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
Video games, movies, books, comics, animals.
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?
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.
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!
'What would you sacrifice to win the ultimate prize?'
Read (.....listen to). This. Book.
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 :)
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.
Despite knowing what happens in the end I absolutely loved the story, it's not really about working out what the clues mean but about the characters and their relationships in getting there
It just has to be Wade/Parzival
It's almost as though when listening to Will narrate the story that he's enjoying it immensely which I think adds to the experience. It's a great book anyway but listening to someone who sounds like they enjoy telling it just adds another depth to it. Also he gets a mention in the story briefly which is kind of fun.
Shall we play a game?
The book has been criticised in a few places for dropping a large number of references to the 80's. They're right there is a lot of them, but for me that would be like saying that there are too many references to sweets in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!
It's a fun book, sad in places and awesome in many more and if you grew up in the 80's you'll probably be a little scared with how much you can actually remember :)
the performance is solid, but the whole story was predictable and just felt like it was pandering to modern geek culture rather than concentrating on the story. but was fairly enjoyable.
While I do not have the print version, the fact that Will Wheaton reads this is an undeniable plus.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Fan of urban fantasy & Victorian gothic especially set in London. Oh, and Georgette Heyer.
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!
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...).
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.
The whole idea of an virtual world.
The 80's references for those of us who was there at the beginning.
No but I liked his style.
It made me think on how hooked we are on our technology.
"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!
"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'.
"Wizards cannot cast healing spells."
this story disgusts me. It is a cynical attempt to cash in on the disposable incomes of geeks by relentlessly hammering on about 80s movies and games. It is so badly written that you will be pulling at your hair as you listen. Just one example: the lists. List after list of just stuff, with no relevance to the characters or plot. At one point you get to listen to a list of half a dozen retro breakfast cereals that someone has in their kitchen. There are lists of movies, consoles, games etc. the purpose is for the listener to hear the one that is their favorite and get a bit excited and nostalgic.
I could go on. This book is inane, it represents a new low in taste and credulity.
We can't even create new trash. Our trash is copied/regurgitated from 80's trash.
There are so many 'homages' in this book that it is probably only about 20% original content. Some sections are basically plagiarism.
Apart from anything else, it does not ring true. There are various geek mistakes. The book absolutely stinks of Google searches. Worst of all, the book's final message is that you shouldn't spend all your time on games and geeky stuff after all, you should look for love in the real world because "only reality is real".
Thanks for the wisdom grandpa, I happen to quite like games actually, and who are you to judge the merit of my subjective experiences?
The people who like this book have very low standards. Maybe fun to hate it though?
Loved it! Every second. Being a gamer and having lived in the 80s. Right up my ally!!!!
The story is fascinating, Oasis is the kind of VR game I would like to play. Overall great
Interesting concept, awesome narration. I think this novel is more suitable for teens due to its themes, but it was still entertaining.
"This is a game changer, literally hahaha"
Absolutely awesome book! If you enjoy gaming, and a great quest based story line, you will LOVE this
A brilliant listen. I was unsure at first but by the end I wanted more.
"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!
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!
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