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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
4,748508987 (4.22)3 / 550
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. 222
    Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (2seven)
  2. 140
    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. 140
    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. 92
    Scott Pilgrim vs. The World by Bryan Lee O'Malley (quenstalof)
    quenstalof: Both show classic video game inspiration
  5. 60
    Reamde by Neal Stephenson (Anonymous user)
  6. 40
    Halting State by Charles Stross (ahstrick)
  7. 52
    Kiln People by David Brin (freddlerabbit)
  8. 20
    Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd by Holly Black (quenstalof)
  9. 20
    City of Golden Shadow by Tad Williams (infjsarah)
  10. 20
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  11. 10
    Wyrm by Mark Fabi (slagolas, slagolas)
  12. 65
    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (sturlington)
    sturlington: Ready Player One reminded me of a grown-up version of this classic.
  13. 21
    Daemon by Daniel Suarez (bikeracer4487)
  14. 22
    Redshirts by John Scalzi (ryvre)
    ryvre: Fans of pop culture nostalgia will love both of these books!
  15. 00
    Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil (bluepolicebox)
  16. 00
    You by Austin Grossman (Anonymous user)
  17. 00
    Press Start to Play by Daniel H. Wilson (erikrebooted)
    erikrebooted: Similar subject matter -- where video games are more than they seem.
  18. 33
    The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks (GD2020)
  19. 00
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  20. 11
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(see all 26 recommendations)


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English (500)  Finnish (3)  Spanish (2)  French (1)  German (1)  All languages (507)
Showing 1-5 of 500 (next | show all)
I wanted to pooh-pooh this book, ask what all the hype was about, but I ended up really enjoying it. Some of the tech detail was over the top for me, sure, but for the most part this book was super fun especially for anyone who grew up in the 80's and 90's. My singular beef? In all this ode to geekdom, there is absolutely zero mention of Doctor Who? I mean, good lord. With all the minute attention to Asian dorkness AND the shout out to Spaced you'd think the longest running dweeb-fest in western culture would get at least...something. But anyway...I forgive but I totally just don't get it.
(And yes I cried when Wade and Samantha finally met!) ( )
  eenerd | Sep 29, 2015 |

This book hit all the right buttons with me. It's a love letter to the 80s, to computer games, roleplaying games, fantasy and science fiction films and comics.

Loved it. This hit every single possible nostalgia string with me.

( )
  StigE | Sep 15, 2015 |
The Good: I loved this book, and that was a huge surprise. I was vaguely intrigued way back when I heard about this book pre-release, but once I got my hands on it I continually put it off. I love the 80s, but 80s gaming isn't my specialty. I got sucked into the book immediately and read it for hours after I had planned on going to sleep. I picked it up the next day and didn't put it down until I finished it. I was completely enthralled, loving the 80s movie and music mentions, even if the gaming went a bit over my head at times. I often found myself thinking that this was the coolest book every written. The stakes were high, always, and the world was so creative - virtual and real world. I'm currently counting the days until the movie is released, some 2 years for now - it's a long count.

The Bad: Not a thing. ( )
  TequilaReader | Sep 12, 2015 |
“Reportedly bought for something like $500,000 and already slated for filming, this novel from Fanboys screenwriter Cline features a geeky kid named Wade Watts who gets caught up in a worldwide virtual utopia called Oasis. There he finds himself on a virtual treasure hunt for a very real treasure. Described by Firstshowing.net as a blend of Avatar, The Matrix, and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, this book promises to be really, really big. “

My synopsis:

In the not so distant future, the world has exhausted its energy resources making fuel a luxury most can’t afford. Unemployment is sky high and cities are becoming landmarks of an industrialized civilization on the verge of collapse. People congregate around bigger cities where access to electrical power/wifi is still available, resulting in stacked trailers and urban wastelands.

Wade watts, the product of a botched teenage love affair is left practically an orphan surviving on his own talents for the most part. He was taught by video games, attends school in a virtual world like our real life Second Life, but with better virtual reality mods like retinal displays, sensory suits, ect. Wade pretty much lives online in the virtual Oasis. When a multi-billionaire game designer and innovator dies and leaves his entire estate and money to whoever can solve a final game of puzzles through the Oasis, Wade gets caught up in the challenge and makes it his personal quest to be the winner.

My thoughts:

This book had the slightly awkward and then heartwarming kind of friendship a la Harry Potter or hunger games. It’s got bad guys not above killing, but also decent people who still believe in and live by some kind of code. It’s a typical good guy/bad guy scenario; a modern reinvention of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with tons of somewhat obscure 1980′s references. To someone who grew up in the 80′s it’s a fun nostalgia trip. To teens of today it gives them an outline of cool stuff to look up like Blade Runner, cyberpunk, and authors Neal Stephenson and William Gibson. There were some good messages dispersed among the Back to the Future and Neuromancer references such as : the inside of a person is more important than the outside, luck is when preparation meets opportunity, online dating can work, and a few others you’ll have to find for yourself.

There’s a few twists and warm fuzzies that are worth holding out for. This book reads quickly and I think it would interest even the current 'always on' media-frenzied generation. Good for reluctant readers male or female.

Disclaimer: Some explicit language. ( )
  jasmataz | Sep 11, 2015 |
Finally got to this after the umpteenth recommendation from fellow book lovers. Not a big fantasy fan, and certainly had no experience or interest in role playing Dungeons and Dragons type computer games. However, this story of young gamers fighting the evil corporation with global consequences had an appealing Willy Wonkaesque flavor. Undergirding it all is sharp dialogue, credible characterization, pathos and even sweetness. Will Wheaton was an inspired narrator of my audio version. ( )
  michigantrumpet | Sep 9, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 500 (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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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.
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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

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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