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Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
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Ready Player One (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Ernest Cline, Will Wheaton (Narrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,6055021,039 (4.22)3 / 534
Member:mirrordrum
Title:Ready Player One
Authors:Ernest Cline
Other authors:Will Wheaton (Narrator)
Info:audible.com from Random House Audio, 15 hrs. 46 min.
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:audiobook, audible.com, Wil Wheaton, dystopia, virtual utopia, coming-of-age, geeks, 1980s

Work details

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (2011)

  1. 212
    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. 50
    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
    Constellation Games by Leonard Richardson (TomWaitsTables)
  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. 33
    The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks (GD2020)
  18. 00
    The Blackouts by Robert Brockway (TomWaitsTables)
  19. 11
    The Rook by Daniel O'Malley (freddlerabbit)
  20. 00
    The Lifecycle of Software Objects by Ted Chiang (amysisson)
    amysisson: Different type of look at a virtual (Second Life style) environment, and where it might lead.

(see all 26 recommendations)

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English (494)  Finnish (3)  Spanish (2)  French (1)  German (1)  All languages (501)
Showing 1-5 of 494 (next | show all)
I loved this book! The trivia alone was half the fun, but I enjoyed the characters and the progression of events as well. Fun story! FUN! ( )
  yrizaria | Aug 23, 2015 |
Anyone who grew up in the 80s went to bed after playing hours of Atari, Coleco or PC games, dreamt that this book would one day be written. Essential reading in my opinion. ( )
  LJMax | Aug 21, 2015 |
Great book. ( )
  Gustavo_Penha | Aug 19, 2015 |
This was a fun and quick read. It wasn’t a particularly deep or complex book, but the story was interesting, the characters were well-written, and the author did a great job with intense action scenes. Sometimes I caught myself tensely gripping my Kindle during critical moments of the story, and I stayed up well past my bedtime on a couple of nights because I had to know what would happen next.

I guess pretty much everybody is already familiar with the general idea behind this story if it’s something they’re remotely interested in, but here’s a spoiler-free synopsis of the basic premise just in case anybody is curious. The story is set in the future, around 2040. Conditions in the real world are pretty bad, but there’s a world-wide virtual reality called OASIS that most people spend all of their spare time in. The creator of OASIS, Halliday, has hidden an “Easter egg” somewhere within this humongous virtual reality and created a series of puzzles and tests that must be solved in order to find it. Upon his death, an announcement goes out to the world to let them know about the egg. Whoever finds the egg will inherit Halliday’s company and become a billionaire. The story opens up a few years after Halliday’s death, with nobody having made any significant progress toward finding the egg. Our main character, Wade, is a senior in high school who has devoted every possible moment of his life toward finding this egg. Halliday grew up in the 80’s and was obsessed with that era’s old video games and movies and TV shows, so the puzzles and tests are based heavily on things from that era.

The main character sometimes came off as a little naïve, but he was only about 18 so I guess he had the right to be a little naïve. Otherwise, I really liked him and found him easy to root for. I also liked some of the characters he encountered throughout the story. Art3mis annoyed me sometimes, but I really liked Aech. I did think that the main character, Wade (known as Parzival in OASIS), was just a little too all-knowing. I didn’t actually bother to do the math, but it seemed unrealistic to me that he had found the time to watch so many old TV shows and movies, not just once but multiple times. He watched them dozens of times in some cases, and even over 100 times in others. Also, not only did he play and learn scads of old video games, but he also mastered them. It seemed unrealistic even if, as he said, he was spending 12 hours a day on it every day.

The story was pretty straight forward and told from the first-person perspective of Wade. There were surprises here and there, but the story wasn’t particularly twisty. There were puzzles of course but, unless you’re familiar with the relevant games, movies, and TV shows from the 80’s, you can’t really hope to figure them out on your own. However, you don’t have to have intimate knowledge of 80’s geekdom culture to enjoy the story. I was born in 1975, so I did grow up during the 80’s, but I wasn’t familiar with most of the things that were mentioned. I didn’t watch much TV at all and I doubt I’ve been in a video arcade more than 5 times in my entire life. We didn’t have any video game consoles at home either, nor did any of my closest friends have them. I did grow up with computers, and we had some games for them, but my parents didn’t buy a lot of games. However, even though there were a lot of references to things I was unfamiliar with, I never felt lost. The author explained whatever was important to the story.

Despite the fact that I don’t have much knowledge of 80’s video games, I do enjoy computer games and I even still play them now and then – maybe for an hour or two a week at the very most. In the 90’s I discovered all of the shareware and freeware games available online, so I actually played more games in my late teens and early 20’s than I had played as a kid in the 80’s when games were harder for me to access. So my point here is that I’m quite familiar with general gaming concepts and I enjoy games, even if my video game experience is limited. Maybe this helped make the book more appealing and fun for me. I especially enjoyed the earlier parts of the book when the main character started off with absolutely nothing and started to accumulate both real-world and OASIS loot. I was excited for him when he found the treasure in that first dungeon and started to gain levels. After that, I thought his continued advancement was a little too fast.

Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot although it’s a little hard for me to quantify why. ( )
  YouKneeK | Aug 15, 2015 |
A co-worker suggested this book after a discussion about challenging yourself to read books in genres you wouldn't normally read. I'm not sure exactly what genre this book would be classified as (science fiction?), but I thought I would give it a try.

Ready Player One takes place in the future when society is collapsing and a lot of people spend most of their time in OASIS, a massive online virtual reality simulation. When the creator of OASIS died, his will stated that his fortune would be left to whoever was the first person to find an egg he had hidden somewhere inside the simulation. Tons of people have devoted their life to finding this egg. The creator of OASIS, and most of the people who spend their time there are obsessed with the 80s... the movies, video games, tv shows, etc. The book is told from the point of view of someone obsessively hunting for this egg.

I can't go so far as to say I really liked this book, but I'm not sure why I didn't hate it. I'm not a big fan of the 80s, I don't like video games, I get annoyed when people obsessively quote movies and zone out when people talk about video games...that is basically all this book was. I maybe got about 1% of the references to pop culture. Yet somehow I kept reading and was interested in what happened. Go figure. ( )
  klburnside | Aug 11, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 494 (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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Epigraph
Dedication
For Susan and Libby
Because there is no map for where we are going
First words
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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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References to this work on external resources.

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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