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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

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  •  
    Hannah 28/07/2014
    Hannah 28/07/2014 Member Since 2014

    Video games, movies, books, comics, animals.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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
  •  
    Dr. P. D. Rudman 26/06/2014
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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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    steven Stoke on Trent, United Kingdom 11/05/2012
    steven Stoke on Trent, United Kingdom 11/05/2012 Member Since 2014
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    "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 :)

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alathia 14/02/2015
    Alathia 14/02/2015 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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
  •  
    Sam B 04/01/2015
    Sam B 04/01/2015 Member Since 2014
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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.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark United Kingdom 09/04/2014
    Mark United Kingdom 09/04/2014 Member Since 2014
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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 09/11/2013
    john 09/11/2013 Member Since 2012
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    "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 18/12/2012
    Beccameriel London, United Kingdom 18/12/2012 Member Since 2011

    Fan of urban fantasy, especially set in London, & Victorian gothic. A bit of steampunk & cyperpunk too. Oh, and Georgette Heyer (sorry).

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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
  •  
    Professors Too 26/03/2015
    Professors Too 26/03/2015 Member Since 2014
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    "Perfection"

    Read this twice in paperback and enjoyed it even more read by wil Wheaton.

    One of my all time favourite books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nigel 24/03/2015
    Nigel 24/03/2015 Member Since 2013
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    "Like no book I've read before"

    I loved this book. It grabbed me from the very first few minutes and it just kept going until the end. Wil Wheaton's narration was superb from start to finish.

    The world that the author created was so vivid, I was completely immersed in it (excuse the pun) and could really imagine being there. The story takes place in a dystopian world where the main escape for most people is to put on a VR headset and transport themselves to the Oasis. As someone who has taken a keen interest in the upcoming Oculus Rift and Sony VR headsets, this novel gave me a glimpse of how the technology may evolve in the future. Even if you have no interest in gaming or virtual reality, this is still a riveting read.

    I highly recommend this book to anyone and hope that the author follows this up with something equally unique.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 120 results PREVIOUS1212NEXT
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  • Gabriele
    Hornsby, Australia
    08/09/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    17/06/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  • Adam
    24/03/15
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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
    13/03/15
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    Performance
    Story
    "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
    Singapore, Singapore, SG
    05/03/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  • David
    03/02/15
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    Performance
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    "Fabulous book. I have listened to this many times."

    Fabulous book. I have listened to this many times. It cheers me up. The hero against all odds.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pete Johns
    22/01/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Love it!"

    If you are a geek, love retro 80s pop culture, or both, you'll love it too. Wil Wheaton's performance is just gravy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Adam
    18/01/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "loved it"

    I especially loved Will's rendition of The Holy Gail. the story had so many references to 80s pop culture and early video game history that I was constantly reliving my childhood.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mark
    Bywong, Australia
    16/01/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Captivating"
    What did you love best about Ready Player One?

    The plot bringing together today's technology mixed together with cult classics fromp the past. This book is a electric journey that keeps you on edge for the whole book. Can't wait for the movie to come out.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Aaron
    Singapore, Singapore
    01/01/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved it."

    Had everything a guy who grew up in the 80s loving sci-fi and games could want.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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