It's the year 2044, and the real world has become an ugly place. We're out of oil. We've wrecked the climate. Famine, poverty, and disease are widespread. Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes this depressing reality by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia where you can be anything you want to be, where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. And, like most of humanity, Wade is obsessed by the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this alternate reality: OASIS founder James Halliday, who died with no heir, has promised that control of the OASIS - and his massive fortune - will go to the person who can solve the riddles he has left scattered throughout his creation.
For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that the riddles are based in the culture of the late 20th century. And then Wade stumbles onto the key to the first puzzle. Suddenly he finds himself pitted against thousands of competitors in a desperate race to claim the ultimate prize, a chase that soon takes on terrifying real-world dimensions - and that will leave both Wade and his world profoundly changed.
Narrator Wil Wheaton is an American actor and writer best known for his role as Wesley Crusher in the TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation, and for playing Gordie Lachance in the film Stand By Me. More recently, he has appeared in several episodes of the TV series The Big Bang Theory as himself.
©2011 Ernest Cline (P)2012 Random House Audiobooks
I usually don't review things but this is so good, that I am breaking that habit. If you are reading this then you need to stop doing that and start listening to this right away.
It is amazing.
What are you doing ?! Stop reading this and go listen to this! gogogo!
I only ever listen to books on my way to work. So when a book can make you look forward to walking 4 miles to work at 4 am just so you can listen, you know its good.
Everything is just too convenient and easy to work through he just has to go on futuristic ebay and buy what he needs... Good idea weak story imo was still ok.
I listens to the books. I writes the reviews. I uses present tense and plurals when I shouldn't...s.
Before I chose to get this book, I was concerned that I would not get many of the 80s references that so many reviewers before me said were in this book. However, not only did this book guide me through many of the references but I now have this overwhelming desire to reread this book and begin to make notes on all the movies, games and pop culture that I missed! What a fantastic story! I was engaged from the very first chapter to the very last sentence! Who wouldn't jump at the chance to own your own X-wing! My first experience listening to Will Wheaton but his performance was spectacular. Like "1984", it is possible we will be looking back on this book, having predicted numerous paths in our future. This book is a must own. Period.
This book is the ultimate tribute to anyone who has any Geek residing in their body. If you grew up in the 80s you will recognise the hundreds and hundreds of pop culture references scattered throughout the entire novel presented in a unique and amazing way, that only adds to and builds the story. Wil Wheatons narration, his style of delivery and prose could not be better suited to any other genre, in fact it's hard to imagine anyone else reading this book to you.
Struggled to pause it! Enjoyed the storyline, characters, character development. Loved the classic refrences and variety of nerdy moments :-)
Think of it a bit like Sword Art Online in a run down world. I started off loving this book and while I was hooked the whole way through to the story, there were some annoying parts.
For one, the story was told in a list like manner "and then I did this and then I did this" and the was a few happening in the story that seemed overly convenient. Those points aside it is a good story with pretty good characters, and lots of awesome references.
I am looking forward to it as a movie.
"Where's the sequel?!"
This was an incredible book, with both the writing and performance being top-class. I have never read a book much like this, yet I was deeply thrown into the story and really felt for the characters and the world around them.
I would recommend this book to those of you have ever had any interest in computing, retro gaming and retro film. It really is a 80s pop-culture book with an incredible setting and back story.
To be honest, I was upset when the book ended. The only question that came to my mind was: Where is the sequel?!
Hopefully one might be made soon... I know Ernest Cline hasn't ruled it out yet!
"Recommended from The Martian - didn't disappoint"
I don't think I would have chosen this book had it not been a recommendation from someone after I had read Andy Weir's 'The Martian'. While the setting is very different the heart of the story is similar with the main character struggling to solve problems.
Wil Wheaton gave a fantastic performance and while at the start I associated his voice as his own I quickly became to hear it as the characters'.
Loved it. Now to work through those references properly! Need to get a Kindle copy.
"Favourite book in a long long time. Must read."
Another fantastic book. Read amazingly again by Wil Wheaton . Can not wait for the movie!!!!
"Wow never thought I would enjoy this type of book"
I loved it all. Wil Wheaton is great. The story was fantastic. Maybe a little long but great
"good listen, enjoyed the story and the performance"
Good listen, enjoyed the story and the performance. I'll keep this one on the phone for a few more hearings.
"Only for gamers and nerds."
Not a book for anyone but gamers and nerds.
The references get a bit much at times, but overall a very enjoyable book.
"Best book ever"
Sometimes it got muddled up but the rest was amazing the tension built up perfectly.
I enjoyed the story but there were a few times that I had to skip over the parts where the main character just annoying me too much.
Narration was well suited and consistent
"A fun exploration of a very new technology"
It was an easy listen and hard to put down. Some of the characters got a bit annoying and the overly energetic performance by the narrator didn't help much. But a fun ride all in all.
"Ready Reader One"
This is something of a gamer geek novel - so I preface all my views with the caveat that like Neal Stevenson's REAMDE it may appeal to those, like me, of a certain sub-culture. The story-line itself is not so remarkable, civilization in deep decline in the next few decades yada yada. What makes this story interesting is the alternative that the majority of the population turn to in order to escape and a challenge that arises therein.
It is fast paced story that never seemed to drag. It has a great 1980's sub-plot if you have fond memories of early games, TV, books, film and computers. I found the characters and their gamer-style issues with RL (real-life) accurate and engaging. I found myself looking forward to the drive to work in the mornings (when I get to listen to my audiobooks) which doesn't often happen to me!
The narration by Wil Wheaton (of ST:TNG fame and avid gamer) is excellent, a really good choice and nice kind of twist as you will find out if you choose to listen.
All in all I consider this one of my best ever spontaneous buys on Audible after being a member for many years - highly recommended.
On paper, I was not supposed to like this book. It's about a teenager who spends his entire life in an online virtual reality world playing a quest (reminds me of my weekly challenge to get my kids off their i-stuff and outside for a bit!) BUT - this story is actually all about paying homage to the 80s, plus a bit of rom-com for good measure!
Absolutely loved it!! Once I started, I couldn't put it down. If you're into your 40's/50's and enjoy a bit of '80s nostalgia, then this one's not to be missed!
"Are you ready to begin?"
First and foremost, Wil Wheaton is a first-class narrator - he has absolutely the most perfect voice for audiobooks (not too bassy, not too nasally) and doesn't do too badly with accents either (unlike some other narrators which have caused me to return books!). Secondly, the world of Ready Player One is - as noted in the novel - everything any reader or gamer has ever dreamed of: essentially a 'holodeck' experience. It is the book's exploration of the pros and cons of this system that draws you in - in Star Trek we see people using the holodecks for recreation, essentially living out episodes in an ongoing drama; but as Ready Player One points out....why would you ever leave?
I have desperately been searching for something else as engaging and exciting as RPO since I finished reading! My recommendations would probably be to read other books which effectively create alternative worlds - perhaps 'The Knife of Never Letting Go' by Patrick Ness, 'Peter and Max' by Bill Willingham and 'Divergent' by Veronica Roth.
As I mention above, Wil is an excellent reader. He has an obvious love for the subject matter and, having been an actor on Star Trek 'The Next Generation' and a teenager in the late 80s and early 90s, has a strong familiarity with many of the pop culture references. Wheaton sounds like he is having an absolute ball with this reading!
'What would you sacrifice to win the ultimate prize?'
Read (.....listen to). This. Book.
"Great fun for geeks and children of the 80s"
Wil Wheaton is the perfect narrator for this fun adventure story. I'm not a gamer but enjoyed the cultural references immensely particularly the music. I found the characters believeable and endearing and was even a little moved by a revelation about one of them towards the end. I can really see this as a film and have been mentally casting ever since.
It's a light read but I was completely gripped to the extent of going for long walks so that I could justify binge listening!
just fantastic love this book verry geeky and my book of the year wil wheaton dude a verry good job my a must read.
"total nerd fest"
You have to be a geek to like this one! Narration is excellent! This isn't anything new, but is very nicely put together.
If you were born around 1960-1975 you will love the nostalgia in this book. A light SciFi romp, easy listening, but with lots to recomend it. Cline researched the history of video games and infact PS's like a true Geek! but managed to carry the storyline along without loosing my interest. Even a reminder of the great Rush LP 2012. Lighten up for a while, give it a go, you'll be glad you did :)
"was ok, if a bit predictable"
the performance is solid, but the whole story was predictable and just felt like it was pandering to modern geek culture rather than concentrating on the story. but was fairly enjoyable.
"You will not be able to pause this book"
While I do not have the print version, the fact that Will Wheaton reads this is an undeniable plus.
Art3mis. She has conviction and drive, knows what she wants and goes for it. It's a world somewhat dominated by men but she manages to succeed via brains and personality. The virtual reality that most of the book takes place in means that her physical appearance is almost a non issue which is refreshing for a female character.
His performance was perfectly pitched, he was clearly enjoying it himself and his sense of timing was brilliant. Best of all though is the fact that Wil Wheaton is actually mentioned in the story itself, he is part of the world. Hearing Wil Wheaton talk about Wil Wheaton just made me smile!
I found the relationship between the Japanese brothers particularly moving, it's explained in more detail towards the end of the book and I found Shoto's talk with Wade in his fortress one of the best scenes in the whole book.
I read this because there was a lot of hype around it. In some ways I was a bit disappointed. It was far from an incredible read and I don't really get why some people consider it one of their favourite books.It was definitely enjoyable and I have rated it highly. It's a fast paced treasure hunt that I found very difficult to put down. In fact I kind of resented that I had to stop listening to it to work and sleep and talk to people. I really really wanted to know what was going to happen next and it was a very engaging read, even for someone with very little video game knowledge.However I wasn't hugely attached to any of the characters. Apart from the main character there wasn't a huge amount of character progression. The baddies are somewhat one dimensional and I found it difficult to believe that they had sufficient motivation for some of their actions. I just wasn't that attached. Possibly someone more into geek culture would get more out of this.
"A once in a generation book"
By far the best audiobook I have listen to
None, I am desperately trying to find something to replace Wade and co's adventure in the Oasis, but so far to no avail.
Where to start? So many great scenes. The meeting at IOI. each of the key and gate scenes, in particular Key & Gate 1.
I don't want to give anything away, the whole book is a great scene after a great scene
If you thought the matrix was a big place to visit, wait until you see the Oasis.
This is by far, not only the best audiobook I have ever listened to, but one of the best pieces of fiction ever created. A match for the classics such as The lord of the rings to modern day hits such as Game of Thrones.
The Oasis is what the matrix dreamed of becoming when it grew up.
I have recommended this book to virtually everyone I know, whether they like science fiction, video games,the 80's pop culture or anything.
A truly great book with outstanding acting and narration by Will Wheton.
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