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Ready Player One | [Ernest Cline]

Ready Player One

It's the year 2044, and the real world has become an ugly place.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (185 )
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4.6 (176 )
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4.7 (175 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Gabriele Hornsby, Australia 09-08-12
    Gabriele Hornsby, Australia 09-08-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    2
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    "Where's the sequel?!"

    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!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eszter North Melbourne, Australia 06-17-14
    Eszter North Melbourne, Australia 06-17-14 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fun but shallow"
    Would you try another book from Ernest Cline and/or Wil Wheaton?

    Yeh I'd give them a shot but I wouldn't expect depth from Cline. Wheaton was a great narrator - he was perfect for the job.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The VR world was cool and the idea of being able to explore so many worlds.
    The least interesting parts where the info dumps. So many info dumps!


    What about Wil Wheaton’s performance did you like?

    He was really enthusiastic and got into the story a lot. Very good performance.


    Do you think Ready Player One needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    It would be good if it examined itself a bit more so if that were to happen I'd give a sequel a shot.


    Any additional comments?

    Definitely not self aware enough. I find it hard to believe that a few decades on from now we'd be so utterly obsessed with the 80s that we'd build and ENTIRE UNIVERSE dedicated to it. I get it that this book was meant to be a fun romp back into the 80s but it neglected the future aspect of the story a lot. The implications of a society SO stuck in the past - what about the present? What about all those NEW games, books, movies, music vidoes and TV shows?
    -- side note - the author likes LISTS a LOT - it got mega irritating him saying "games, books, movies, music vidoes and TV shows" about a hundred times as if he was trying to meet a word count. Give it a rest already!

    *cough*
    Anywho...it felt like...this book used all the high tech stuff as just an excuse to go back to the 80s and have a giant nerd-gasm about 8bit arcade games 'faded Space Invaders tees'. While it was a fun adventure with some pretty good characters, I felt it ultimately too shallow for my tastes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    H3000 Cape Town, South Africa 02-14-14
    H3000 Cape Town, South Africa 02-14-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
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    Performance
    Story
    "Like a 12 year old first watching The Goonies"
    What did you love best about Ready Player One?

    Immersive, descriptive imagery.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The massive scale.


    What about Wil Wheaton’s performance did you like?

    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.


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

    Something terrible. Because a movie will water this book down and leave it a tepid, lame version of the original.


    Any additional comments?

    Awesome.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean-Miguel Mortdale, Australia 02-01-14
    Jean-Miguel Mortdale, Australia 02-01-14
    ratings
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    1
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    "Perfect narrator for the perfect geek story"
    Any additional comments?

    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

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Manuel Sydney, Australia 02-01-14
    Manuel Sydney, Australia 02-01-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
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    "wow just wow"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. Will take you back to the good old days and will make you think about what could be


    What did you like best about this story?

    Everything


    Which character – as performed by Wil Wheaton – was your favorite?

    Parzevalle


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

    Laught and reminissed


    Any additional comments?

    Best audio book I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. Diddnt want it to end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary Wamberal, Australia 10-19-13
    Gary Wamberal, Australia 10-19-13 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    4
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    Performance
    Story
    "A great fun read and nostalic romp"
    What did you love best about Ready Player One?

    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.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Ready Player One?

    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.


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

    Good job Wil.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adrianne Wilson PORTLAND, OR, US 08-08-13
    Adrianne Wilson PORTLAND, OR, US 08-08-13 Member Since 2012
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    19
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    "Absolute BEST contemporary sci-fi novel there is!"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    O'Brien Singleton, Australia 05-14-13
    O'Brien Singleton, Australia 05-14-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    11
    11
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    "A really great read, clever and unique."
    If you could sum up Ready Player One in three words, what would they be?

    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.


    What did you like best about this story?

    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


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Wood Melbourne, VIC, Australia 03-05-13
    Jason Wood Melbourne, VIC, Australia 03-05-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
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    8
    2
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    "Slowish start but it hooked me."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Brisbane, QLD AUS 01-10-13
    Mark Brisbane, QLD AUS 01-10-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    44
    2
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    0
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    "Wow, what a great find!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes... definitely brought out the geek in me :)


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Wade was a well crafted character that will resonate with so many readers.


    What about Wil Wheaton’s performance did you like?

    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.


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

    Even before I finished, I was back on line looking for sequels. Best book I have found in months.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 15 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • steven
    Stoke on Trent, United Kingdom
    5/11/12
    Overall
    "80's Teenager!"

    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 :)

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Hannah
    Herne Bay, United Kingdom
    7/28/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Are you ready to begin?"
    What made the experience of listening to Ready Player One the most enjoyable?

    First and foremost, Wil Wheaton is a first-class narrator - he has absolutely the most perfect voice for audiobooks (not too bassy, not too nasally) and doesn't do too badly with accents either (unlike some other narrators which have caused me to return books!). Secondly, the world of Ready Player One is - as noted in the novel - everything any reader or gamer has ever dreamed of: essentially a 'holodeck' experience. It is the book's exploration of the pros and cons of this system that draws you in - in Star Trek we see people using the holodecks for recreation, essentially living out episodes in an ongoing drama; but as Ready Player One points out....why would you ever leave?


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

    I have desperately been searching for something else as engaging and exciting as RPO since I finished reading! My recommendations would probably be to read other books which effectively create alternative worlds - perhaps 'The Knife of Never Letting Go' by Patrick Ness, 'Peter and Max' by Bill Willingham and 'Divergent' by Veronica Roth.


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

    As I mention above, Wil is an excellent reader. He has an obvious love for the subject matter and, having been an actor on Star Trek 'The Next Generation' and a teenager in the late 80s and early 90s, has a strong familiarity with many of the pop culture references. Wheaton sounds like he is having an absolute ball with this reading!


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    'What would you sacrifice to win the ultimate prize?'


    Any additional comments?

    Read (.....listen to). This. Book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Beccameriel
    London, United Kingdom
    12/18/12
    Overall
    "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!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Dr. P. D. Rudman
    Oxford, UK
    6/26/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Badly written but interesting"
    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    It reads like an audio description of a B-movie. Characters are a bit stereotyped / 2D, story rather linear and too often predictable, too much description of what the protagonist did (I did this, and then I did this, and then I did that...).


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

    No


    Any additional comments?

    It would be great for anyone obsessed with 80's computer games and geek culture. Otherwise, it's fairly interesting and fun, but really, there's better.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mark
    United Kingdom
    4/9/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • john
    Uxbridge, United Kingdom
    11/9/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • matthew
    sheffield, United Kingdom
    2/8/13
    Overall
    "Smegging brilliant"

    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

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Miss
    8/25/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Could not put it down...."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Ready Player One to be better than the print version?

    N/A haven't read the print version


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Ready Player One?

    Infiltrating the secure database


    Which character – as performed by Wil Wheaton – was your favourite?

    Wade


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

    On edge the whole way through!


    Any additional comments?

    Great read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Ashington, United Kingdom
    7/17/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Sounded fun and it was"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes - I had never heard of the author before, but who hasn't heard of Will Wheaton? But putting Wesley Crusher aside (10 minutes in to the book and I had) the central concept of the book is one that I could see happening if we aren't careful


    What did you like best about this story?

    Plenty of nice, neat little "in" jokes for nerds


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    Enjoyed it all really


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Press START


    Any additional comments?

    The delivery was fast paced and engaging, there was an element of performance from Will which made it very entertaining.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Richard Smithston
    Wiltshire, England.
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Fun!"

    This is a truly great sci-fi novel. It's set in the future but relies heavily on the pop culture of the 80's. If you were young in the 80's then this book is made for you.

    The basic premise is that there is a virtual reality game that everyone plays called O.A.S.I.S. It's as large as a galaxy and contains a planet for everyone's taste. There are fantasy worlds, tech worlds, worlds based on different times in earths history, you name it. It's kind of like World of Warcraft writ extremely large!

    The creator of this game dies without an heir to his fortune. He therefore devises a great treasure hunt open to anyone with the prize being his entire fortune. The creator was obsessed by the 80's so a knowledge of all things 80's is essential to win.

    Enter our young hero Wade Watts. He's poor as a church mouse but obsessed by the 80's. And so this cracking adventure begins!

    Listening to this book reminded me of watching one of those great kids movies like the Goonies. It's fast paced, it's funny, it's poignant. I really enjoyed it and really hope it becomes a movie one day.

    It's narrated by Mr Will Wheaton. He does a great job of narrating this book. A man of many talents!

    If you love computer games and roleplaying. If you were a kid in the 80's. If you saw most of the iconic movies of that era and remember the music then this book will be so much fun to listen to. I am all of those things and it really felt like this novel was written for me. Fantastic!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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