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Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Ernest Cline (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
9,914860430 (4.15)3 / 849
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. 255
    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. 110
    Reamde by Neal Stephenson (Anonymous user)
  5. 60
    Halting State by Charles Stross (ahstrick)
  6. 93
    Scott Pilgrim vs. The World by Bryan Lee O'Malley (quenstalof)
    quenstalof: Both show classic video game inspiration
  7. 40
    Armada by Ernest Cline (brakketh)
    brakketh: Both books focus on 1980s culture, similar narrative ark for isolated teen to hero.
  8. 40
    City of Golden Shadow by Tad Williams (infjsarah)
  9. 52
    Kiln People (The Kiln Books) by David Brin (freddlerabbit)
  10. 41
    Daemon by Daniel Suarez (bikeracer4487)
  11. 86
    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (sturlington)
    sturlington: Ready Player One reminded me of a grown-up version of this classic.
  12. 20
    Constellation Games by Leonard Richardson (TomWaitsTables)
  13. 10
    Press Start to Play by Daniel H. Wilson (erikrebooted)
    erikrebooted: Similar subject matter -- where video games are more than they seem.
  14. 21
    Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd by Holly Black (quenstalof)
  15. 21
    For the Win by Cory Doctorow (simon_carr)
  16. 10
    Wyrm by Mark Fabi (slagolas, slagolas)
  17. 10
    Night Film by Marisha Pessl (lobotomy42)
    lobotomy42: Characters have to solve a mystery left by a deceased (fictional) creative artist; similar reference name-dropping, obsession with details and re-creations
  18. 10
    Erebos by Ursula Poznanski (aliklein)
  19. 43
    The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks (GD2020)
  20. 10
    You by Austin Grossman (Anonymous user)

(see all 35 recommendations)


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English (838)  French (4)  Spanish (4)  Italian (3)  German (3)  Finnish (2)  Catalan (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (856)
Showing 1-5 of 838 (next | show all)
Briefly about the book - We are in the future, in 2045 into a world where real life is not worth too much and growth takes place mainly in the virtual world. But here, the virtual world is the eighties we all know with the shocking music, the Atari computer games and worshiping the details of strange trivia.

Wade solves a puzzle in the game, and like in a Pacman game, all the monsters chase him and try to kill him. I suppose you already get the idea of ​​the book now.

The writer takes us for a journey in every possible detail on the many computer games as well as various songs that were common in the eighties. It gets a bit tedious sometimes, but it helps that the writer also knows how to write well, and thus puts us into a fascinating and somewhat addictive computer game. It's hard to get out of it until life is over.
Game Over.

It is a book that builds around the reader a virtual world that is no longer so much science fiction but as old age. It is possible that life on Earth in thirty years from now will look like described in the book. No, I don't believe so, but it's fun to think about it.

The book is characterized by the tension that is evident in the various games and some tiresome descriptions of the 80s that, for me, has managed to destroy the same atmosphere.

Warning, the book has some individual sections of sex that make it unsuitable for youth.

In short, this is a lovely reading book that is worth four stars. ( )
  RUTHKOLOCKR | Jan 11, 2019 |
This is the dystopian future story that takes place in the year 2044. The world is in terrible shape. Most people are very very poor and live in "stacks" which are mobile homes one on top of the other. The main character - Wade - doesn't live with his parents. He was taken in by an aunt after his parents left him. The aunt could care less about him - sees him as just another mouth to feed. To escape his reality, Wade does what most people do these days - escape into a computer world called the Oasis. He even attends school there. This world has 1000s of planets and lets people be anonymous and anyone they wish to be.

When the developer of the Oasis dies, he leaves his entire fortune to a winner of a game he has designed. The first person to finish the game in the Oasis, wins billions of dollars. The trick is - the developer was fascinated with the 1980s, so the player has to be knowledgeable of everything and anything in that decade. It takes 5 years for someone to finally break through the first clue of the puzzle the developer has set up, and then it is a race to the finish line.

This was a pretty decent book. My husband really liked it, so he encouraged me to read it. AND, since it is being made into a movie, I decided to give it a shot. I like the idea of the book, and I liked the characters. The flaw I found was - everything works out for Wade. His character in the Oasis always escapes problems, gets enough money, becomes invincible. There really wasn't a challenge, per say, for Wade because he could do anything he wanted inside the Oasis. It just seemed to be a bit of a far stretch. Other than that - good read. If you are a fan of the 1980s, I say you should give it a try. ( )
  JenMat | Jan 10, 2019 |
Not very well written, but still the most fun I've had reading in a while!

Fun story, semi-interesting characters, a few twists and plenty of suspense.

Don't take this book too seriously and just enjoy it. It is about a videogame, after all! ( )
  ADLutz | Jan 8, 2019 |
Only major geeks need apply for this one. I guess I don't even fall completely into that category, as I didn't get many of the references to the eighties geek subculture. Then again, I didn't grow up in the US during the eighties, where a majority of the references come from.

Here's the plot: in the 2040s, a major virtual reality game called the OASIS is where it's all happening. It's so ubiquitous and all-encompassing that it has practically replaced the internet. People go to school and to work inside the game, it provides all their entertainment needs and you can even have sex through it. Well, it just so happens that the ubergeek who created the simulation dies, leaving his fortune to whoever can discover an Easter egg hidden somewhere in the depths of one of thousands or even millions of simulated worlds inside OASIS.

Since this is a considerable fortune worth hundreds of billions of dollars, whole legions of people descend upon OASIS in order to solve the quest, including our main hero, a high school student called Wade, aka Parzival. The trick seems to be to obsessively study the creator's life, particularly the pop-culture he liked growing up in the eighties. So eighties video game, movie, comic book and even music references abound and to be quite honest, I found the constant barrage of all of these quite tiring, especially since I didn't recognize most of them.

Our Parzival enters this fray, which, as expected, is also a journey of self discovery and a quest to win a girl of his dreams, just as much as it is a quest to slay the ultimate boss and collect the award. This is
good, if a bit predictable. Less good is that aside from the eighties pop-culture references, it almost seems that the world between where we are now (say 2013-2016) and the 2040s practically doesn't seem to have existed. At least, it generated no worthy pop-culture references and no notable personalities.

Perhaps that is because things have deteriorated to the point where there is a major energy crisis (how everyone can afford to be plugged into OASIS 24/7 is a bit of a mystery here) and really only the top one percent of the super rich control everything. Evil corporations can indenture people who owe them money, so we're to the point of slavery. Cities are crumbling, bandits roam the highways and it's super dangerous to go outside. This is why most people live inside virtual reality.

I like the dystopia part, as it suggests that this is what happens if everyone's plugged into a virtual reality all the time. Or maybe it's what happens if the government entirely ceases control to corporations. Probably it's a bit of a warning for both these things, although it could have been more developed - as a reader I would've enjoyed spending a bit more time in the decaying real world instead of nearly all the time inside the simulation.

Though the author does seem to warn us occasionally that spending so much time inside a virtual reality has undesirable consequences, he skirts the issue that such obsessive knowledge of pop-culture is essentially useless. Here we have millions of people obsessively studying the eighties more or less 24/7 (instead of studying or working) and that can only do the winner(s) some good. What will the rest of them do with all this obscure knowledge?

In short, a fun geeky read that could've explored some of the topics it brushes against a bit more thoroughly, but is instead more focused on stroking the uber-geek ego by making hundreds of references to stuff geeks like. Most likely deliberately. ( )
  matija2019 | Jan 8, 2019 |
In the beginning when Oasis was described a gamer in me almost had a nerdgasm, however that quickly evaporated as a subpar naive YA-type story started to unfold with all the teenage dating clumsiness and excessive pop-culture references. The world is interesting enough but not much is done with it. Cardboard characters are either angel good or satan evil and the main guy is a virtue in the flesh. I am glad that I listened to it, not read it. ( )
  Firewild | Jan 3, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 838 (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 (35 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
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.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

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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"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)

(summary from another edition)

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