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Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Ernest Cline (Author)

Series: Ready Player One (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
11,959988354 (4.12)4 / 881
"In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the Oasis. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines -- puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win -- and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape"--Page 2 of cover.… (more)
Title:Ready Player One
Authors:Ernest Cline (Author)
Info:Cornerstone Digital (2011), 386 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (2011)

  1. 274
    Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (2seven, whymaggiemay)
    whymaggiemay: Both about teens fighting back against the greater power using computers.
  2. 190
    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. 102
    Scott Pilgrim vs. The World by Bryan Lee O'Malley (quenstalof)
    quenstalof: Both show classic video game inspiration
  6. 70
    Halting State by Charles Stross (ahstrick)
  7. 116
    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (sturlington)
    sturlington: Ready Player One reminded me of a grown-up version of this classic.
  8. 50
    Daemon by Daniel Suarez (bikeracer4487)
  9. 40
    Armada by Ernest Cline (brakketh)
    brakketh: Both books focus on 1980s culture, similar narrative ark for isolated teen to hero.
  10. 40
    City of Golden Shadow by Tad Williams (infjsarah)
  11. 20
    Warcross by Marie Lu (deslivres5)
    deslivres5: dystopian society with virtual reality
  12. 20
    Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd by Holly Black (quenstalof)
  13. 20
    For the Win by Cory Doctorow (simon_carr)
  14. 20
    Constellation Games by Leonard Richardson (TomWaitsTables)
  15. 10
    You by Austin Grossman (Anonymous user)
  16. 10
    Erebos by Ursula Poznanski (aliklein)
  17. 10
    Press Start to Play by Daniel H. Wilson (erikrebooted)
    erikrebooted: Similar subject matter -- where video games are more than they seem.
  18. 43
    The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks (GD2020)
  19. 10
    Wyrm by Mark Fabi (slagolas, slagolas, Cecrow)
    Cecrow: Players inserted into a virtual world with real world stakes, and littered with cultural references.
  20. 43
    Kiln People (The Kiln Books) by David Brin (freddlerabbit)

(see all 37 recommendations)


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English (960)  Spanish (5)  French (4)  Italian (4)  German (3)  Finnish (2)  Danish (1)  Catalan (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (981)
Showing 1-5 of 960 (next | show all)
I listened to the audio version of this book and it did not disappoint. This was SO good and a nerd and geek heaven. I'm not sure what will happen in the next book but I'm looking forward to it. It combines 80's nostalgia and the love of gaming and sci-fi, all wrapped up in an immersive and compelling story that kept me up listening whenever I had the chance. ( )
  jonathanpapz | Jul 2, 2020 |
The year is 2044 and the world is an unpleasant and grim place. Famine and poverty are rampant, and to escape the bleakness of real life most people choose to enter the world of OASIS. The OASIS had been created by an inventor and reclusive billionaire named James Halliday. When he died without an heir, a challenge was set in motion. Halliday has hidden an Easter egg somewhere in the OASIS, and left behind diabolically difficult clues. Whoever solves the clues to complete three virtual challenges and find the egg will win his vast estate. In the five years since the challenge began much of world has become consumed with the hunt. Many people are professional egg hunters, or "gunters," as they are known. They spend their days and nights immersed in the popular culture that made up James Halliday's formative years (the 70's and 80's). It's believed that knowing what he knew will be the key to winning.

Our hero, Wade Watts or, as he's known in the OASIS, Parzival, is an 18 year old who has only known misery in the real world. He has spent five years hunting Halliday's Easter egg and mastering every bit of obscure '80's trivia he can find to try to solve the puzzle. Parzival's friends Aech, Art3mis, Daito and Shoto are also gunters and his friendly competition. The evil villain comes from Innovative Online Industries, led by the ruthless Nolan Sorrento. He wants his company to find the egg so they can rule over the OASIS and charge monthly fees, pick up revenue and end the guaranteed anonymity of the OASIS. IOI will stop at nothing to reach the egg first.

Ready Player One will appeal to all kinds of people, especially those who remember the 80's and the first computer consoles and games. The story begins at a fairly slow pace to set up the character and setting, becomes a fast paced thrill ride. It keeps you hanging on trying to solve the riddles right along with Wade. The supporting characters were fun and likable though the majority of the story revolves around Wade.

I give the book 4 stars for the action packed last quarter and an additional half star for the narration by Wil Wheaton. He made the story come alive for me. This book may have it's fans and it's critics but it will still be one of my favorites this year for pure enjoyment. I've learned one important thing from this book: The Geek Will Inherit the Earth.

( )
  Olivermagnus | Jul 2, 2020 |
Please note that I gave this book 4.5 stars and rounded it up to 5 stars on Goodreads.

I don't want to write a really long review since this book has been reviewed by so many people. I just have to say that as a child of the 90s, I really loved this nostalgic look back to all things 80s. Even though I came of age in the 90s, I still played Atari, Sega Genesis, I still watched movies like The Breakfast Club, Ladyhawke, Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Red Dawn. This whole book is a long love story to the 1980s and I really enjoyed it.

"Ready Player One" follows Wade Owen Watts, a high school student in 2044 who escapes his grim reality by staying in OASIS (a virtual reality) as much as possible. We also learn about how one of the creators of OASIS (James Halliday) who before he died, left an array of clues in OASIS so that whoever solved all of the clues can end up winning the "egg" and being more rich than they could imagine.

So "Ready Player One" follows Wade and others as they do what they can to track down Halliday's clues. Along the way, Wade and his best friend in OASIS, Aech end up befriending a few other players.

Things I liked: As I said, all things 80s was great to read about.

I liked how the book was set up as one long master quest (I love RPG's) and the characters that we get to know like Aech, Art3mis, Daito and Shoto.

The world of 2044 sounded terrible, and the way that Cline breaks down things in order for you get why most of humanity thinks hanging out in OASIS is preferable to the real world was sad, and i could see how something like that could come to pass one day. Look at how everyone is currently sucked into Pokemon Go. The one saving grace in that game is that you have to actually go outside and explore and it's getting people interacting with technology out doors.

Things that did not work for me: Wade's infatuation with Art3mis turned me off. In fact him doing all of the things he did after she said she wasn't' interested really turned me of of him for a bit too. I also didn't like how that relationship ended either. Why can't a girl just not be interested in a boy? I hated how Cline set it up and wish that he had left that part out of the story.

I honestly didn't get why the government (and maybe I missed this part) or world government's would not have come down harder on Innovative Online Industries. They were flying around killing people left and right and people were all kind of shruggy about it.

The character of Sorrento really didn't' work as a big bad. We focused mainly on the good guys in the book so he felt like an after thought for most of the book.

All in all I really enjoyed "Ready Player One" and am glad I read it. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
From the Neal Stephenson School of Cluttered Exposition and Cardboard Characters, Ready Player One is an engaging paean to 80s and 90s pop culture, especially video games, movies, and television series. It's set in a dystopia in which consumerist escapism has doomed most of the population of the planet to poverty and subjugation. The main character, Wade, joins with several other young individuals to play a game created by the ultimate game designer for the ultimate virtual reality.

I liked it, and it raises some interesting questions, but the plot and characters are about right for a young adult novel. A minor spot of sexual content (reference to masturbation).

( )
  dmturner | Jun 29, 2020 |
didn't like everything about it but it's a fun, entertaining romp for the internet and gamer era. I'm a gamer and reading this did make me feel like I was in a game and I enjoyed accompanying the characters on their adventure quest and puzzle solving.

A game maker geek obsessed with the 1980s dies and leaves his fortune to be won in a special quest -hunt. The quest is fun, with lots of varied tasks. A whole movement forms around trying to solve it. And there's an evil antagonist too. Four teenagers are on top of it but they encounter obstacles courtesy of the greedy corporate antagonists.

The references to the 1980s and the details and descriptions of the hunt are really fun.
It's written in a casual vernacular that fits the story. I've enjoyed the premise. The character building is not very interesting here though. The four young protagonists felt like typical action movie characters as were the greedy corporate antagonists so I find them forgettable and the story didn't make me feel particularly attached to them. Of course, I still cheered for their success. But I was more fond of Ogden and Kira. I'm not sure who played Wade in the movie version but I pictured Jake Gylenhall while reading it.

We've learned most about Halliday and that was the most fun, also the gamer researches into his story in order to deal with the quest- that central quest alone was a lot of fun.

This book is plot oriented rather than character or reflection oriented, definitely reads like a movie material, but there is something to think about given through this entertaining plot- a virtual reality as an escape from an increasingly dystopian world, and the impact it has on making relationships. Plus the reality of how much info can be gained about you, whether legally or illegally. also made me think of how totally this Oasis world in the book immersed its characters, it was really more like a second reality. A better reality but also one with more threats - and those threats endanger characters in the real world too. I think those parts of the book, along with 1980s reference had the most appeal for me. ( )
  MargotMeanders | Jun 26, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 960 (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.
"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 (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cline, Ernestprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brand, ChristopherCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fowler, RalphDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Massey, JimCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mäkelä, J. PekkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Riffel, HannesÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Riffel, SaraÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rothfuss, PatrickIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Spini, L.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wheaton, WilNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
WHISKYTREEINCCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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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.
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]
And now the conditions at any schools had gotten so terrible that every kid with half a brain was being encouraged to stay at home and attend school online.
The Great Recession was now entering its third decade, and unemployed was still at a record high. (2045)
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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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