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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

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6,027617691 (4.21)3 / 609
Member:KatlinelB5
Title:Ready Player One: A Novel
Authors:Ernest Cline
Info:Broadway (2012), Edition: First Edition, Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (2011)

  1. 232
    Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (2seven, whymaggiemay)
    whymaggiemay: Both about teens fighting back against the greater power using computers.
  2. 170
    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. 92
    Scott Pilgrim vs. The World by Bryan Lee O'Malley (quenstalof)
    quenstalof: Both show classic video game inspiration
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  7. 30
    City of Golden Shadow by Tad Williams (infjsarah)
  8. 85
    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (sturlington)
    sturlington: Ready Player One reminded me of a grown-up version of this classic.
  9. 52
    Kiln People by David Brin (freddlerabbit)
  10. 20
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  11. 20
    Constellation Games by Leonard Richardson (TomWaitsTables)
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  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
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  16. 10
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  20. 22
    Redshirts by John Scalzi (ryvre)
    ryvre: Fans of pop culture nostalgia will love both of these books!

(see all 29 recommendations)

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English (606)  Spanish (3)  Finnish (3)  French (2)  German (1)  Catalan (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (617)
Showing 1-5 of 606 (next | show all)
Set in a near future, this book often looks to the past – the glorious 1980s! Wade Watts lives in a dingy, crowded trailer park and goes to virtual high school. His joy in life is found through the OASIS, an on-line universe created by James Halliday & Ogden Morrow. You can discover space aliens and ride unicorns or play for hours in a 1980s arcade. In fact, after Halliday’s death, his final message was released to the world: He had built a quest into the OASIS, one that required the players to uncover secret, hidden clues (or Easter eggs). The prize is his fortune, and the prize is still unclaimed. Now Wade has discovered one of those clues and the hunt for the ultimate prize has heated up again as more competitors join the game.

Lynn from Lynn’s Book Blog told me I would love this book and she was right. This was just all kinds of fun. The future is a kind of stagnant, bleak place. Technology only went so far and then it petered out. With most of the world’s fuel supplies used up, people abandoned the countrysides and gathered in ever-increasingly congested cities. The OASIS allows many people to log in from home and go to virtual schools or virtual offices. Yet folks often stay connected to this virtual reality for their entertainment as well; so society is becoming less and less connected to each other in the real world.

Wade is a high schooler I could relate to – not popular with any clique but decent at his grades. I especially liked that in VR high school you can mute anyone but the teacher – so even if some jerk is calling you names, you don’t have to listen to them. His personality comes alive when he logs on to the OASIS and can zip around with his VR friends saving worlds and doing dungeon crawls. It’s not to say that the VR doesn’t have it’s cliques and bullies. If you have the funds, you can spend them in the OASIS on cool equipment for your avatar. So there’s always some amount of ‘fitting in’ strife for Wade to maneuver through. However, he does have stalwart friends in the OASIS, like Aech. They’ve been on dozens of missions together and spent hours and hours discussing every thing. They’ve been on-line friends for years, and that friendship really means something to Wade who has few people in the real world.

Then we have the whole 1980s nostalgia thing going on. Halliday, who built the ultimate prize game into the OASIS, was a big fan of the 1980s. He loved several things about it and built those things into the OASIS here and there. From the music to the arcade games to the TV series to the SFF books of the time, this story is a smorgasbord of 1980s trivia. I was born in 1978, and then I was raised on country music. MTV was not allowed in my house, but I married a man who loves his 80s music, so I have picked up some of it over time. For me, I loved nearly all the 1980s references. Some of the music references I didn’t recognize and some of the Asian anime I haven’t seen, but for the most part it was all recognizable. Sometimes the references would just be a one-liner from a movie and you’d get it if you’ve seen the movie. It made this book one of those stories you can geek out over.

Of course, the over-arching plot is for Wade to find all of Halliday’s Easter eggs, complete the quest, and win the prize. However, it was far more complicated than that. Halliday’s quest has been around for many years now and thousands have been trying to find the next clue and it hasn’t happened. Even Wade has spent many, many hours searching the OASIS for the next scrap of intel on the Easter eggs. But now Wade has a hunch and he, as his avatar Parzival, acts on it and he’s rewarded with the key to the first gate. Of course, once he accomplishes this, his name appears on the public OASIS scoreboard and now everyone is tracking his avatar’s doings. The race is on to complete Halliday’s quest and win the prize!

Along the way, Parzival makes some new on-line friends such as Art3mis, Shoto, and Daito. Aech is along for the ride, being Parzival’s trusty sidekick. I really loved the interactions among these teens. Well, Wade makes some assumptions about their ages and such – it’s almost impossible not to. Pitted against them are Nolan Sorrento and the Sixers. These players are corporate funded and there are thousands of them. They have been paid to hunt for the Easter eggs. They have more equipment (both real world and in the OASIS) and they have this wealth of experience to draw upon for any situation. They are intimidating competitors. Also, their corporation isn’t above bribing, paying off, threatening, or physical acts of aggression. Sadly, Wade learns this the hard way.

I found myself cheering Parzival/Wade on throughout this book. I also did a few face palms when I thought Wade had lost his way or made a stupid move. The book has so many great scenes! I love how the beauty, wonder, and infinite possibilities of the OASIS are paired with the dingy, crowded, hopeless reality of the real world. Wade just wants an escape. I totally get that. Later in the book, he meets a character who wants to change that and make the real world something to look forward to and use the OASIS as a tool to help mankind get back on it’s feet and perhaps out into the stars. That was a great touch too because it gets Wade to consider the possibilities.

This was a most enjoyable book, perhaps one of my top 5 for the year. The fancy VR world coupled with all the 1980s nostalgia made this story unexpectedly fun. By twists and turns, I would be caught up in a fond Atari game memory one moment and completely entrenched in the next Easter egg challenge the next moment. And I bet this book is just as good on the second read.

The Narration: Ah, Wil Wheaton, you were born to narrate this book! Wheaton was the perfect fit for this novel. He makes a very believable teen Wade. His female voices were good. Each character was distinct. He was especially good at imbuing the characters with emotion and there is quite the range of emotions in this book. Great performance! ( )
1 vote DabOfDarkness | Aug 14, 2016 |
My new favorite book. ( )
1 vote Ahtoosa | Aug 3, 2016 |
James Halliday, creator of OASIS, a virtual universe, has recently died without an heir. Before he died, he created a game requiring a series of challenges with the ultimate objective to find an "Easter egg." The one who finds the egg inherits his massive fortune. A number of individuals, known as gunters, have spent years studying Halliday's life and interests in an attempt to find the egg but without any luck. One such gunter is the novel's protagonist, Wade Watts known to the virtual universe as Parzival. However, his and his friends efforts to solve the puzzle is being hampered and threatened by a company created specifically for the Halliday puzzle. Much of the novel is spent on the competition between the various factions.

Initially, I was hesitant to read a book which takes almost entirely in a virtual reality; however, when I heard that Steven Spielberg had signed on to the film the book, I had to read it. When it described some of the individuals who spent much of their time as avatars in a virtual reality as lacking muscle tone and being ashen in color, I was reminded of the song "In the Year 2525" by Zager and Evans, where humans in the future would have atrophied muscles. I wonder what the future ramification for the youth will be spending so much time in a virtual reality as an avatar. It was an entertaining and thought-provoking novel. ( )
  John_Warner | Jul 29, 2016 |
LOVED this book. Didn't want it to end. I totally geeked out right along with Wade, with everything weird and wonderful about the 80s. I read most of the book in one sitting, since it was so freaking hard to put down. ( )
  lefaulkenberry | Jul 27, 2016 |
Fast paced, appeals to video gamers, 80s nostalgia, lesbian relationship, race to win video game to escape impoverished life becomes much bigger ( )
  mbiala | Jul 22, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 606 (next | show all)
"Cline is an awe-inspiring vault of ‘80s trivia and miscellany, and from the novel’s opening pages to its intense, action-packed finale, he expertly weaves his knowledge into the story in a way that’s somehow both deliriously entertaining and also integral to the plot."
 
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 (33 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cline, Ernestprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brand, ChristopherCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fowler, RalphDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Massey, JimCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rothfuss, PatrickIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wheaton, WilNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wheaton, WilNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
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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"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)

(summary from another edition)

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