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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. Available now from Audible.

Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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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

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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my favorite book

love everything about it it's awesome and the movie is nothing compared to it <3

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • GD
  • Sydney, Australia
  • 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.

1 of 1 people found this review 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!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

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.

9 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Simply Brilliant.

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

10 of 15 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

story is silly and not believable at times

the main character is very annoying and it seem silly that he knows every reference to every pop culture topic. will wheaton is a great narrator it is an alright listen overall.

10 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Barely engaging

Will wheaton did a fine job but unfortunately he couldn't make the story better than the trite garbage it is. With a main character that is too smart and barely suffering from any actual consequences, a story that is for the most part predictable and insufferable as it proceeds to reference the 80s as much as possible. I really tried to like this book, especially as some light hearted listening but it crossed the line one too many times with its lifeless characters and deus ex machina aplenty.

14 of 23 people found this review 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!

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Drew Corby
  • 07-01-2018

good, but could be better

the story was great, but unless you are a 80s gaming devotee a good 25% of it will be lost on you, and doesn't really add to the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Preeti
  • 19-12-2017

Can't stop listening to it

Such an engaging story.I am not a video game lover but even then I couldn't resist myself to listen to it till end. The narration is done amazingly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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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).

3 of 4 people found this review 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'.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Eszter
  • 17-06-2014

Fun but shallow

Would you try another book from Ernest Cline and/or Wil Wheaton?

Yeh I'd give them a shot but I wouldn't expect depth from Cline. Wheaton was a great narrator - he was perfect for the job.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The VR world was cool and the idea of being able to explore so many worlds.
The least interesting parts where the info dumps. So many info dumps!

What about Wil Wheaton’s performance did you like?

He was really enthusiastic and got into the story a lot. Very good performance.

Do you think Ready Player One needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

It would be good if it examined itself a bit more so if that were to happen I'd give a sequel a shot.

Any additional comments?

Definitely not self aware enough. I find it hard to believe that a few decades on from now we'd be so utterly obsessed with the 80s that we'd build and ENTIRE UNIVERSE dedicated to it. I get it that this book was meant to be a fun romp back into the 80s but it neglected the future aspect of the story a lot. The implications of a society SO stuck in the past - what about the present? What about all those NEW games, books, movies, music vidoes and TV shows?
-- side note - the author likes LISTS a LOT - it got mega irritating him saying "games, books, movies, music vidoes and TV shows" about a hundred times as if he was trying to meet a word count. Give it a rest already!

*cough*
Anywho...it felt like...this book used all the high tech stuff as just an excuse to go back to the 80s and have a giant nerd-gasm about 8bit arcade games 'faded Space Invaders tees'. While it was a fun adventure with some pretty good characters, I felt it ultimately too shallow for my tastes.

5 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Reads while toiling
  • 27-05-2018

This is a children's book.

I thought it might have a redeeming sense of irony. There is some sarcasm, but that's about it.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Prabhu
  • 25-05-2018

An excellent listen, Will does an amazing job

narrating. Enjoyed listening to this overall, though the start was a bit slow it eventually caught up and was exciting towards the end. Good listen and recommended!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lloyd Hofmeyr
  • 09-05-2018

Top score: WOW!

That was such an incredible ride and even has me all nostalgic for everything 80's, don't delay... listen to this straight away!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 29-04-2018

Absolutely Amazing 😊

Amazing story and brilliant narration, loved it a lot. Had an amazing experience with the audio book.

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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 😃😃😃

24 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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!

41 of 47 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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

21 of 25 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark
  • 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.

33 of 40 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

22 of 27 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

40 of 50 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 23-04-2018

A fun ride but that's all it is

If you want a complex sci-fi thriller or mystery that leaves you thinking, scared or full of wonder, well this isn't it.
It is however a fun read, with a few twists and turns that leaves a reader enjoying the ride. I wasn't born in the 80s but I understood most of the references, which leads me to my biggest pet peeve and therefore the reason why overall I've rated it at 3 stars: The elitest tone the writer takes when referening or dropping in 'easter eggs', honestly it's as if he's speaking to an audience born before 1950 or after 2000 who've never consumed popular media. This would be fine as I'm sure there are times where every reader might appreciate a bit of an explaination, especially when a reference is part of a major plot point and you're not entirely familiar with it. However sometimes it was unnecessary and at times it got somewhat annoying, I found myself saying "okaaaay we get it" a lot towards the end of the book.
Overall, excellently read (I liked the reference of starring Mr Wheaton) and a fun and easy book that brought me enjoyment for a week of commuting. I would recommend reading the book instead of watching the film.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Thomas Lynch
  • 23-04-2018

Slow start but worth a listen for the full story.

Great narration
Good story
Takes a bit to get moving
Great listen and enjoyed thoroughly

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • A.Brown
  • 24-03-2018

Fantastic!

This book is amazing, especially if you are into gaming or 80s pop culture. There's so many awesome references and the story is gripping all the way through.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jim C.
  • 24-03-2018

great book, exellent narration

really enjoyed thos book. Will Wheaton does a great job and captures the atmosphere very well.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful