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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

4.6 (283 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Gabriele Hornsby, Australia 09-08-12
    Gabriele Hornsby, Australia 09-08-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
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    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James 05-02-15
    James 05-02-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Recommended from The Martian - didn't disappoint"

    I don't think I would have chosen this book had it not been a recommendation from someone after I had read Andy Weir's 'The Martian'. While the setting is very different the heart of the story is similar with the main character struggling to solve problems.
    Wil Wheaton gave a fantastic performance and while at the start I associated his voice as his own I quickly became to hear it as the characters'.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas 05-01-15
    Thomas 05-01-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Fantastic listen"

    A brilliant listen. I was unsure at first but by the end I wanted more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Todd Orange, Australia 04-28-15
    Todd Orange, Australia 04-28-15 Member Since 2011
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    "Absolutely brilliant! A nostalgic nerdy trip!"

    I'd never heard of this book until a week ago, when I read that Steven Spielberg would be making it into a movie. So I looked it up and was amazed at how I ever could have missed something that is so far up my alley, it's crazy.

    This is a book for the nerds. Those who love MMO games, who grew up playing Atari and old PC games and also anyone who lived in or loved the 80s. It's a love letter to all of those things that made my childhood great. Many of the references are of things that were before my time, but not so far before that I couldn't get swept up in the beautiful nostalgic chaos of it all.

    For the purposes of this review, the plot centres around a major treasure hunt inside a simulated reality that presents challenges to its participants in the form of all the things previously mentioned. Wheaton's narration is excellent and you can tell he loved every minute of performing. For those that are familiar with him, he is one of the very nerds this book was written for.

    Anyone who loves video games and 80s pop culture MUST listen to this stroke of genius. Now, where's a sequel!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tom 04-15-15
    Tom 04-15-15
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    "Wow"

    This is without a doubt one of the best books I have ever read/listened to ever. It doesn't matter if you was lived through the 80's or born after it, as long as you have attempts least a mild interest in 80's films, TV, games or music you will absolutely adore this book for what it is. The storyline is captivating from the start, and involves a very unique and impressive arch that will keep you gripped from start to finish. There wasn't a single point that made me want to stop listening and would have finished it all in one day if I to spare. The book is only made better by the narration by Wil Wheaton. In conclusion, a must read for anyone interested in this in these topics!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    chayse 04-07-15
    chayse 04-07-15 Member Since 2015
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    "The most amazing book you will ever read!!"

    You will not be able to stop this book it's amazing from start to finish and all the pop culture it's just an amazing ride you will never want it to end

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam 03-24-15
    Adam 03-24-15
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    "My New Favourite Ever!"

    If you are a nerd in any way, shape or form, get this book now!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tom 03-13-15
    Tom 03-13-15
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    "A nerdy nostalgia driven delight"

    I really enjoyed this book but I feel as though I would have enjoyed it more when I was 15 (I'm now almost 30) The female characters really lack a sense of depth and I wanted more from them. The references to movies and games of the 80s was a great kick. I feel like going back and reviewing the classics again. If you are a nerd you will get a kick out of this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Evelyn Hussain, Miss 03-05-15
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    "Entertaining. Feast for the imagination."
    Would you listen to Ready Player One again? Why?

    Absolutely. This book is immensely fun. The narration is by Wil Wheaton and that is a bonus. The writing captured my imagination and I found myself switching between envisioning the protagonist's real-life and the pixelated virtual reality of his avatar.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Aech. Aech proved to be a loyal friend. Aech's backstory added another dimension to the book by proving no one is really who they say they are when it comes to the internet. It also highlighted racial prejudice and gender discrimination.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The origami scene, inspired by the movie 'Bladerunner'.


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

    Log in. For the win.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 30 results PREVIOUS123NEXT
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  • Dr. P. D. Rudman
    Leicester, UK
    6/26/14
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    "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.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Hannah
    Herne Bay, United Kingdom
    7/28/14
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    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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • 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 :)

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Sam B
    1/4/15
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    "If you don't read and like gaming its for you."
    What disappointed you about Ready Player One?

    No substance to the story and it had so much potential. You 100% need to be a gamer to enjoy this book.


    What could Ernest Cline have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    He needs to work on his dialogue because to put it bluntly it was awful. The characters are generic and uninteresting especially the love interest. His world building is excellent no need for improvement there. The book has such great frame work for comments about society individualism and peoples need for fulfilment and approval but it does nothing with it.


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

    I haven't heard any other Wil Wheaton performances but I thought he did a pretty good job with this. He seems genuinely enthusiastic and clearly put a lot of effort in.


    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Wil Wheaton's Performance.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Alathia
    2/14/15
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    Performance
    Story
    "You will not be able to pause this book"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Ready Player One to be better than the print version?

    While I do not have the print version, the fact that Will Wheaton reads this is an undeniable plus.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Art3mis. She has conviction and drive, knows what she wants and goes for it. It's a world somewhat dominated by men but she manages to succeed via brains and personality. The virtual reality that most of the book takes place in means that her physical appearance is almost a non issue which is refreshing for a female character.


    What about Wil Wheaton’s performance did you like?

    His performance was perfectly pitched, he was clearly enjoying it himself and his sense of timing was brilliant. Best of all though is the fact that Wil Wheaton is actually mentioned in the story itself, he is part of the world. Hearing Wil Wheaton talk about Wil Wheaton just made me smile!


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

    I found the relationship between the Japanese brothers particularly moving, it's explained in more detail towards the end of the book and I found Shoto's talk with Wade in his fortress one of the best scenes in the whole book.


    Any additional comments?

    I read this because there was a lot of hype around it. In some ways I was a bit disappointed. It was far from an incredible read and I don't really get why some people consider it one of their favourite books.It was definitely enjoyable and I have rated it highly. It's a fast paced treasure hunt that I found very difficult to put down. In fact I kind of resented that I had to stop listening to it to work and sleep and talk to people. I really really wanted to know what was going to happen next and it was a very engaging read, even for someone with very little video game knowledge.However I wasn't hugely attached to any of the characters. Apart from the main character there wasn't a huge amount of character progression. The baddies are somewhat one dimensional and I found it difficult to believe that they had sufficient motivation for some of their actions. I just wasn't that attached. Possibly someone more into geek culture would get more out of this.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mark
    United Kingdom
    4/9/14
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    "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
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    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
  • 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 3 people found this review helpful
  • Rob
    5/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing!"

    This book is absolutely incredible. Highly recommend everyone to give this a try, even if you are not a gamer or a movie lover. This book is even better when you have the great Will Wheaton narrating it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kirk
    5/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Geek fest"

    Best book ever for that geeky gamer .
    Takes you back to the 80s when videos games were for gamers

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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