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Ready Player One Audiobook

Ready Player One

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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential - Did you love the ‘80s? Because Ernest Cline’s sci-fi video game epic sure does. Chock full of references to almost every facet of pop culture from that decade, Ready Player One is an excellent example of a hero’s journey that uses a treasure-hunting narrative to frame the concepts of celebrity, privacy, and control, and posits the question, “What is reality?” Narrator Wil Wheaton does a superb job (as always), and his sci-fi background lends his performance a lot of credibility as computer-nerd-turned-superstar Wade Watts (yes, the familiar alliteration is intentional). —Chris

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

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What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (84995 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jamie/Abbie 02-11-17
    Jamie/Abbie 02-11-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "My favorite"

    This is my favorite audiobook. It has a terrific story, specifically if you are nerd inclined. Wheaton does a great job narrating. Overall, this had everything.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan 05-02-12
    Ryan 05-02-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wil Wheaton for President"

    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!

    37 of 55 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Colona, IL, United States 08-20-11
    Robert Colona, IL, United States 08-20-11 Listener Since 2010

    Shogun

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Best book I've read in years!"

    This book is a mish-mash of different genres. Part treasure hunt, part trip down memory lane (if alive during the 80's, if not a new look into one of the greatest decades in history) this book will grab you and not let go.
    A billionaire game designer with an obsession with the 80's decides to leave his sizable estate to whoever can follow the clues he left in the internet world he created called the Oasis that will lead the hunter to his ultimate prize. The first clue is hidden for 5 years until a young man finally gets the ball rolling...
    I can't recommend this book enough for geeks or anyone that grew up in this amazing time.

    64 of 96 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doug Riechel 06-08-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Hits the notes, but leaves you sour."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I would have preferred if the story had done something more with the constant references to 80's culture besides just parroting the memes and expecting us to laugh along. Some level of analysis or critique would have been appreciated over 'HEY, THE SIMPSONS WERE A THING! LAUGH AT THE THING!' This was a decade full of changes in media, some positive, some negative, and I wish the book would have explored that.


    Has Ready Player One turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Not at all. In fact, it's only because I like Sci-Fi that I powered through the book as long as I did.


    What three words best describe Wil Wheaton’s voice?

    Laid-back, sarcastic,...bland? Not the kindest thing, to say, but his characters all sounded the same.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Ready Player One?

    All of the list scenes, and oh, are there many. Also, the chapter where he describes his new living arrangement in Columbus. And...actually, I would have left the book in ribbons.


    Any additional comments?

    I wish I'd liked this more, but the whole experience felt subpar. It was an 80's movie in an audiobook form, and let's just admit that 80's movies were not most well known for their plots. The tropes come thick in this tale, and even the inversions are obnoxiously obvious. I wanted to care about the characters, and the world, but at the end of the day, the book is as trapped in its virtual reality as the main character, and it only lazily swipes at anything beyond that.

    35 of 54 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tstewart 08-20-16
    tstewart 08-20-16 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Made for preteens"

    As charming and nostalgic as the barrage of 80s cultural references were (initially), this story lacked any depth for me and actually became gut ringingly painful to finish. Sorry all, it's just my opinion. I'm sure some will love this book. It seemed Will Wheaton may have been bored as well as I've heard him narrate other stories with much more vigor (anything by John Scalzi). The focus on teen romance made me feel this book would be better suited to those who've not yet ventured down this path so it could still spark excitement & not a sense of cringing at the shallow teen angst.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    erobbins33 07-19-16
    erobbins33 07-19-16 Member Since 2017

    I love audiobooks!!!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Epically awesome!"

    Okay, my first draw to this book was all of the reviews with 80s pop culture references. Second? Wil Wheaton. Seriously, this book was MADE for people in my age group! I really loved the whole immersion gaming idea, reminiscent of The Matrix (yet voluntary), paired with an awesome story involving some of the greatest movies, tv shows, anime, music, and video games ever! I would have totally ROCKED this contest! Nerdgasm alert! It was worth EVERY cent!

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Lynnwood, WA USA 12-04-15
    Paul Lynnwood, WA USA 12-04-15

    Morganducks

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    "A fun listen, but pretty empty"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would if they are into good yarns with very little substance.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    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).


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Meh. Probably not.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    9 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam Hendley Chapel Hill, NC United States 09-07-11
    Sam Hendley Chapel Hill, NC United States 09-07-11 Member Since 2008
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    "Decent but childish writing"

    A decent story but hurt a bit by the overly simplistic writing. Between the lists of X things from the 80s and the verbose descriptions of minor points the author glosses over some of the more important plot points (holes?). I'll admit there were a few times I waited in my car for a scene to play out but I was nearly always disappointed by the outcome of the big moments. Storyline suffers a bit from "chosen one" tropes but if you like games and puzzles at all I would recommend a listen. For the record I though Wheaton did a great job narrating the script, lots of emoting and decent pace but the volume changes were sometimes surprising (though usually approriate).

    17 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Theodore Kingston, Jamaica 05-02-13
    Theodore Kingston, Jamaica 05-02-13 Member Since 2016

    "A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one." - Jojen Reed. #ADanceWithDragons

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fun Listen"

    This ended being one of those titles that (if you're a techy person) turns out to be a fun listen. The narrator did an excellent job in keeping you engaged throughout the novel and the story is interesting in nature. What causes the book to lose marks for me is the unfortunate fact that I've heard this kind of storyline before and it was done better (albeit a whole darker and a bit more goary).

    Had I given this title a chance before being exposed to Daemon by Daniel Suarez, this would have potentially gotten 4 or 5 stars all across the board. This is not to say it is an exact carbon copy of the book but one can't help but sense the similarities between the two as it major drawback. I do get the saying that 'imitation is the best form of flattery' and even though both books veer in different directions, if there will be such room for comparison I'd expect that Ready Player One would have improved greatly on the idea instead of seeming like a watered down version of a great 3 part series.

    Now with all that being said above, the book as a stand alone title (forgetting anything else I have ever read) was intricately written, ingeniously created and (for anyone who is even remotely interested in old school video games and or 80's pop culture) just plain fun. I wasn't really a big 80's buff and I don't like old school video games that much (old school for me started at Nintendo and Gameboy, not Atari though) BUT I still came off enjoying the book, it really is hard to dislike this book. I enjoyed the idea that so much effort and research was actually put into making this book and it really did speak to the inner geek/nerd in me.

    19 of 31 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arthur 08-03-12
    Arthur 08-03-12 Member Since 2011

    Ghost writer of over 100 unpublished works...;).

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Simple & entertaining, lacking substance."

    If you're not up for a very challenging listen, you may find Ready Player One worthwhile. My eight year old son found it very interesting, and enjoyed it very much. I was less impressed, but did find myself playing along with the main characters in their hunt for the egg. I found the personal relationships significantly less interesting.

    The prize of the contest, for the characters, represents an escape from dystopia, but also serves as a decent allegory for common struggles of youth. However, it seemed to me to veer too close to validating geeks; something that has already been accomplished IRL.

    Will Wheaton put in a professional performance, and even seemed to have fun taking part in a production which included himself as a minor player.

    All in all, I found it entertaining if unrewarding. It won't change your life, but it may serve as escapism for a few hours, much like The Oasis itself...

    22 of 36 people found this review helpful

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