It's the year 2044, and the real world has become an ugly place. We're out of oil. We've wrecked the climate. Famine, poverty, and disease are widespread. Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes this depressing reality by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia where you can be anything you want to be, where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. And, like most of humanity, Wade is obsessed by the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this alternate reality: OASIS founder James Halliday, who died with no heir, has promised that control of the OASIS - and his massive fortune - will go to the person who can solve the riddles he has left scattered throughout his creation.
For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that the riddles are based in the culture of the late 20th century. And then Wade stumbles onto the key to the first puzzle. Suddenly he finds himself pitted against thousands of competitors in a desperate race to claim the ultimate prize, a chase that soon takes on terrifying real-world dimensions - and that will leave both Wade and his world profoundly changed.
Narrator Wil Wheaton is an American actor and writer best known for his role as Wesley Crusher in the TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation, and for playing Gordie Lachance in the film Stand By Me. More recently, he has appeared in several episodes of the TV series The Big Bang Theory as himself.
©2011 Ernest Cline (P)2012 Random House Audiobooks
This was an incredible book, with both the writing and performance being top-class. I have never read a book much like this, yet I was deeply thrown into the story and really felt for the characters and the world around them.
I would recommend this book to those of you have ever had any interest in computing, retro gaming and retro film. It really is a 80s pop-culture book with an incredible setting and back story.
To be honest, I was upset when the book ended. The only question that came to my mind was: Where is the sequel?!
Hopefully one might be made soon... I know Ernest Cline hasn't ruled it out yet!
Immersive, descriptive imagery.
The massive scale.
Honest, committed and pitched right. Except for Og's voice - which was just wrong. But that was such a small part of the book it doesn't matter. Also it was too slow, but on 1.25x speed on the Audible app it was fine.
Something terrible. Because a movie will water this book down and leave it a tepid, lame version of the original.
This book was a delight to listen to and made driving to work an absolute pleasure - the story is pure fanfiction and wil Wheaton delivers it in spades - I wish he did more audiobook work
Yes. Will take you back to the good old days and will make you think about what could be
Laught and reminissed
Best audio book I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. Diddnt want it to end.
Story was pretty solid although some plot points were a bit hard to believe but the fun allowed you to suspend belief just this once. Wil Wheaton did a great job with the narration.
It was different to what I had encountered before and really pleasant read. I really enjoyed the nostalgia, it gave me a warm fuzzy feeling inside.
Good job Wil.
If I had the time I would have gotten through this in one or two sittings but I like to pace myself to enjoy the story more.
This instantly became my favorite contemporary sci-fi novel. I can't say enough good things about it. The story is imaginative yet nostalgic, and the imagery and performance are superb. I typically have a hard time getting "into" stories that largely take place in cyber space... however this story is riveting, and the characters' real world stakes were high enough to keep my headphones glued to my ears. I have recommended this to MANY friends.
Hmm, clever, unique and daring. I grew up in the eighties and connected with almost every part of Ernie Cline's wonderful book. When I found a part that I wasn't familiar with I would pause the book and look it up on Google. I ended up listening to Rush 2112 and rented War Games, which I had watched when it first came out but really enjoyed watching again.
I liked the references to the eighties and video games and the fact that by creating a virtual world he made almost anything possible. Even giant Japanese robots LOL
I was recommended this story by a friend of mine. He refused to tell me anything about it but just said "read it". At the start I thought the story was OK, but nothing to rave about. Then I slowly got more and more hooked. This ended up being a great story and a really interesting concept. The narration by Wil Wheaton was top notch. He didn't really try to put on any different voices for the different characters, which is how I like it.
Yes... definitely brought out the geek in me :)
Wade was a well crafted character that will resonate with so many readers.
Wheaton was perfect for the role. It was obvious that he really identified with the protagonist, which made the reading that much more enjoyable. A great performance delivered with real empathy.
Even before I finished, I was back on line looking for sequels. Best book I have found in months.
Whether you're a closet geek yourself, or just someone that has fondness for eighties pop culture and the resulting video game revolution, you are sure to find this book a fun, enjoyable read.
Absolutely, it's a story I've been able to relate to more than any other book I've ever read (and there's been quite a lot of them). Having just listened to all 3 of Peter Clines' major novels (Ex-Heroes, Ex-Patriots and 14), I was a little hesitant to start another book thinking that I'd only be disappointed.. thankfully I couldn't have been more wrong - I powered through Ready Player One faster than I'd ever listened to any other book, it was an incredibly compelling read and I just couldn't put it down. The characters, the setting, the virtual themes, all the puzzles and gaming is just so well written and paced.
I'll be giving it another listen after Christmas most definitely, and having found that Ernest Cline is drafting the outline for a sequel, that has me in extremely high hopes that there's going to be yet another mind blowing book from the genius that is Cline!
I can probably most directly identify with H, as I myself am an FPS centric (former pro) gamer, so H's passion for that genre and just action in general and the way H talks to Z is just all stuff I can relate to. That's not to say that Wade/Perzival, Art3mis or Shoto are any less than amazing characters though (and of course Daito). Every character in the book is so wonderfully crafted that it's difficult to pick a direct favourite.
This is the first Wil Wheaton performance i've heard (aside from having TNG on with my eyes closed at night and hearing him on Big Bang Theory in a different room of my house). He did a great job and I think that being that he can most likely relate heavily to the characters of the book, he really connected with them and gave a great performance. He puts some strange emphasis on certain words but that's probably more of a difference in our accents than anything else, as I'm Australian! Never the less, brilliant effort by Wheaton and it was a pleasure to have him narrate such a great story.
Numerous moments in the book moved me, but if i'm picking just one specific moment.. it would have to be when Z and H meet in person for the first time. That was a really great scene and was very touching. It put real emphasis on the fact that if you share a connection with a person online, you're sharing a CONNECTION with a PERSON.. not just some random game character with no personality. They are the person you have had all the good times with, no matter how they turn out to look or be when/if you meet in person.
Buy it! Right now! The movie will be the greatest movie ever! Fanboy mode *ACTIVE*
Can't wait for a sequel too!
"Great fun for geeks and children of the 80s"
Wil Wheaton is the perfect narrator for this fun adventure story. I'm not a gamer but enjoyed the cultural references immensely particularly the music. I found the characters believeable and endearing and was even a little moved by a revelation about one of them towards the end. I can really see this as a film and have been mentally casting ever since.
It's a light read but I was completely gripped to the extent of going for long walks so that I could justify binge listening!
If you were born around 1960-1975 you will love the nostalgia in this book. A light SciFi romp, easy listening, but with lots to recomend it. Cline researched the history of video games and infact PS's like a true Geek! but managed to carry the storyline along without loosing my interest. Even a reminder of the great Rush LP 2012. Lighten up for a while, give it a go, you'll be glad you did :)
"Ready Reader One"
This is something of a gamer geek novel - so I preface all my views with the caveat that like Neal Stevenson's REAMDE it may appeal to those, like me, of a certain sub-culture. The story-line itself is not so remarkable, civilization in deep decline in the next few decades yada yada. What makes this story interesting is the alternative that the majority of the population turn to in order to escape and a challenge that arises therein.
It is fast paced story that never seemed to drag. It has a great 1980's sub-plot if you have fond memories of early games, TV, books, film and computers. I found the characters and their gamer-style issues with RL (real-life) accurate and engaging. I found myself looking forward to the drive to work in the mornings (when I get to listen to my audiobooks) which doesn't often happen to me!
The narration by Wil Wheaton (of ST:TNG fame and avid gamer) is excellent, a really good choice and nice kind of twist as you will find out if you choose to listen.
All in all I consider this one of my best ever spontaneous buys on Audible after being a member for many years - highly recommended.
"A Sci-Fi Classic"
I picked this up with no expectations at all and was blown away. It is one of those books that you just can't tear yourself away from and you are a little sad when its over. Most of the reviews state that this will appeal to nerds, computer gamers and children of the eighties (and I admit that I'm all three) but I think you'd have to have a pretty hard heart not to love this book no matter who you were.
Wil Wheaton was a great choice for narrator and he does a fantastic job.
I really like this book and Wil Wheaton is brilliant at reading this, also did anyone else keep thinking of anorak looking like Steve Jobs.
Well worth your money 10/10
"So enjoyable for a geeky 80's teenager."
Definitely. Being a teenager in the 80's, all my friends are of the same ilk. I loved it and I know that some of them love it as well.
The reminiscences, the story, all if it, so good.
Excellent. My new favourite, and happily, has read another of my favourite series of books for Audible.
The Tomb of horrors is brilliant.
If you grew up in the 80's and love sci fi, D&D, old school gaming or 80's movies and music then read it. I guarantee you will smile, a lot.
Ready Player One is a story full of imagination, geekery and promise - but with very little to back it up. In short, it is very, very boring.
It begins with the death of the creator of OASIS, a virtual reality world in which many humans "live" in the near future. The creator, Halliday, has left an Easter egg within the game, allowing the finder to inherit his vast fortune back in the "real" world. We quickly find out the protagonist of the story - Wade - is on the way to discovering the secret.
It's a nice setup that is not too far removed from potential reality but the biggest problem is that the setup goes on... and on ... and on ... and on. By the time chapter five is over - about a fifth of the book, two-and-a-half hours of the audio - the author is still banging on about the world. At that point, the story hasn't advanced from what was set up in the first chapter. It goes on and on, repeating the same minutiae of details. Hardly anything happens - which would be forgiveable if the dialogue was peppered with fun, interesting details. It isn't: It's just dull.
The opening could really have done with some proper editing. Why not sprinkle the details of the world through the story, rather than front-loading it? Why is chapter five there at all? It repeats what's already been said. By that point, you're left thinking, "Yes, we get it. Can something happen now?" I could go on but, by doing so, I'd be subjecting you to the same type of repetitive over-writing on display here.
Wil Wheaton's reading is fun but, lumbered with a cumbersome, dull script, there's not much he can do. Overall, this is a massive mis-step - which is a shame as there's the essence of a good story buried a long way beneath the boredom.
"Simply the best audiobook I have listened to"
Everything - easy to get into, nice and original story, and a total nerds delight.
Wouldn't want to spoil it, but there are plenty of nerdy detais, so if you're into Sci-Fi I am sure you'll enjoy it.
The ending is worth the wait.
Made me laugh at points, there is some sadness, but I tend not to blub a lot!
Wil Wheaton's narration is extremely good too!
"Wesley Crushed It"
It made me look back on the 10,000+ hours i spent playing video games (online or otherwise) as time not so wasted, a Geektacular extravaganza made so much better by Will Wheaton, and the perfect way to end a day of retro gaming on my laptop while Star trek: The Next Generation plays out in the background, If you haven't done it, Try it, then listen to this book
"A perfect narrator for a perfect story"
Yes. Excellent narration by Wil Wheaton (who even manages to play it straight as he is forced to reference himself and his own body of work in the narration).
Mogworld by Ben Croshaw; both self-referential yet good-natured jabs at video-game fandom, but coming from opposite directions. Won't spoil it by saying more!
Characterisation. As such a well-known geek icon, he lends street cred to the performance, but as a talented actor in his own right he manages to inject life into the different characters and make each unique.
James Halliday is dead. But his best game has just gone live.
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