Ready Player One

Ready Player One

Audiobook CD - 2011
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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 set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner , and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

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. 
 
A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?

Publisher: New York : Random House Audio, p2011
Edition: Unabridged ed
ISBN: 9780307913142
Branch Call Number: CDA FIC CLI
Characteristics: 13 sound discs (ca. 15.5 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in
Additional Contributors: Wheaton, Wil

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l
LisaintheLibrary
Oct 28, 2017

This book turned out to be much better than I thought it would be. I found the author to be very descriptive and the story so good and so different (at least to me), that, after a while, I began to wonder if there might be any plans to bring this story to a theater near you, perhaps rolled out game/contest style.

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I did learn that Steven Spielberg took this on and that the film is scheduled for release at the end of March 2018. Whether or not it will be rolled out/marketed game/contest style remains to be seen, but I do know that you can enter a giveaway drawing for the print book over at www.goodreads.com (at least until October 30, 2017).

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I skimmed through the other reviews here and noticed that one reviewer mentioned that this had elements of Farhenheit 451 and 1984. Perhaps I’ll recognize those elements that resemble those novels upon a subsequent reading or via the movie. To me, this book strongly reminded me of Willie Wonka and The Chocolate Factory, one of my favorite stories of all time, so it makes a lot of sense that I enjoyed this story, too. (Later I noticed that USA Today described this as Willie Wonka meets The Matrix, so I guess I’m not too off mark with the vibe I got while listening to the book.)

The same reviewer who mentioned Fahrenheit 451 and 1984 also mentioned regretting getting this as an audio book. I can see why someone would mention that. There were a couple of times when I found the reading of the video game scores rather tedious, but overall, I wouldn’t have opted for the print version. I thought the person chosen to do the narration had a voice that matched this character really well. Plus, it is quite likely that this would still be on my shelf of books to read if I had opted for the print version instead. It was quite easy to fit the audio version in during bits and pieces of spare time. If you’re able to listen to at least half an hour of it a day (and it doesn’t need to be all at once) you shouldn’t have any problem in keeping up with the characters or the story line.

A number of reviewers also mentioned all the 80s pop music references. Though I did see one complaint about it, I, like most of the reviewers here, really enjoyed it. The author makes reference to some really great songs from the 80s. Anyone remember “The Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats, “Burning Down the House” by the Talking Heads, or “Invincible” by Pat Benatar? Those are some of the more obscure song titles; he mentions other, better known ones as well. In fact, someone made a Spotify playlist of the songs mentioned in Ready Player One. You can link to it here: https://goo.gl/euUqYJ. In addition to that, the author even mentions the “Verb” song from Schoolhouse Rock. 80s references are sprinkled throughout the book. I think most who are familiar with that era will enjoy them.

m
ms2017
Aug 10, 2017

I guess I don't have any nostalgia for the 80s, or at least I don't find it interesting to read about references to The Breakfast Club or video games of that decade. The book is rife with these references that are meant to make people who grew up in the 80s smile to themselves and feel satisfied that they are in the know, but it's not interesting reading and it was distracting from the plot. Also, the main character is so petulant and self-righteous that it made me really dislike him. Not my style.

p
pakipika
Jun 28, 2017

Fascinating story read creatively by Wil Wheaton, and I was very excited to discover the movie is due out in March 2018, directed by Spielberg, music by John Williams! This is so good, I purchased a gift book for a couple I thought would enjoy the detailed adventure, 80s pop culture, and feel-good ending. They certainly did. I personally find most video games too stressful, but here I could learn about them while others played. Listening again on my new set of audio CDs. It does contain language not suitable for some readers.

AL_MARIEI Jan 03, 2017

This audio-book is narrated by Will Wheaton! Wade, a poor teenager in a deteriorating society, travels on an epic quest in the virtual universe OASIS to win the ultimate prize - control of that universe. He must solve riddles and find clues to capture the keys and unlock the prize before his corrupt competition can do the same. Coming to a theater near you in 2018! I recommend this book to both teenagers and adults. The book is incredibly detailed and the adventure is a lot of fun.

KHCPL_Tree Sep 20, 2016

For those who say they don't have time to read, grab this audiobook and insert immediately into your car player. READY... player one. You will get sucked into the Oasis, a world filled with 80's pop culture and immersive gaming. I'm typically a romance reader and I'm not a gamer but I loved this book. Wil Wheaton is the narrator and his voice is perfect and I giggled in the section where he had to reference himself...This book is truly an adventure with the tiniest sliver of a romance because in the end we do it all for love.

ChelseaJM Sep 09, 2016

I don't read much science fiction, but I tried this audiobook after it was recommended to me, and I thought it was quite entertaining. I especially enjoyed all the 80s trivia, and musing on the possibilities and pitfalls of virtual reality. This would be a great audiobook for a road trip/sharing with others, as it could prompt some interesting discussions. Worth a try even for folks like me who don't usually take to SciFi!

u
uperko
Apr 27, 2016

This is a fast and fun read. Though I am not in any way a "gamer" the idea of virtual reality is fascinating and as we see the technology evolving, it becomes more possible to see some of what occurs in this book become reality. Great concept, great story telling and totally open to a sequel!

s
scifiandscary
Jan 14, 2016

The premise IS interesting, and the story is good. Wayne is an realistic character, and I don’t think his obsession is as much symptom of a mental illness as it is a symptom of his extreme desire to Be Someone Important and NOT be dirt poor.

Okay, 2 cool happenings to point out: 1. MechaGodzilla makes an appearance (which, out of everything, made me giggle) and 2. There’s a really, really cool one sentence mention where the main character calmly accepts gender-bending without even batting an eyelash. Both of these occurred after I’d pretty much given up on the book, so it definitely brought forth an surge of affection that had been missing up until this point.

When I first heard about Ready Player One, of course one of the first things I heard about was the 80’s trivia. Here’s the thing, trivia is cool but literal lists of one 80’s game or movie after another is NOT. Actually, toward the end of the book I found myself wondering if this, along with his penchant for being way, way too descriptive where its not needed was the author trying to reach a magical word-count. (Have no way of knowing, not interested in really finding out. Just what I thought.)

Cline nails the annoying emo-drama of the teenage male. Circe, does he ever. So this is not a fault of the author as it is just a trait of an extremely annoying character!

Final Thoughts: There are definite elements of Fahreneit 451/1984 prophetic elements of dystopian futures, but I don’t read this as almost prophetic powers of extrapolation (as Bradbury,Orwell) but simply above-average keen observation. I do have to give him this, though, in many ways his dystopian future is more believable (I mean, consider our obsession with technology) than the dystopian futures laid out by authors like Suzanne Collins.

I believe I made a mistake in getting this as an audio book. Given the lists, the texting, etc, it would normally be hard to carry over, but when you add a narrator like Will Wheaton in – who has very little ability to do different voices – it makes the experience a bit worse.

cmlibrary_sgoldstein Dec 14, 2015

It's purely coincidental that I finished this 80s-nostalgia-infused title the same week as Back to the Future Day, but now that I've steeped in pop culture from my teen-hood for a few weeks, I'm ready to come back to present day. Ready Player One is a fun, genre-bending, quest novel set in 2044, but obsessed with the 1980s. The audiobook is read, appropriately, by Will Wheaton, and there's a nice lol when he reads a line that refers to himself as an old codger.

r
Revacard
Nov 30, 2015

This is an exciting story with a lot of 80s references which I love. It's definitely one of the best audiobooks I've listened to.

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Quotes

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l
LisaintheLibrary
Oct 28, 2017

“‘You mentioned that once on your blog. Two years ago.’ I almost cited the date of the actual blog entry before I realized it would make me sound even more like a cyber-stalking super-creep.”

l
LisaintheLibrary
Oct 28, 2017

"This ‘girl,’ whom I’d been cyber-crushing on for the past three years, might very well be an obese, hairy-knuckled guy named Chuck."

l
LisaintheLibrary
Oct 28, 2017

"Once I’d done my homework on Sorrento, I felt like I was ready to sit down with the devil."

l
LisaintheLibrary
Oct 28, 2017

"If I couldn't reach it on my own, I didn't deserve it at all."

l
LisaintheLibrary
Oct 28, 2017

"When it came to my research, I never took any shortcuts."

l
LisaintheLibrary
Oct 28, 2017

"... can we adjourn the Mutual Admiration Society ...?

l
LisaintheLibrary
Oct 28, 2017

"Dual zones permitted the use of both magic and technology, and null zones didn’t allow either. There were pacifist zones where no player-versus-player combat was allowed, and player-versus-player zones where it was every avatar for themselves."

l
LisaintheLibrary
Oct 28, 2017

Parzival: "The female of the species has always found me repellent."
Art3mis: "I don't find you repellent."

l
LisaintheLibrary
Oct 28, 2017

"I’d heard all the clichéd warnings about the perils of falling for someone you only knew online, but I ignored them. I decided that whoever Art3mis really was, I was in love with her. I could feel it, deep in the soft, chewy caramel center of my being."

l
LisaintheLibrary
Oct 28, 2017

"She was wearing evening attire: a gunmetal blue dress that looked like it was — spray-painted on."

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halburba
Jun 04, 2016

halburba thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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CL70
Apr 08, 2014

CL70 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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