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Ready Player One

Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
Series: Ready Player One, Book 1
Length: 15 hrs and 40 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (6,342 ratings)

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Editorial Reviews

Earth’s future is bleak in the gripping sci-fi fantasy audiobook Ready Player One, written by the brilliant Ernest Cline and narrated by American actor Wil Wheaton. Set in the near future, most of the human race have locked themselves into a virtual reality to escape the planet that the past generations had destroyed. Within this virtual existence lies the answer to infinite riches and Wade Watts spends every second on the treasure hunt. It is a frenzied race with countless players, all infected with desperation. The danger is intense and will affect them all. 

Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

Now a major motion picture directed by Steven Spielberg.

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

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 10,000 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 dies 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.

If you loved Ready Player One and can't wait for more, check out Armada, Ernest Cline's latest geek masterpiece!

©2011 Ernest Cline (P)2012 Random House Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"Wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut." (Independent)

"Part intergalactic scavenger hunt, part romance, and all heart." (CNN

"Ernest Cline’s novel deserves to be a modern classic." (SciFiNow)

What members say
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Reindeer Flotilla Setec Astronomy

Firstly, I would like to say Will Wheaton did an amazing job at narrating, he kept my attention throughout the duration of the book. You could tell he enjoyed reading Ready Player One (Especially when he was referenced in the book).

Ernest Cline seems to have a way of painting a picture in the reader/listeners mind, without lingering on the story for to long. The story was intriguing, sometimes predictable... But I didn't mind, as it had a lot of interesting references, and the predictability was still entertaining.

I would happily recommend this book.

IOI-655321

16 people found this helpful

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  • GD
  • 08-05-2018

Loved it. A must read for any gamer.

Loved it. Such an interesting story of what the future of gaming and society could be like. If you grew up with with Atari or Commodore 64 and still love gaming then this is your book.

4 people found this helpful

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So good!

I was hooked from the first line and it held my attention till the very end. Loved the 80’s nostalgia and gaming references. The movie was different enough to book that you could experience them separately without the details being repeated. My 11 yr old was also hooked (there were one or two slightly inappropriate references for his age but 13 and up would probably be fine). Highly recommended!

4 people found this helpful

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All the stars are deserved

Got this to read due to big star profile from readers, wasn't expecting much but this is something else - the detail is beyond belief and not in a boring way. Hats off totally to the author. Awesome

2 people found this helpful

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Enjoyable fan-service romp. Wil Wheaton great.

Yes it unashamedly riffs off blatant and continual nostalgia but it was just a really fun romp.
Wil's narration was great and good to hear female characters not getting the wussy, inspipid, breathy read most make narrators give them.
I got most of the references, but not all, and I'm not sure you'd get as much out of this story if you aren't somewhat familiar with the 80's or old-school videogames, but I found it utterly ridiculous fun and didnt want it to end.

8 people found this helpful

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Simply Brilliant.

Love, love, loved this. I think it's one of my top 5 audio books. Amazing.

12 people found this helpful

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A book that can't be put down

Be prepared to put aside important things as Ready Player One takes over your time.

With a plot as sound as the content, this is one book that engages you from start to finish. Relatable to anyone from a teenager to a 40 year old, there are references that both ends of the spectrum will find appealing and will justify the investment in time spent enjoying game/movie/comic culture over your life.

Really a great read and I highly recommend it.

7 people found this helpful

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Not my cup of tea

This book is well written and easy to follow (even for a computer game dumbo), it is very descriptive and explained well, I just found it boring and hard going. Again, just not for me.

10 people found this helpful

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Waste of my time.

This was recommended to me on reddit, turns out to be glorified teenage fanfiction.

2 people found this helpful

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great story with an awesome premise

I enjoyed a lot of the neat geeky references. Story was done well and I liked the narrator. kind of sad this wouldn't be an ongoing series as I liked the premise.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Gabriele
  • 08-09-2012

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!

26 people found this helpful

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  • W1M0
  • 14-10-2017

Fun Concepts, Odd Character Responses

I reached a point where I got irritated with the main character (not the performance).

5 people found this helpful

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  • Alicia
  • 16-03-2020

Great narrative arc

I loved how this dystopian universe where everyone escapes from the dreary polluted world to enter the fantastic virtual world that has been created. The thrill and tensions between the players and the ones that control the system makes it all the more gripping.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Marius Vorster
  • 21-09-2018

Game adventure of note

The story takes you on journey of self discovery, strained friendships and bravery through a epic game quest. The gamers underdogs against a corporate machine that will cheat and stack all cards in their favour for the ultimate prize.

A good read, the well researched 80s facts brought back some memories and the flow was well maintained. If you like retro gaiming and RPGs and your up for an adventure then this book is for you.

1 person found this helpful

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  • James
  • 02-05-2015

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'.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Amanda Ward
  • 09-04-2018

Mediocre Book

The story was a bit boring, and all of the references felt forced... Characters weren't believable. Narrator was okay.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Andreas Dinesen
  • 10-07-2020

Best audio book yet!

Can't recommend this enough, flew through it in 3-4 days. Only disappointing thing is that the movie now pales in comparison! 🙈

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  • Rodrigo D.
  • 25-06-2020

What a story!

Haven’t had that much fun in a while, what a great story.
Wil Wheaton’s narration was extraordinary, he made it even better!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 20-06-2020

Finished in 2 Days .-.

I love Wil Wheaton's vocal work in a variety of Audio Books I've heard. I think that he just suits these geeky books perfectly. While I found certain elements of the vocal work to be hit and miss - particularly surrounding Nolen Sorrento, and the initial encounter with Art3mis (She sounded too much like Pheobe from Alexander X), overall, I came to really enjoy his work in this, and the little issues I had were only minor details in his reading that were thankfully just only in one scene and were much better later on in the book. I did also find the reading of the scoreboard to be a little tedious because of how frequent it showed up and the amount repetitiveness of the names in the scoreboard, but it was not a deal-breaker, it made sense when reading the book, but was a decision that was made for the audiobook which I wasn't very certain of.
Despite all my little tiny issues, absolutely loved the book (Read it several times in the past) and loved the reading of it by Wil. Looking forward to when I listen to it again in a few months time.

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  • James
  • 30-05-2020

High score

A fun relatable pop culture adventure story. As always I seem to enjoy the book more than the film and the narration by Wil Wheaton was like a Mr Fusion upgrade to the Delorean, making something great even better.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-04-2018

This Book Changed My Life 💙 New Hobbies Found 💜

I never read books.
Always thought ....

" pffft, Naaaaaaa. . This is for nerds " ... BORING! ..etc.

So just brought one of those alexa devices, set it up added some skills played some music and all the other stuff when you get something new etc..

Came across this audible app and how you get a free audible book on sign up, something free always sounds good so went for it, thought nothing off it just did it for the sake of it.. after sign up the first book I see is Ready Player One, so just thought yeah that will do as I planned to see the movie soon which a the time movies beat books any day was my way of thinking THEN!!

Man how I was so wrong, I went on to have the book play while I was preparing to sleep, thinking yeah this will make me doze right off ... 6 hours later I was now sat up with a drink and snacks excited to find out what happens next ! totally amazed !

so for the regular bookworms this book may not do much justice I guess, but for me it will be the first book I have read/listened from start to finish and what has now made me want to read or listen to more and more from here on out.. I have a new hobby and it is thanks to this amazing book. .. please guys give it a try .. especially non book readers... it may change your perspective on thins 😃😃😃

107 people found this helpful

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  • Robyn
  • 21-03-2016

Surprisingly enjoyable!

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!

62 people found this helpful

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  • Simon
  • 25-02-2018

Radio, Video, Boogie in a Suitcase!

Oh what a ride this was! For sure it helps that I am precisely the target consumer for this having had my teenage years across the 80s. And yes I loved the video games of the time and of course have long lived in thrall to a certain Canadian Holy Trinity who feature so prominently.

Even so, having questioned the wider appeal of some other LitRPG-style books this one blows away any such doubts. While there are stats and game rules in this that's not at all the key feature. It's a wonderful space opera of a game within a story. The nostalgia of 80s pop culture, video games, music and all the rest of it is a massive bonus for me and those with interests in the decade but the story more than stands on its own considerable feet.

Cline imbues his dysfunctional geeks with warm character, gives them personality and even a certain twisted nobility as they battle corporate evils in an online quest that boils over with real-world implications. Towards the end I was willing them to succeed and genuinely enthralled with this curiously geeky adventure.

Of course to be the real deal an audiobook needs a good narrator and for this book Wheaton strikes precisely the right tone and hits all the right notes.

Yeah, yeah, I know this isn't going to win any Booker prizes but it's pure entertainment on a stick!

Five Stars all the way.

GAME OVER

26 people found this helpful

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  • Mark G
  • 09-04-2014

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.

38 people found this helpful

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  • Martin
  • 22-09-2016

Listened in 2 days.....

Best book I have listened to this year. I am not sure why the description did not really draw me to this book before but so glad I eventually gave in to curiosity. I am a big fan of online gaming, star trek, sci fi fantasy etc etc... so I am probably a bit nerdy I guess and I think it most definitely helps with this book. I enjoyed so much in this one, the 80's nostalgia mixed with the dystopian future just worked so well. Having Will Wheaton narrate this book was fantastic and made me smile a lot in certain places that it was him narrating, I am pretty sure he smiled himself at certain parts too whilst narrating. Aside from the fun part of him being narrator for obvious reasons he is actually a superb narrator and did such a good job with this, I would not hesitate to listen to him narrate anything. Love this story and everything about it.

24 people found this helpful

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  • Hannah
  • 28-07-2014

Are you ready to begin?

What made the experience of listening to Ready Player One the most enjoyable?

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?

What other book might you compare Ready Player One to, and why?

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.

What does Wil Wheaton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

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!

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

'What would you sacrifice to win the ultimate prize?'

Any additional comments?

Read (.....listen to). This. Book.

42 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • martin camp
  • 28-08-2018

great listen

I thought the movie was good I then soon noticed the book is a million times better and the movie is just based on the book and has pretty much no similarities in story. the book was a great listen and kept me entertained for hours

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ross
  • 03-07-2018

my favourite read of 2018 so far

anyone who grew up in the 80's onwards should love this book if not for ita story just the memories it provokes. without giving much away this is the virtual reality future we will soon be living in.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Nina
  • 24-01-2017

80's House of Surprises

What a gem! This book is humorous, tense and geeky. If you're a fan of computer games you will enjoy it a lot.

The story takes you into the 80's world of games, films and music. There are a countless number of references which will keep you interested and entertain till the end.

I couldn't help myself from trying to second guess what is going to happen next, but the author did a brilliant job of keeping surprises coming right up till the last pages.

The characters are likeable and put up a good fight against, well, that would be telling now, wouldn't it...

I so enjoyed it! This book is well worth a credit and there is a good potential for the story to turn great on the big screen.

Wil Wheaton gives a good performance. His steady voice fits well into the story, so you can absorb every part of its geekiness without missing out the details.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Scar
  • 05-03-2019

The only downside; book costs less than a credit:)

The only downside is that the book costs less than a credit :) this is more an issue of principal, as I had a lot of credits to use!

1 person found this helpful