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Ready Player One: A Novel by Ernest Cline
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Ready Player One: A Novel (original 2011; edition 2012)

by Ernest Cline (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
10,954927394 (4.13)4 / 869
"In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the Oasis. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines -- puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win -- and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape"--Page 2 of cover.… (more)
Member:grunin
Title:Ready Player One: A Novel
Authors:Ernest Cline (Author)
Info:Broadway Books (2012), Edition: 1, 400 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:**
Tags:Fiction, read

Work details

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (2011)

  1. 274
    Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (2seven, whymaggiemay)
    whymaggiemay: Both about teens fighting back against the greater power using computers.
  2. 190
    Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (jbgryphon)
    jbgryphon: RPO's OASIS owes it's existence as much to Neil Stephenson's Metaverse as to the miriad of geek universes that are included in it.
  3. 170
    Neuromancer by William Gibson (jbgryphon)
    jbgryphon: Gibson's Matrix and Stephenson's Metaverse are as much the basis for OASIS as any of the geek universes that are included in it.
  4. 100
    Reamde by Neal Stephenson (Anonymous user)
  5. 102
    Scott Pilgrim vs. The World by Bryan Lee O'Malley (quenstalof)
    quenstalof: Both show classic video game inspiration
  6. 70
    Halting State by Charles Stross (ahstrick)
  7. 116
    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (sturlington)
    sturlington: Ready Player One reminded me of a grown-up version of this classic.
  8. 50
    Daemon by Daniel Suarez (bikeracer4487)
  9. 40
    City of Golden Shadow by Tad Williams (infjsarah)
  10. 30
    Armada by Ernest Cline (brakketh)
    brakketh: Both books focus on 1980s culture, similar narrative ark for isolated teen to hero.
  11. 20
    Constellation Games by Leonard Richardson (TomWaitsTables)
  12. 20
    For the Win by Cory Doctorow (simon_carr)
  13. 20
    Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd by Holly Black (quenstalof)
  14. 10
    Press Start to Play by Daniel H. Wilson (erikrebooted)
    erikrebooted: Similar subject matter -- where video games are more than they seem.
  15. 43
    Kiln People (The Kiln Books) by David Brin (freddlerabbit)
  16. 10
    Erebos by Ursula Poznanski (aliklein)
  17. 10
    Warcross by Marie Lu (deslivres5)
    deslivres5: dystopian society with virtual reality
  18. 10
    Wyrm by Mark Fabi (slagolas, slagolas)
  19. 10
    You by Austin Grossman (Anonymous user)
  20. 43
    The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks (GD2020)

(see all 36 recommendations)

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English (903)  Spanish (5)  French (4)  Italian (4)  German (3)  Finnish (2)  Danish (1)  Catalan (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (924)
Showing 1-5 of 903 (next | show all)
This book is just hours and hours of white male nostalgic masturbation. ( )
  KirstenLucie | Dec 9, 2019 |
Like other reviewers here I found this to be an incredibly compulsive read. After page 60 or so I really couldn't put it down. As addicting, one might say, as the OASIS world Cline writes about.

What I found so fascinating were the author's descriptions of various games from my childhood. I've never read anyone who could describe the experience of playing these games with the same thrill that comes from actually playing them. Interactions with virtual worlds, video games, and various discourses between human players and online environments are where Cline shines as an author. Ironically, he's not so good at writing about human relationships.

Ready Player One gives the same satisfaction as a really well made summer blockbuster film. Think beyond that and you start to uncover an incredibly pessimistic worldview as well as an author who takes for granted characters who have simply given up on human touch.

That said, I completely recommend this book to anyone looking for a great read. It has been a long time since I haven't been able to put a book down (and had to mourn a little, finishing it). ( )
  Adrian_Astur_Alvarez | Dec 3, 2019 |
Like other reviewers here I found this to be an incredibly compulsive read. After page 60 or so I really couldn't put it down. As addicting, one might say, as the OASIS world Cline writes about.

What I found so fascinating were the author's descriptions of various games from my childhood. I've never read anyone who could describe the experience of playing these games with the same thrill that comes from actually playing them. Interactions with virtual worlds, video games, and various discourses between human players and online environments are where Cline shines as an author. Ironically, he's not so good at writing about human relationships.

Ready Player One gives the same satisfaction as a really well made summer blockbuster film. Think beyond that and you start to uncover an incredibly pessimistic worldview as well as an author who takes for granted characters who have simply given up on human touch.

That said, I completely recommend this book to anyone looking for a great read. It has been a long time since I haven't been able to put a book down (and had to mourn a little, finishing it). ( )
  Adrian_Astur_Alvarez | Dec 3, 2019 |
“...reality, however utopian, is something from which people feel the need of taking pretty frequent holidays....”
― Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

Wade Watts, our protagonist, spends most of his time holidaying in OASIS, the future's SecondLife-but-better virtual reality. Wade treats it like a corpus of dead and digital tree nerdery, all the movies and games and books and imagined worlds so densely detailed and bright it's like that Claritan commercial in reverse. Because it's no utopia he's fleeing--the oil boom has gone bust, the whole world sucks, and why bother facing your insurmountable problems when you can become a level 50 badass and take control of your digital life? Why bother with what's real when you live inside your head? Aldous Huxley would have a fit--or, more likely, shake his finger and say I told you so.

Ready Player One is both an ode to geek culture and a caution. Cline rolls around in references and lore like a dog rolls in deer poop. Like the scat, it's probably an acquired taste. While his writing is relatively simple, he's nailed down pat his avoidant, escapist, too-awkward-for-the-world protagonist. Wade isn't as tragic a figure as Junot Diaz's Oscar Wao, but the ideas are similar: boy nerd struggles to integrate the safe, stimulating unreality in his head with the unpredictable reality outside.

There's romance and banter and indentured servitude, all the things you expect in a solid YA novel. I do wish Cline had explored the setting a little more--unsurprisingly, most of the book's action takes place in OASIS, where Watts is one of thousands of "gunters," aspirants to the egg, the grand prize OASIS's creator hid prior to his death. I enjoyed it... but I can't help but feel I should probably go outside and take a walk. ( )
  prufrockcoat | Dec 3, 2019 |
Would be a somewhat enjoyable book, but it is brought down by half the book being taken up by the main characters infatuation with a girl, mostly ignoring his life goal in favour of chasing after her.
The setting also has some problems, the villains want to monetize a game that is already very pay to win, to the point that people can't actually experience any game content if they can't pay for transport. There is also a one character limit and perma death, and in what is basically a second reality, who'd even want to pvp?
An enjoyable book if you can get through the bad romance and don't think too much about it. ( )
  Madanie | Dec 3, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 903 (next | show all)
Ready Player One borrows liberally from the same Joseph Campbell plot requirements as all the beloved franchises it references, but in such a loving, deferential way that it becomes endearing. There’s a high learning curve to all of the little details Wade throws out about the world, and for anyone who doesn’t understand or love the same sect of pop culture Halliday enjoyed, Ready Player One is a tough read. But for readers in line with Cline’s obsessions, this is a guaranteed pleasure.
 
"Cline is an ingenious conjurer talented at translating high concept into compelling storytelling."
added by bookfitz | editUSA Today, Don Oldenburg (Aug 21, 2011)
 
The breadth and cleverness of Mr. Cline’s imagination gets this daydream pretty far. But there comes a point when it’s clear that Wade lacks at least one dimension, and that gaming has overwhelmed everything else about this book.
added by zhejw | editNew York Times, Janet Maslin (Aug 14, 2011)
 
"Video-game players embrace the quest of a lifetime in a virtual world; screenwriter Cline’s first novel is old wine in new bottles. "
added by bookfitz | editKirkus Reviews (May 1, 2011)
 

» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cline, Ernestprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brand, ChristopherCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fowler, RalphDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Massey, JimCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mäkelä, J. PekkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rothfuss, PatrickIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Spini, L.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wheaton, WilNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
WHISKYTREEINCCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Susan and Libby
Because there is no map for where we are going
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Everyone my age remembers where they were and what they were doing when they first heard about the contest.
Quotations
Like most gunters, I voted to reelect Cory Doctorow and Wil Wheaton (again). There were no term limits, and those two geezers had been doing a kick-ass job of protecting user rights for over a decade.
It was the dawn of a new era, one where most of the human race now spent all of their free time inside a videogame.
"No one in the world ever gets what they want and that is beautiful." [199]
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
A world at stake. A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?


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.

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 ten thousand 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 twentieth 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.

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