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Ready Player One: A Novel by Ernest Cline

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

by Ernest Cline

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,2874791,151 (4.22)3 / 509
Title:Ready Player One: A Novel
Authors:Ernest Cline
Info:Broadway (2012), Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (2011)

  1. 202
    Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (2seven)
  2. 120
    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.
  3. 110
    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.
  4. 91
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  10. 64
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    sturlington: Ready Player One reminded me of a grown-up version of this classic.
  11. 32
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    erikrebooted: Another cyberpunk story set decades in the future, but one that revolves around Disney World rather than the 1980s.
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(see all 27 recommendations)


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English (471)  Spanish (3)  Finnish (3)  French (1)  German (1)  All languages (479)
Showing 1-5 of 471 (next | show all)
Loved it! Wish there was more.... ( )
  GSB68 | May 19, 2015 |
If you've ever become irrationally obsessed with anything, you'll find a little piece of yourself in this book. If you also grew up in the 80s, you'll find a whole lot of pieces. Cline sets his cautionary tale in 2044, years after James Halliday, a Steve Jobs-like innovator, created a total immersion experience called The Oasis. Take our current society and fast forward 30 years - would you be surprised that people have become more interested in their virtual Oasis lives than in reality? Not only is it the ultimate escape through which you can shop, download any kind of entertainment, hold virtual meetings, or play a huge array of video games at a ridiculously low cost, it also allows for complete anonymity.

So, when the creator dies and leaves his considerable wealth to the person who can solve a series of virtual challenges, thousands all over the world become obsessed. Among them is Wade Watts, a geeky kid who feels more comfortable and confident in The Oasis than he ever has in real life. His avatar, Perzival, is a low level warrior but Wade spends countless hours studying Halliday's obsessions - vintage video games, 80s pop culture, and more - searching for clues to solving the challenge. Wade and his companions aren't just competing with each other. An evil conglomerate will do anything to win, gambling that Halliday's wealth also comes with control of The Oasis, and therefore, a vehicle for great profit.

Cline captures the nature of obsession thoroughly and uses an entertaining milieu to illuminate contemporary concerns such as the decline of personal interaction, the importance of net neutrality, corporate corruption, and even discrimination. Knowledge of the 80s is not necessary but the references serve as a fun wink-and-nod to those of us who came of age in the greatest pop culture decade. ( )
  bookappeal | May 17, 2015 |
Okay, so first off, I liked most of this novel. And there are spoilers in this review.

Where it goes sideways is how Cline tries to stuff every single 1980s reference and tiny bit of trivia and so much stuff in between the action that it really does bog it down, at least for me.

Also I did not believe for a second that Wade had enough time to do all the things he said he did, all the movies he watched, games he played, and music he listened to. It just seemed too impossible, too perfect that he knew everything about everything just at the right time. I would have liked him more if he were slightly more flawed.

The whole game itself seemed so completely... overly complex. I understood why but -- to me, it wasn't that fun. Wade seemed miserable most of the time, between the quest for the Egg and his strained relations with his friends, angst over Artemis, and being hunted down. This could have been a great, fast-paced race to the finish, where you have no idea who is actually going to win, after all. But it just wasn't.

I am not sure I would recommend it, but I know other people have enjoyed this book so if the premise seems interesting to you by all means, dive in.

Despite all this, I am interested in what Cline will come up with next! ( )
  thessaly | May 17, 2015 |
One of the very best books I've read so far in 2015. I'm also excited that Spielberg will be directing the film. But back to the book... The premise is its 2044 and a young 18 year old down on his luck has just hit the jackpot with finding the first hidden key in a simulated game. Finding all the keys will make the winner very rich. The book is filled with 80s nostalgia from video games to movies.

For the rest of the review, visit my blog at: http://angelofmine1974.livejournal.com/89149.html ( )
  booklover3258 | May 15, 2015 |
All the elements of a great and fast-paced read present themselves in this Science Fiction tale, soon to become a classic. Creative, prophetic, and absorbing, Cline's novel is this generation's "Ender's Game." A young man teams with others to complete a quest that will affect the outcome of a failing global society. If you read anything this summer, you should read this book. ( )
  Meghanista | May 12, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 471 (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.
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)

» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cline, Ernestprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brand, ChristopherCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fowler, RalphDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Massey, JimCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wheaton, WilNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wheaton, WilNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Everyone my age remembers where they were and what they were doing when they first heard about the contest.
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.
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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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"An exuberantly realized, exciting, and sweet-natured cyber-quest. Cline's imaginative and rollicking coming-of-age geek saga has a smash-hit vibe."--Booklist, starred review "Ready Player One takes place in the not-so-distant future--the world has turned into a very bleak place, but luckily there is OASIS, a virtual reality world that is a vast online utopia. People can plug into OASIS to play, go to school, earn money, and even meet other people (or at least they can meet their avatars), and for protagonist Wade Watts it certainly beats passing the time in his grim, poverty-stricken real life. Along with millions of other world-wide citizens, Wade dreams of finding three keys left behind by James Halliday, the now-deceased creator of OASIS and the richest man to have ever lived. The keys are rumored to be hidden inside OASIS, and whoever finds them will inherit Halliday's fortune. But Halliday has not made it easy. And there are real dangers in this virtual world. Stuffed to the gills with action, puzzles, nerdy romance, and 80s nostalgia, this high energy cyber-quest will make geeks everywhere feel like they were separated at birth from author Ernest Cline."--Chris Schluep, Amazon Best Book of the Month… (more)

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