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
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 :)
I really like this book and Wil Wheaton is brilliant at reading this, also did anyone else keep thinking of anorak looking like Steve Jobs.
Well worth your money 10/10
Note, this is very much young adult.
I didn’t pick up on this in the reviews but it’s written for 13 year olds. It’s still an OK book, but I was expecting a funny version of Neuromancer, it’s more Neuromancer written by JK Rowling.
It’s also a bit Asperger’s. The author LOVES lists, everything is listed. At one stage he opens a cupboard and then lists the 10 different cereals. This happens over and over. Everything gets listed. Towards then end he enters a room with old computers in it. He lists all 25 of them.
It’s almost a perfect book for a 13 year old with Aspergers, if only all the trivia wasn’t about the 1980’s.
The narration is spot on & it is very readable – one review I saw after buying said “it’s the worst book I ever couldn’t stop reading”, which is oddly apt.
""Insert coin here" for a fun ride...."
Enjoyable trip through Nostalgia-land, wrapped in a pleasing plot. You're bound to enjoy it if you lived through the 70s/80s and are even vaguely "geeky".
You'll be reminded of quite a few of your fave songs, video-games, movies etc., those worthies that haved stayed with you over the succeeding decades. You'll pat yourself on the back when you recognise the references, whilst those you don't get I guess you won't miss (or you will miss; you know what I mean...).
I thought it maybe sagged slightly in the middle, but soon picked up the pace and the race to a rousing finish. Good to occasionally listen to something not too deep or complicated and just sit back & enjoy the ride.
Special mention to excellent, excellent narration by Wil Wheaton.
If you enjoy this audiobook I urge you to check out the author's website to learn a bit about him; whatever you do you should check out his "spoken-word" section and listen to his excellent comedy monologue performances (some also on You-Tube I think). Enjoy!
I loved this book. Lots of pop culture an a nice change. Will reads this this excellently too
"A Sci-Fi classic"
If you were born in the 70s and raised in the 80s then you'll have fond memories of the early computer era, some of the cool games that now fall under Retro and you'll LOVE this book.
Will Wheaton reads this book brilliantly in a way that just draws you in and keeps you wanting more. Like the character in the book itself you are drawn into a virtual world you will find hard to leave.
This book is full of rich characters and has a fantastic plot that will leave you hanging right through to the end.
This is one you'll want to listen to with the whole family and when you tell the kids that you used to play those games when they were first out, you'll achieve hero status +1 ;0)
This is simply the best book I have "read" this year, if you like anything to do with geek culture then this is a book for you. And even if you don't, the story and characters are gripping enough on there own merits that this would be a great story still. Read by Wil Wheaton just adds an extra layer of awesome to this tremendous novel
Wow, What an amazing journey. A journey which I am sad ended. By far one of the best books I have listened to in a while. Because of this book, I have since doubled my membership on Audible, in hope of finding another such gem. I wish I could wipe it from my brain and relive the journey again for the first time. If you have not read or listened to this book yet, I am jealous as your fun has yet to begin. Ready Player One !!
"Just like a real life videogame..."
I gave up on this book when I realized how much time the protagonist spends in the virtual world.
At first the story is fascinating, because the world created is interesting, and the reality is that we're not that far off from become real. I think someone who loves video games might enjoy the rest of the story, but I didn't. There's way too much action inside the virtual world, so nothing is really at stake. The protagonist plays a game within the game, but unlike the dream within a dream of Inception, here it's very hard to actually care what happens. I just wanted him to get out of the Oasis and get on with his real life. I don't know if some profound statement about how wasteful it is to spend a lifetime immersed into something that isn't real will come later, but so far I found this story pretty pointless.
As addictive and fun as the games it is about. Wil Wheaton's narration is superb, and his geek-icon status lends itself perfectly to the tone of the book.
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