    Arthur 08-03-12 Member Since 2011

    Ghost writer of over 100 unpublished works...;).

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    "Simple & entertaining, lacking substance."

    If you're not up for a very challenging listen, you may find Ready Player One worthwhile. My eight year old son found it very interesting, and enjoyed it very much. I was less impressed, but did find myself playing along with the main characters in their hunt for the egg. I found the personal relationships significantly less interesting.

    The prize of the contest, for the characters, represents an escape from dystopia, but also serves as a decent allegory for common struggles of youth. However, it seemed to me to veer too close to validating geeks; something that has already been accomplished IRL.

    Will Wheaton put in a professional performance, and even seemed to have fun taking part in a production which included himself as a minor player.

    All in all, I found it entertaining if unrewarding. It won't change your life, but it may serve as escapism for a few hours, much like The Oasis itself...

    17 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ed G New York, NY USA 01-16-13
    Ed G New York, NY USA 01-16-13 Member Since 2005

    I read any type of books but boring

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Entertaining? Yes. Profound? No."
    Any additional comments?

    The book is just a good listen during a commute.
    It entertains you, but never touches you with a deep thought or a profound idea. The good versus evil fight is very cliché like. Everything is just black and white. The friendship and love of the protagonists are very simple and cartoonish.
    But nevertheless as I said it is fun to listen, so I did not regret my credit

    12 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam Hendley Chapel Hill, NC United States 09-07-11
    Sam Hendley Chapel Hill, NC United States 09-07-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Decent but childish writing"

    A decent story but hurt a bit by the overly simplistic writing. Between the lists of X things from the 80s and the verbose descriptions of minor points the author glosses over some of the more important plot points (holes?). I'll admit there were a few times I waited in my car for a scene to play out but I was nearly always disappointed by the outcome of the big moments. Storyline suffers a bit from "chosen one" tropes but if you like games and puzzles at all I would recommend a listen. For the record I though Wheaton did a great job narrating the script, lots of emoting and decent pace but the volume changes were sometimes surprising (though usually approriate).

    12 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Theodore Kingston, Jamaica 05-02-13
    Theodore Kingston, Jamaica 05-02-13

    "A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one." - Jojen Reed. #ADanceWithDragons

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fun Listen"

    This ended being one of those titles that (if you're a techy person) turns out to be a fun listen. The narrator did an excellent job in keeping you engaged throughout the novel and the story is interesting in nature. What causes the book to lose marks for me is the unfortunate fact that I've heard this kind of storyline before and it was done better (albeit a whole darker and a bit more goary).

    Had I given this title a chance before being exposed to Daemon by Daniel Suarez, this would have potentially gotten 4 or 5 stars all across the board. This is not to say it is an exact carbon copy of the book but one can't help but sense the similarities between the two as it major drawback. I do get the saying that 'imitation is the best form of flattery' and even though both books veer in different directions, if there will be such room for comparison I'd expect that Ready Player One would have improved greatly on the idea instead of seeming like a watered down version of a great 3 part series.

    Now with all that being said above, the book as a stand alone title (forgetting anything else I have ever read) was intricately written, ingeniously created and (for anyone who is even remotely interested in old school video games and or 80's pop culture) just plain fun. I wasn't really a big 80's buff and I don't like old school video games that much (old school for me started at Nintendo and Gameboy, not Atari though) BUT I still came off enjoying the book, it really is hard to dislike this book. I enjoyed the idea that so much effort and research was actually put into making this book and it really did speak to the inner geek/nerd in me.

    16 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Professor 11-27-12
    Professor 11-27-12

    1*=I didn't like it..... 2*=It was OK...... 3*=It was good but I will never read it again.......... 4*=Maybe I will read it again in the future.............. 5*=I will definitely read it again(maybe more than once)

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Don't judge a book by its cover"

    BECAUSE OF IT'S COVER AND STRANGE SUMMARY I'VE BEEN AVOIDING THIS BOOK FOR YEARS UP UNTIL THE MOMENT i DECIDED TO TRY THE FIRST CHAPTER, AND IT IMMEDIATELY RUSHED IT'S WAY ON MY TOP SHELF

    ADVERTISER'S COVER AND PUBLISHERS SUMMARY ARE THE WORST I SEEN FOR LONG WHILE,AND YET THE BOOK IS SOMETHING EXTRAORDINARY. OVER THE YEARS I READ HUNDREDS OF SCI FI BOOKS AND I HAVE NOTHING TO COMPARE IT TO.

    THE ORIGINALITY IS HARD TO COME BY IN NOWADAYS

    PS
    I was very disappointed when I found out that the author has only one book published.

    19 of 31 people found this review helpful

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