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Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Ernest Cline, Will Wheaton (Narrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,295None1,647 (4.24)3 / 437
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
Tags:audiobook, audible.com, Wil Wheaton, dystopia, virtual utopia, coming-of-age, geeks, 1980s

Work details

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (Author) (2011)

1980s (72) 2011 (47) 2012 (68) 80s (40) adventure (49) audiobook (39) cyberpunk (74) dystopia (171) dystopian (35) ebook (63) fantasy (31) fiction (289) future (40) games (30) gaming (71) goodreads (26) Kindle (46) novel (30) pop culture (55) read (59) read in 2011 (26) read in 2012 (39) read in 2013 (26) science fiction (544) sf (64) to-read (160) video games (129) virtual reality (119) YA (24) young adult (29)
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  3. 90
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    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.
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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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    sturlington: Ready Player One reminded me of a grown-up version of this classic.
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English (383)  Spanish (2)  French (1)  German (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (388)
Showing 1-5 of 383 (next | show all)
Dude, this book was AWESOME! I received this book as a Goodreads Giveaway and was excited to win a copy of Ready Player One. As a teenager of the 80's I loved all the bits of trivia and pop culture embedded in this story. Not only did I love the story in which Wade Watts, the main character, hunts for an egg hidden deep within a multi level virtual reality called the OASIS but I loved all the main characters as well. Ready Player One has it all action, adventure, humor and a dash of romance. The story made me laugh and cry. If you love the 80's or technology I highly recommend this book. You will not be disappointed!
  68papyrus | Apr 8, 2014 |
John Hughes movies are all the rage. Kids everywhere are firing up Atari games. Billy Idol and Cyndi Lauper songs are blasting in dance clubs. To the average person in the 1980s, this may appear par for the course but in Ernest Cline’s sci-fi novel Ready Player One, we’re no longer in the 1980s, we’re in the year 2044 and the most obnoxious decade of the 20th century is back in a big way!

The whole world is up shit creek without a paddle. People are living in crude skyscrapers constructed from stacked mobile homes, crime is at an all time high and the economy is in the toilet. The only escape from this dreary existence is a massive online RPG network dubbed the OASIS. Players strap on a visor giving them full 360 degree vision of a computer generated world in which they design their own avatar and live out a much more pleasant existence.

The game’s creator, James Halliday, passed away a few years prior and before doing so, hid a prize deep inside the game. Halliday decided that whoever could claim the elusive prize would gain controlling interest in his company and inherit his unbelievable $240 billion fortune. Knowing that everyone on earth would be gunning for it, Halliday did his damndest to make uncovering his “easter egg” as challenging as possible. One would have to both know his life story inside out and be a true scholar of the 1980s. Well, unless you’re a giant soulless corporation like IOI (Innovative Online Industries) with its sights set on complete market domination.

For years IOI have been sending out their army of hunters, desperate to uncover the location of the egg. Fortunately for the OASIS community, IOI haven’t made headway in their search. It isn’t until a young player named Wade Watts from the stacks in Oklahoma City uncovers the Copper Key – the first step in the search for the egg – that things really begin to heat up. Can Wade complete the quest before IOI claim the prize or will another ambitious player step up to the plate and nab the billion dollar crown?

Despite being born in 1984, I’m not quite a student of the 80s. I was six years old when the calendar turned over to 1990 and the following ten years really crafted my sense of humor and fascination with pop culture. Put on an old episode of the CG TV show ReBoot or Pixar’s first Toy Story to really get the nostalgia drug following through my veins. While I was worried that the majority of the references within Cline’s Ready Player One would sail over my head, thankfully I had enough crap jammed into that “useless-knowledge” part of my brain reserved for Saturday morning cartoon shows, WWF wrestling, Ghostbusters and Top 40 radio to get me by.

While the book took a little too long to get going for my taste, once Wade (or Parzival) grabbed that Copper Key, Cline pushed down on the pedal and took this Delorean of a novel to 88mph. In looking around at several other reviews, it’s hard to believe people haven’t praised the dialogue nearly as much as I feel it’s deserved. While Cline isn’t doing anything special per se, it should be noted that everything just feels so natural. I’m going to really miss these characters.

Bottom line, this is a really fun book. I welcome the person who takes a crack at recreating the ultimate 90s nostalgia trip where all the characters wear flannel shirts, watch Boy Meets World and obsess over Kevin Smith movies. ( )
1 vote branimal | Apr 1, 2014 |
Amazing may not be the right word, but this book is one of the most fun books that I've ever read in my life. If you've ever loved a bit of 80's pop culture, played a video game, or known a gamer, I think you'll agree. ( )
  lmm161 | Mar 30, 2014 |
This is a paean to the 1980s, told through the lens of a teenager searching an immersive virtual works (the OASIS) to find a hidden "egg" that will grant him a massive fortune and a control over the virtual world. The designer of the quest was a genius agoraphobic programmer who used classic video game and 1980s pop culture references as the basis of his riddles and challenges in the quest. This means that the main characters are studying 1980s pop culture to solve the riddles. The book maintains a good pace, has plenty of action, and the intrigue of the quest kept my attention. The 1980s nostalgia was a bit much for me; your milage may vary. ( )
  JLHeim | Mar 29, 2014 |
Okay enough acronyms - the book really takes off when Wade deciphers what the opening limerick of Halliday's contest challenge really means - connecting the words to an old Dungeons and Dragons module, transporting himself to that particular cave (Tomb of Horrors) and successfully going through all the fights and gaming challenges to earn the Copper Key, and open the first "gate", the first person in five years to do so. Wade's avatar, Parzival, is now posted on the Scoreboard, and is known the world over. How he and his OASIS friends manage to continue solving the clues and opening the subsequent gates, all with the evil IOI 'sixers" hot on their heels takes up the rest of the book. While all the background digressions into Halliday's past and the dystopian details of life in 2045 may bore some teen readers, Cline clearly knows the gamer world and builds the suspense through chapter after chapter, including a galactic size battle outside the last "gate" to the ultimate prize. Beyond the action, we also live through Wade's experiences and desires - to win, to maintain his honor, to keep his friends beside him, to somehow connect with Art3mis. As a totally NON-gamer, I still enjoyed this book and the expert weaving together of this oddly menacing future with so many video game details, all given to us through the twisting and turning quest of Parzival! ( )
  BDartnall | Mar 29, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 383 (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, ErnestAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brand, ChristopherCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fowler, RalphDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Massey, JimCover designersecondary 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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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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