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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

Critic Reviews

"As narrator of this offbeat, futuristic adventure, Wil Wheaton must evoke a teen's naïveté and cynicism about real life and incorporate this veteran gaming geek's expertise of ‘80s culture.... Wheaton is up to the task, presenting an engaging treasure hunt while also dramatizing the hero’s enthusiasm at playing classic games like Pac-Man. Also a twist on Pilgrim's Progress, this novel has something for everyone." (AudioFile magazine)

“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)

Featured Article: The Best Celebrity Narrated Audiobooks


It’s likely you have a favorite actor, someone you can’t wait to see in a new movie or television series. But many of your favorite performers are also acclaimed audiobook narrators. It’s always a delight to pick up a familiar story and find an unexpected famous friend in the narrator’s booth, especially when that celebrity has a talent for narration. This list features some of literature’s greatest stories brought to life by some of Hollywood’s greatest talents.

What listeners say about Ready Player One

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Thanks, But No Thanks

Wil Wheaton was literally the only reason I got even halfway through. I understand the appeal of it that led to its popularity, but it's just... so much cringe. The protagonist is also just so wholly unlikable.

44 people found this helpful

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Large amounts of filler

Will Wheaton does little to bring life to the characters. At times I wasn't sure who was saying what, due to the same voice/tone used for all characters.

The story is a cool walk down nostalgia lane, but there were too many internal dialogues when it felt like the protagonist needed to move forward.

30 people found this helpful

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As if written by a lonely nerd then read by him...

Descriptions of unimportant things went on far too long. At least half of the book is a reference of other people's work. I listened to the whole thing since it was a decent story idea, however I spent 90% of the story rolling my eyes. Narration was just plain terrible.

25 people found this helpful

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Great book

Lots better than the movie. Listened to it twice in a row. Will listen again

21 people found this helpful

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Good audiobook, bot family friendly.

1. The main character is atheist and there is a demeaning paragraph on Christian world creation ideals. However there is one inspiration small side character that is Christian.
2. There is a paragraph involving the main character having sex with a realistic doll in the virtual world. It was disturbing and I fast-forwarded through.
I wish I would’ve made note of the exact times these events occurred so other viewers could skip if wanted.
Other than those, loved it.

36 people found this helpful

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A Silly Opera

In fantasy or scifi the world should, at some basic level, make some darned sense. This one doesn't and is so darned silly that it is painful. Yeah, the geeky stuff is OK, and if it had been reined into some reasonable scope instead of presented as the biggest of biggest of REALLY BIGGEST space operas, it would have been better. I thought the characters, for the most part, childish, and honestly never gave a darn what happened to them, or really ever thought they were in any danger.

13 people found this helpful

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Bad

This is the only book I have ever returned. I'm not religious and the world-building, in the beginning, is intriguing. However, when describing most things that are happening, it's a simple "remember what that place looked like from that thing? Yeah it's that." instead of going into decent detail. I get it, it's a nostalgia trip, I'm a huge nerd as well, however, this runs past the line for cringe. It's more of a self-insert, "look at how cool I am for knowing this thing about this thing" which would be fine. Yet once it starts getting into, "well actually" territory, and it devolves into, "and then my friend high fived" it just becomes unbearable. The only reason I say I'm not religious was that none of the atheism was a turn away for me. I'm open to religious work, non-religious works, and anti-religious work. This book is just bad because it is bad. I love some schlock from time to time but I couldn't stand this. The nostalgia blinders definitely got to people this time around.

12 people found this helpful

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AWESOME

This book is amazing much better, and more detailed than the movie although, not the best for kids lots of cursing. Lol

12 people found this helpful

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Deus Ex Machina

Any additional comments?

Do you like Deus ex Machina? This book is a study in how to use it...terribly, often, and to poor effect. It's also a book about video games and gamers, and while the author clearly did some research into the culture of the 1980's, he also doesn't know very much about gaming and gamers. He also doesn't know much about writing basics. Good dialogue? Nope. Cliches? Yep. Character depth? Sorry. Stereotypes? Indeed.

I'm a gamer. I'm a writer. I badly wanted this to be a good book. Its just not. The narration starring WW as a weirdly one-dimensional reader didn't help...but it really didn't hurt that much either.

12 people found this helpful

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I don't understand all of the hype

I want to start out saying that Ernest Cline is a pretty good writer. I also love Wil Wheaton's narration style.

I don't understand why this book is so massively poplular. It's full of super liberal ideologies, and the very tiresome "humanity is evil and destroying the planet" dogma. Like so many liberal writers, clearly Ernest Cline loves to pat his own back and say "look how woke I am."

I also find it very interesting that people who claim religion is a big fat lie, and that anyone who believes in God is several fries short of a happy meal, still write stories about the struggle between good and evil. Without God, there is no good and there is no evil. If we are all just the result of random mutations, then morality, and the ideas of good and evil, is all just a bunch of meaningless garbage. Life, according to Ernest Cline (and every other atheist) has no purpose. So why write a story about good and evil? What's the point? Because no one is interested in reading a book about how pointless life is.

This story also got bogged down in INSANE amounts of 80's trivia. For someone born at the end of the 80's, pretty much all of it went over my head, and thus was incredibly, skull poundingly, dull. I also found the protagonists dialogue with his friends to be over the top full of profanity. I thought the MC was supposed to be smart and cultured? Yet all of his interactions with other characters is severely lacking in depth and intelligence.

Overall, it was a waste of time, and I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone. There are a lot better writers out there, in terms of quality of content, like Brandon Sanderson for one.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Bennett
  • 10-02-18

High concept, low on story

The whole thing could be about half as long if the author didn't just spout cultural references without any plot

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  • Kimberly
  • 03-27-18

Totally awesome

This is the 7th time I’ve listened to the book, brilliant performance by Wil Wheaton.

Looking forward to Spielberg’s interpretation tomorrow, though not expecting it to be the same as this book, but still expect an awesome movie.