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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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
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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!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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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'.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Fun Concepts, Odd Character Responses

I reached a point where I got irritated with the main character (not the performance).

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Cute coming of age story

It is a kinda cute coming of age story mired in eighties nostalgia, to the point where it's more of a hindrance than a boon to the plot. Good for a read once, would not read again.

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entertaining!

I wasn't sure if this was YA or not. some cool pop culture references and familiar themes. looking forward to the show.

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loved it

couldn't stop listening ( I also have the book ) and never will stop reading

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Excellent novel abd excellent rendition

Will nails it! A great story with aome very interesting twists and turns. 80s nostalgia.

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best ever

loved it a lot. a very satisfying read. it's a must read for geeks and gamers

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nice story!! thanks Wil!

i wish i knew the 80s more properly but I'm more of a 90s guy... :(

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Great nostalgia

Good story

It kept me suspended until the very end. Good content and Will Wheaton did a great job reading it.

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  • Mark
  • 04-09-14

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.

22 of 23 people found this review helpful

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  • Robyn
  • 03-21-16

Surprisingly enjoyable!

On paper, I was not supposed to like this book. It's about a teenager who spends his entire life in an online virtual reality world playing a quest (reminds me of my weekly challenge to get my kids off their i-stuff and outside for a bit!) BUT - this story is actually all about paying homage to the 80s, plus a bit of rom-com for good measure!

Absolutely loved it!! Once I started, I couldn't put it down. If you're into your 40's/50's and enjoy a bit of '80s nostalgia, then this one's not to be missed!

21 of 23 people found this review helpful

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  • Martin
  • 09-22-16

Listened in 2 days.....

Best book I have listened to this year. I am not sure why the description did not really draw me to this book before but so glad I eventually gave in to curiosity. I am a big fan of online gaming, star trek, sci fi fantasy etc etc... so I am probably a bit nerdy I guess and I think it most definitely helps with this book. I enjoyed so much in this one, the 80's nostalgia mixed with the dystopian future just worked so well. Having Will Wheaton narrate this book was fantastic and made me smile a lot in certain places that it was him narrating, I am pretty sure he smiled himself at certain parts too whilst narrating. Aside from the fun part of him being narrator for obvious reasons he is actually a superb narrator and did such a good job with this, I would not hesitate to listen to him narrate anything. Love this story and everything about it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Hannah
  • 07-28-14

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.

31 of 38 people found this review helpful

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  • Nina
  • 01-24-17

80's House of Surprises

What a gem! This book is humorous, tense and geeky. If you're a fan of computer games you will enjoy it a lot.

The story takes you into the 80's world of games, films and music. There are a countless number of references which will keep you interested and entertain till the end.

I couldn't help myself from trying to second guess what is going to happen next, but the author did a brilliant job of keeping surprises coming right up till the last pages.

The characters are likeable and put up a good fight against, well, that would be telling now, wouldn't it...

I so enjoyed it! This book is well worth a credit and there is a good potential for the story to turn great on the big screen.

Wil Wheaton gives a good performance. His steady voice fits well into the story, so you can absorb every part of its geekiness without missing out the details.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • steven
  • 05-11-12

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 :)

12 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Ian Seddon
  • 10-07-17

Works so well.. Great audio book.

Classic story told in an uber modern way. Fabulous narration of a superbly paced book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-04-17

Enjoyed it, mostly

I loved the book, loved Will Wheaton's performance of it. Unfortunately the final arc ended predictably and that's the only slight gripe I had, but I think the big reveal towards the end more than makes up for it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • C
  • 09-06-17

Great experience

I grew up alongside many of the games, films etc that were mentioned although not a fan of any.

I still really, REALLY enjoyed both the story and the performance.

Thank you Ernest, thank you Wil!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • lima
  • 09-01-17

One of the best Books I've Ever Read

Would you consider the audio edition of Ready Player One to be better than the print version?

No idea, have only listened to it

What did you like best about this story?

Everything

What about Wil Wheaton’s performance did you like?

It was ok, he sounded like a young adult

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

It made me laugh

Any additional comments?

It's awesome. Take the matrix, then mix it with better than life, add a bit of harry potter and you are there. It's one of those book's you want to listen to when you are feeling depressed.
It lift's your mood instantly.
It's so rare I find anything worth a listen, let alone something this good.
If you were born in the 70's and are a gamer it's a must but I'm going to let my teenage son listen to it, he will love it.
Just brilliant

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-09-17

A book that can't be put down

Be prepared to put aside important things as Ready Player One takes over your time.

With a plot as sound as the content, this is one book that engages you from start to finish. Relatable to anyone from a teenager to a 40 year old, there are references that both ends of the spectrum will find appealing and will justify the investment in time spent enjoying game/movie/comic culture over your life.

Really a great read and I highly recommend it.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Nicholas Hallam
  • 09-03-17

Reindeer Flotilla Setec Astronomy

Firstly, I would like to say Will Wheaton did an amazing job at narrating, he kept my attention throughout the duration of the book. You could tell he enjoyed reading Ready Player One (Especially when he was referenced in the book).

Ernest Cline seems to have a way of painting a picture in the reader/listeners mind, without lingering on the story for to long. The story was intriguing, sometimes predictable... But I didn't mind, as it had a lot of interesting references, and the predictability was still entertaining.

I would happily recommend this book.

IOI-655321

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Marta Acton
  • 08-04-17

Ready Reader One

Grabs your interest and doesn't let up all the way through. One hell of a roller coaster ride for lovers of pop culture and video games. Great performance by Wil Wheaton. I would definitely make him Oasis CEO.
Story a little implausible and too good to be true occasionally but well worth the price of admission.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jack
  • 04-15-17

Beware

For 80's geeks only, anyone else will feel compelled to sympathise with the Evil Corporation villians.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Tracey
  • 05-27-16

Not my cup of tea

This book is well written and easy to follow (even for a computer game dumbo), it is very descriptive and explained well, I just found it boring and hard going. Again, just not for me.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • glenn urquhart
  • 01-23-16

Enjoyable fan-service romp. Wil Wheaton great.

Yes it unashamedly riffs off blatant and continual nostalgia but it was just a really fun romp.
Wil's narration was great and good to hear female characters not getting the wussy, inspipid, breathy read most make narrators give them.
I got most of the references, but not all, and I'm not sure you'd get as much out of this story if you aren't somewhat familiar with the 80's or old-school videogames, but I found it utterly ridiculous fun and didnt want it to end.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • 11-30-15

Simply Brilliant.

Love, love, loved this. I think it's one of my top 5 audio books. Amazing.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael
  • 07-30-16

Barely engaging

Will wheaton did a fine job but unfortunately he couldn't make the story better than the trite garbage it is. With a main character that is too smart and barely suffering from any actual consequences, a story that is for the most part predictable and insufferable as it proceeds to reference the 80s as much as possible. I really tried to like this book, especially as some light hearted listening but it crossed the line one too many times with its lifeless characters and deus ex machina aplenty.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Ross
  • 06-04-16

story is silly and not believable at times

the main character is very annoying and it seem silly that he knows every reference to every pop culture topic. will wheaton is a great narrator it is an alright listen overall.

7 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Beaulah Pragg
  • 06-08-16

Brilliant!

Simply the most relevant and epic sci fi I've read in ages. Loved Will Wheaton's reading too.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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