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Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
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Ready Player One (original 2011; edition 2012)

by Ernest Cline

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
5,362572819 (4.22)3 / 580
Member:jlid
Title:Ready Player One
Authors:Ernest Cline
Info:Arrow (2012), Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Read in 2013, cyberpunk, dystopia, online, Internet, virtual reality, games, 1980s, geek

Work details

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (2011)

  1. 222
    Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (2seven, whymaggiemay)
    whymaggiemay: Both about teens fighting back against the greater power using computers.
  2. 150
    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. 150
    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. 70
    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
  6. 50
    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
    Constellation Games by Leonard Richardson (TomWaitsTables)
  10. 20
    City of Golden Shadow by Tad Williams (infjsarah)
  11. 65
    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (sturlington)
    sturlington: Ready Player One reminded me of a grown-up version of this classic.
  12. 10
    Wyrm by Mark Fabi (slagolas, slagolas)
  13. 43
    The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks (GD2020)
  14. 21
    Daemon by Daniel Suarez (bikeracer4487)
  15. 10
    For the Win by Cory Doctorow (simon_carr)
  16. 22
    Redshirts by John Scalzi (ryvre)
    ryvre: Fans of pop culture nostalgia will love both of these books!
  17. 00
    Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil (bluepolicebox)
  18. 00
    Press Start to Play by Daniel H. Wilson (erikrebooted)
    erikrebooted: Similar subject matter -- where video games are more than they seem.
  19. 00
    .hack//Legend of the Twilight, Volume 1 by Tatsuya Hamazaki (Mind_Booster_Noori)
  20. 00
    You by Austin Grossman (Anonymous user)

(see all 28 recommendations)

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English (562)  Finnish (3)  French (2)  Spanish (2)  German (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (571)
Showing 1-5 of 562 (next | show all)
I don't often do reviews, but I have to at least say something about this book... Gah, love love. Not only was it well written and engaging, but the pop culture trivia and the narration by Will Wheaton, double gah. I cannot wait to read the second book and while I'm waiting for it at the library, I'm going to go play Boss Monster to satiate myself.

(note: Remind me never to write reviews on days I forgot to drink black tea or coffee. My brain on half steam is neither impressive, nor sensical). ( )
  lyssacle | Feb 12, 2016 |
Do you ever read a book and think "yes. This is an obvious self Insert male fantasy." Because that's what I did in this book. It's a well written teen novel but at some points I had to literally put the book down because it became too "I'm a special boy who doesn't get any attention because I don't follow the standard societal norm and I should be praised for it and I need a girlfriend." But I made it through and if you want a book that makes you think of dot hack, this one is for you. ( )
  PaperTori | Feb 12, 2016 |
This deserves far more than 5*s!!!! Cline is a damned genius!!! His knowledge base is huge and it really brings OASIS alive. I wish he were James Halliday and had really invented this. ROLL ON ARMADA!! ( )
  Rogue-Phoenix | Feb 12, 2016 |
Going outside is highly overrated.

Wade Watts lives in a bleak, and probably fairly realistic, version of our future. It's 2044 and we've got an energy crisis, a lack of food, overpopulation, and a recession. Most people live in literal stacks of trailers. Much of the time, it's not even safe to leave your home. Suffice it to say that it's not a great situation. To escape the miserable state of reality, James Halliday invented the OASIS, a giant virtual reality in which anyone with an internet connection can immerse themselves in a completely different world. Like most people, Wade spends most of his time in the OASIS. It's where most shopping and socializing are done, where meetings are held, and even where Wade goes to school.

Since there are no limits to what Wade (aka Parzival) can be in the OASIS, he absolutely lives and breathes it. When Halliday dies, news quickly spreads that he left his entire fortune, and control of the OASIS, as an elaborate Easter egg within the game. OASIS users obsessively dig through every corner of the virtual reality, trying and failing to make sense of the vague clue that Halliday left before his death. After a number of years, the scoreboard is still blank, and everyone but the most dedicated hunters have given up hope. Suddenly, Wade has a revelation and Parzival becomes the first to discover the meaning of the first clue. As his name appears on the scoreboard, he's skyrocketed to immediate fame and the rest of the world watches for him to figure out the next move -- or fall flat on his face.

Ready Player One had been on my radar for a number of years, ever since I saw a friend post a glowing review of it shortly after it came out. I was lucky enough to get a copy for Christmas this year, and pretty much devoured it chapter by chapter at every chance I could get.

The beginning in particular really appealed to me. The creator of OASIS, James Halliday, was notoriously obsessed with the 80's, which would have been his childhood. Because of this, Halliday's Easter egg challenge is chock full of 80's references - from movies to tv to music to games. My favorite parts of the book were those where scenes from famous 80's movies were recreated. Some of my favorite movies are from the 80's, and I could practically see the scenes playing out in my mind.

Most of the references in the book are to video games, and while I've never been too interested in playing them, I still understood the majority of those references. Of course, the more obscure ones did go over my head, but not to the point where I stopped enjoying what I was reading. And of course a book about a guy obsessed with video games is going to contain a multitude of video game references, so they weren't out of place, either.

As for the actual story, the plot moves along at a nice, steady pace, neither too fast nor too slow. The characters were great. I loved Wade, and Aech and Art3mis really grew on me as well. The bad guys are believably evil, and the good guys aren't perfect. The book maintains a good balance between action and character development, and is overall very well-written.

Ready Player One really plays out like a movie, and I would be thrilled to watch it on the big screen. As it is, I highly recommend it to anybody who wants a good story with a heavy dose of nostalgia. ( )
  Sara.Newhouse | Feb 11, 2016 |
It's fun and worth reading, but I didn't like the subtext. There's too much 1980s nerd culture (I say this as a nerd who remembers the 1980s), and glorification of a selfish billionaire. I read it a few years ago, and now I can't remember exactly why I didn't like Halliday, but the way he chose who was worthy to inherit his estate & corporation seemed immoral to me. In other words, I had a problem with the fundamental premise.

But the plot and main characters are likable, it moves along at a face pace, and that was enough to cover up the deeper problems for me. ( )
  Abby_Goldsmith | Feb 10, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 562 (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 (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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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.
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.
Last words
(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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"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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