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Ready Player One
Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline
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.  — ...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780307887436
ISBN-10: 030788743X
Publication Date: 8/16/2011
Pages: 384
Rating:
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 73

4.4 stars, based on 73 ratings
Publisher: Crown
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 221
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Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Ready Player One on + 2164 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
I pretty much loved everything about this book. I listened to this book on audio, imagine my surprise when I realized that this was narrated by Will Wheaton (I just listened to Fuzzy Nation a couple weeks ago which was also narrated by Will Wheaton) and he again did an absolutely stellar job of narrating. This book is so fun and is really a kick to read if you were ever interested in, or part of, 80's geek culture. It also has a strong cyperpunk feel to it; so fans of cyberpunk should also considering checking this book out.

Wade lives in 2044 and the future is bleak, power shortages have most of humanity struggling and out of work. So most of humanity live their lives in the OASIS; a virtual reality creaked by James Halliday that consists of thousands of worlds. This is where Wade goes to school, where he plays, and where he is raised. When Halliday dies he leaves the ultimate puzzle/lottery behind. Halliday has hidden an Easter Egg in the OASIS and whoever finds it will win Halliday's substantial fortune. Wade is one of many Gunters (egg hunters) who has spent years searching for the prize. When Wade stumbles on a clue that leads him to the first key his life is changed forever.

Did you grow up in the 80's? Do you love games of all types? If so this is the book for you. This book basically is everything 80's geek culture could ever ask for. There are references to numerous 80's video games in here: Joust, Golden Ax, PacMan, Zork, and many others. As well as references to 80's movies, music, TV shows, etc. All of this is wrapped into a quest to find three keys, conquer three gates and win the prize. So there is a bit of a classic Dungeons and Dragons feel to the book as well. But this is DnD with a cyber punk twist. Certain worlds will allow magic, and others tech, but chaos regions allow for both creating some truly mind-blowing scenes involving magic, guns, and lasers. The amount of awesome 80's trivia in this book is incredible; Cline definitely put a ton of research into writing this book.

This isn't just a geek fest, there is a lot to think about in this book too. Wade's closest friends are people he's never meet in person. Wade also spends a very small amount of time in the real world; his body is mearly a piece of equipment that he keeps exercised and fed so that he can jack in to the OASIS. This brings up questions about what it means to live; do we need to do things in person for them to be real and fulfilling? As you learn more about the genius that is Halliday this question comes to a head; was he happy with his creation or did he regret his lack of interaction with other humans?

Then there is the evil corporation that has hired people to play in the OASIS for them; this group of OASIS players is known as the sixers and they do everything in their power to win Halliday's Easter Egg. The sixers are basically everything corporate that Halliday hated. With the Gunters going against the Sixers you have a classic story about the normal everyday man facing off against the evil corporation.

As Wade and his friends make more progress towards finding the Easter Egg consequences start to leak out of the OASIS into the real world and people start dying. It becomes less and less clear where the OASIS ends and the real world begins.

The characters in this book are awesome; they are all so real and fun to read about. The story is absolutely engaging, it is pretty quest based so that is the main driver...but as the story continues it becomes more and more compelling and impossible to put down.

All in all this book was an absolute blast to read. It was a fun read for someone like me who loves gaming of all types, it provided some great food for thought, it was funny and heartwarming, full of great action scenes and completely engaging. I highly recommend this book. My only caution would be if you do not like gaming and do not know anything about 80's culture then a lot of this book is going to go right over your head. A lot of the negative reviews for this book are from people who don't like gaming or just don't get it. So, uh, seriously if you don't like gaming why are you are reading a cyberpunk fantasy novel about 80's gaming culture called Ready Player One!?

Highly recommended, an absolute blast to read, I can't wait to see what Cline comes up with next.
reviewed Ready Player One on + 204 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
One of the other reviews I read for this book called it "Nostalgia Porn" and that seems like a hugely accurate descriptor. If you're actually in the set of people to whom that nostalgia resonates, this book is fantastic. If you're a young teen who likes hunt for treasure stories, you'll probably like it too.

This is the story of a hunt in virtual reality through 1980s video games and movies. A rather desperate hunt actually, in a fascinating virtual world and in a devastated real world. There are puzzles, which are fun (and which I was quite proud of solving faster than the protagonist), and there is a light touching of the deeper philosophical implications of a populace that spends most of it's time (both leisure and work) in a virtual landscape.

If you aren't a 1980s geek, this book may have very little for you. But if you played old text adventures between your Dungeons & Dragons games, you are smack dab in the middle of this book's target demographic and will probably have a great time. Those descriptor certainly describe me, and I absolutely did have a great time. (And for what it's worth, my teenage, treasure-hunting son loved it too.)

5 of 5 stars.
reviewed Ready Player One on + 203 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is a fun book if you like rooting for the underdog and if you recognize the 80s references (which you will if you lived through them: PacMan, Devo, etc). Its not particularly well written, but its not too techie either, so the lay-reader like myself can follow the plot easily.
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reviewed Ready Player One on + 161 more book reviews
Man, what a fun ride! Dystopia, coming of age, nerd stuff, and every 80's reference possible.

Cline has created a near-future world that impresses me more than most bleak visions of society because it feels so much like it could actually happen. This isn't "one day everyone decided freedom of press was a bad thing so fire fighters started burning books and everyone went 'yay!'" This isn't "one day everyone decided that we all had to have one personality trait, and if you had more, you'd be killed." Or "one day America fractured into 13 regions that all started revolting against the capital or whatever happened so we had 13 district and the capital and sacrificed two kids a year from each district."

This is "fossil fuels are so scarce they are prohibitively expensive, and climate change has made the environment really harsh, and people spend vast amounts of time online, but technology has improved enough so that with gloves and a visor, you can be in a virtual space online. Oh, and the economy is super horrible and a few corporations control most of it and are evil. #ThanksObama."

This future could happen. Against this backdrop, our hero engages in a gargantuan contest to win an eccentric computer genius's inheritance. And that eccentric computer genius, who was a child in the 1980's, is obsessed with the 80's - so the book throws in every movie and early video game from the period as part of the virtual adventure.

And here's one instance where the audio book may be better than the print or kindle editions - the narrator is Wil Wheaton (who, besides being the perfect geek to read all this to us, gets to name check himself as an elderly virtual politician in the virtual world. He plays it straight).

There are only a few very minor quibbles I had with the story. One is a plot hole, and the other is the hero's love interest and her big 'secret.'

It's fun, it's feel-good, and it's pretty tight. Read it before the movie comes out (Spielberg directing).
reviewed Ready Player One on + 66 more book reviews
Calling all nerds, geeks and dorks . . .

If you are a child of 1980s or even if you arent, but are a fan, youll love Ready Player One. This novel, set in the future dystopian world of 2044, relies upon all things eighties pop culture: movies, television shows, music and yes, video games.

Wade Watts is a poverty-stricken video game geek that ends up in a reality-simulation universe called the OASIS. The creator of the OASIS, James Hallidaywho seems to be a combination of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, Mark Zuckerberg (all those in that category) has died and left his billions to whoever can solve the riddles in a huge video game race throughout the OASIS. Everyone is out to get the prize, especially an evil corporation named Innovative Online Industries which will go at any length to gain the prize, which includes control of the OASIS.

RPO is not just a nostalgia feast for those of us from that 80's era, but the story actually contains characters youll root for and a plot that keeps throwing them out of the frying pan and into the fire.

I listened to the audio book. Im glad I did because its narrated by current pop culture nerd, Wil Wheaton who is the perfect choice. More than once, Wheaton actually has to mention himself since he was a part of the Star Trek, The Next Generation lore from the 80s time period. Even if youre not familiar with every movie or video game mentioned youll enjoy the novels frenetic pace as the protagonist races to find the prize. And there is an actually love story in the middle of it all, one of the best Ive read in ages.

I knew I was a nerd before reading RPO, but now I know how much of a nerd I truly am. I can already tell this is going to be my favorite read of the year. Love it.
reviewed Ready Player One on + 33 more book reviews
This is the best book I've read in a long time! It's got so much of everything that gets me really into books - the future, an alternate universe, nerd facts, virtual reality, love, action, war, intrigue. It takes place in 2044 where virtual reality, the Oasis, has become the world's escape to the horrible economic crisis plaguing everyone. The vastly wealthy inventor of Oasis dies without any family and sets up a cut-throat competition in Oasis, find the easter eggs he's hidden and his company and wealth is your's!

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People/Characters
Wade Watts (Parzival) (Primary Character)
Samantha Cook (Art3mis) (Primary Character)
(Aech) (Primary Character)
James Halliday (Major Character)
Toshiro Yoshiaki (Daito) (Major Character)
(Show all 7 People/Characters)
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