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)
The audio books I get tend to be either 1) scifi or 2) things for my husband and me to listen to on long road trips--humor or history
Somehow, every time I read a review, I got the idea that only young adult males who love to play video games would enjoy this book. Well, I am here to tell you that couldn’t be further from the truth.
I think anyone who is within ten years +/- my age (50-ish) would get a HUGE kick out of this book. There are so many references to things that are in our cohort’s DNA that everyone can get the “in” jokes. References to Indiana Jones (okay, I just found out that one of my coworkers WASN’T EVEN BORN YET when the original movie came out—ghahhhhh!!), PacMan, Monty Python . . . there were tons of things nearly anyone who wasn’t living under a rock will get. I am sure there are things I missed, but that hardly mattered because there was also a kick-ass plot to keep me interested.
For his plot, Cline used a formula that is becoming familiar from the gaming world: Give the protagonist a quest, and set up obstacles. If your protagonist is likable, then the reader will want him to succeed. He is, and we do. I wanted Wade Watts to succeed so badly that I found this book every bit as addicting as the best video games: I could barely put it down. I told everyone around me how much I was enjoying it. I am telling you to read it now!
[I listened to this as an audiobook narrated by Wil Wheaton, who is just about the perfect choice, for so many reasons . . . not least of which is being a piece of 80’s trivia himself!!]
Interested in Social Science, Science Fiction, Fantasy- particularly when parallels can be made between the story and the psyche. Also, I buy 2 audible books for every 1 I will listen to!
I don't even know how else to put this. THIS BOOK IS EPICALLY AWESOME. If you grew up geek in the coming-of-age of computers and video games... This is a no-brainer. I haven't been this satisfied with spending a credit since I downloaded Girl With the Dragon Tattoo in 2008. But back to this book, nostalgia cross-referencing every aspect of growing up between probably 1975-1995. If you want to know if you will enjoy this book ask yourself this: Are you a geek? One who enjoys sci-fi and video games? Like computers? 3 yes answers should have you buying this. Here's a short list of things the book references (from memory):
TRS-80 Tandy Computers/Color Computer 3
Amigas, Commodore 64s
Atari 2600 (Extensively)
Games like Pitfall, Kaboom, Dungeons of Daggorath
Back To The Future
Voltron and Transformers
General Hacking and Computer culture
Text messaging, L33t Speak
Dungeons and Dragons
Boom Boxes, Mohawks, Acid Washed Jeans
Rush, Def Leppard, Pat Benatar, Cindy Lauper (and a slew of others)
School House Rock
Japanese/American cross culture (Manga, Cartoons, Games)
The "setting" for the book takes place in a computer simulation that reminded me of the visuals from the Scott Pilgrim Movie, particularly where things look like the inside of a video game, music notes and light coming from instruments, VS subtitles underneath P2P Fights, Things pixelate into "bonus items" when they get destroyed.
Honestly... there's so much that it's hard to remember. Quit reading this and just go download it.
I rate as follows: 5 Stars = Loved it. 4 Stars = Really liked it. 3 Stars = Liked it. 2 Stars = Didn't like it. 1 Star = Hated it.
Ever since this book has come out, I’ve stubbornly held on to the belief that the novel was not for me. “That’s the video game book, right?” I asked people over and over again, whenever the story was mentioned. No matter how many times people tried to tell me that it was far more than a book about video games, I somehow didn’t hear them. I’d made my decision.
What a huge mistake.
If any of your formative years took place in the 80’s, this book is for you. It’s like a grand, wonderful party that greets you warmly at the door as you arrive, and puts you immediately at ease. The story will make you laugh, and remember, and sit on the edge of your seat as you follow Wade and his friends on their great quest.
The story also provides us with a cautionary tale for both individuals and society; an allegory highlighting the damage that can be done to people and worlds when we opt for spending too much time in our virtual worlds, and not enough working on our real life and world.
The narration by Wil Wheaton (who has his own cameo appearance in the story) was a fantastic fit for the story; I doubt anyone else could have done half the job he did with this book.
This story was the perfect love letter to the 80’s; the music, the movies, the culture, and yes, the video games. I loved it all. So even if one of those aspects wasn’t your strong suit, have no worries; just pick up your joystick, download this book… and ready player one.
My favorite genres are absurdist humor, Sci-fi & modern fantasy, but, as you can see, I'll read just about anything. Don't mind the typos.
I immediately looked for more from this author after I listened to ready player one. This story is full of detail and imagination. You'll like it even if you aren't a gamer. Very clever plot and excellent narration by Wheaton.
From Austen to zombies!
This book has been coming up in my recommendations for a long time, but I always skipped it. When I listened to the Audible sample it sounded as if the book's world-building was terrible or even non-existent (which is because it's not from the beginning of the book!) Further, descriptions of the book's 80s nostalgia were kind of a turn-off: as a member of Gen X, I'm not always very nostalgic about the 80s.
But I had a credit, and I like Wil Wheaton--so when I read the Audible Essentials review of Ready Player One, I thought I might as well try it. Boy. Was I ever wrong about what this book would be like!
In 2045, Wade Watts is a child of the new era, a teenage orphan living with his aunt and a bunch of other people in a derelict trailer. The planet is a dump and most people are jerks, or worse. The only place he can find peace is OASIS, a Second Life-style digital game environment where he attends school, goes on adventures, and hides from the drag that reality has become (and where Wil Wheaton and Cory Doctorow are elected officials!) The game's creator has been dead for several years, leaving behind an in-game easter egg hunt: the winner gets his entire multi-billion dollar fortune! But nobody's had any luck. Until now.
This book wasn't much like anything else I've read recently: it's part mystery, part quest-legend story, part love story, part fairytale, and part dystopian-future novel. I was afraid it might be depressing, but it wasn't--not at all. Events moved quickly, and the humorous tone kept me laughing out loud. The nostalgia itself turned out to directed mostly toward geeky stuff that I remember fondly, like arcade games and old computers. Puzzling out what might happen next was an additional bonus--I was so proud of myself when I got a crucial reference before Wade did!
Wil Wheaton does a great job on narration. The only thing I was a little disappointed with--it caused me to knock off a star--was the character development. Wade, and especially his friends, come off as somewhat two-dimensional. Perhaps that's because the events of the book are such a wild ride. I could not stop listening! I ran the batteries out in my headphones and was forced to dig through a junk drawer to find an analog pair so I could keep going. That's how determined I was to find out what would happen next.
Overall I recommend this book if you are looking for an exciting and fun science fiction adventure that's also close to home. If you recognize the headline for this review, you're definitely going to like Ready Player One.
I've listened to a LOT of audiobooks in the last few years, and there are some series I'm totally loyal to. This beats all. The story, the humor, and Wil Wheaton's performance are all incredible. I laughed out loud multiple times during a marathon practice run! No one laughs during that misery!
I enjoyed the geek "in" jokes, and I appreciated the 80s nostalgia, even though I'm too young to get a fair number of the references. I enjoyed this so much that I went out and got the hard cover so I could loan it to friends. Buy this book. I'm serious. Do it now!
Too many. The entire hunt for the egg was well done and the conclusion was excellent--very satisfying. There is a moment where Wil Wheaton as narrator refers to himself in text :). I think they picked exactly the right narrator for this novel.
I loved the deus ex machina moment where Og appears to save the day. Also loved the Oingo Boingo reference in the beginning.
The discussion between Samantha and Wade at the end. It was sweet and sincere.
Seriously, this is one of the best books I've read/heard in a VERY long time.
I'm 38, and a geek, so I'm probably the target audience for this book, and I loved it unashamedly. I downloaded it to my droid and took it everywhere I went over 3 days, listening whenever I had a bit of time to spare. The references come thick and fast, but there were few I couldn't place. It was a little like Snow Crash meets Neuromancer meets Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which isn't too surprising, as it both draws on and references all three. In addition, Will Wheaton's narration is great. I enjoyed listening to him narrate as much as I enjoyed the story itself.
I would if they are into good yarns with very little substance.
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).
Meh. Probably not.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!)
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.
I am not sure if it was by design or by chance, but Wil Wheaton as a cameo character and being the Narrator is great fun! this book satisfies my inner geek as well as my nostalgic heart!
Report Inappropriate Content