Ready Player One

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Ready Player One

by Ernest Cline

Crown Publishing Group | October 18, 2013 | Hardcover

Ready Player One is rated 4.625 out of 5 by 8.

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?

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 384 pages, 9.6 × 6.4 × 1.3 in

Published: October 18, 2013

Publisher: Crown Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 030788743X

ISBN - 13: 9780307887436

Found in: Science Fiction and Fantasy

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Favourite I read this book about a month ago. I enjoyed it so much that I just had to buy it. I absolutely loved that the book revolved around the virtual world and 80's pop culture. I also liked the authors writing style. I've told friends about the book who all agree it is on their list of favourites as well.
Date published: 2014-02-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from So much fun! 4.5 stars It's the 2040s. When the creator of the most popular virtual reality game (the Oasis) in the world dies, he leaves his billions of dollars up for grabs to whoever can find the Easter egg he's hidden in the Oasis first. Teenager Wade (in real life; Parzival in the Oasis) is determined to do everything he can to find that egg. Along the way, he meet and befriends competitors Aech, Art3mis, Daito and Shoto. The five of them are working alone, but it's not easy because they are up against a big corporation that has hired others to find that egg and the billions of dollars up for grabs. Wow, this was so much fun! The creator of the Oasis had a love for everything 1980s, so (having grown up in the 80s myself), I loved all the 80s references – music, movies, tv, etc... I wasn't as much into video games, but those play a big part in this book, as well. I also really liked Wade/Parzival and the other characters. I listened to the audio, which – quite appropriately – was narrated by Wil Wheaton (in fact, Wil Wheaton is even mentioned in the book!). Very very enjoyable book, especially for those of us who grew up in the 80s, as well as any video game/role playing geeks out there!
Date published: 2013-11-04
Rated out of 5 by from Like... this book is TOTALLY AWESOME!!! D&D, Pac-Man, Galaga, Deloreans, Goonies, John Hughes, Matthew Brodrick, Silver Spoons, Schoolhouse Rock, Rush, Firefly, the Whedonverse (as an actual location in "space"), lightsabers, Ultraman, Voltron, Mechagodzilla, ... This book is saturated with pop culture, and most of it from the 80's. A great story mixed with geek lore. I couldn't put it down! MORE!!!
Date published: 2013-03-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Nostalgia This is easily a fav in my collection. There's so much nostalgic value here that anyone who's into old school games or concepts in general will love it. From page one it was one of those books you just didn't wanna put down, and the world its based in is a place that you could believe might exist 30 years down the road. Totally recommend for gamers!
Date published: 2012-08-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Long live the 80s! If you haven't stumbled across this one yet, but basic plot is pretty simple. It's the year 2044, and humanity has basically lived up to it's social, economic and environmental promises of doom. James Halliday (a reclusive legend who is equal parts Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg) has died, leaving his vast fortune, as well as control of OASIS (his fully-immersible virtual reality based role-playing, gaming, social networking environment), to whomever solves his puzzles and wins his final game. Halliday is a self-professed 80s freak, and his final manifesto is riddled with clues relating to his pop-culture obsession. In fact, the video of his last-will-and-testament is set to the tune of Oingo Boingo's Dead Man's Party, and populated by virtual mourners digitally extracted from the John Hughes films of his (and, incidentally, my own) youth. If the gunters (the good guys) and the sixers (the bad guys) are to have any hope of finding the final Easter egg hidden in OASIS, they're going to need to be experts in the movies, television shows, cartoons, video games, and toys of that lost decade. What follows is a well-written, remarkably well-paced read, gleefully propelled along by the self-awareness of its own novelty. Wade and company have to play their way through old text-based Tandy adventures, Atari console games, and stand-up arcade classics. They're forced to role-play their way through movies like Wargames, with points won or lost for getting lines right, delivering them with the right tone/attitude, and completing all the movements. Best of all, they get to descend into musical geekdom, playing their way through the 'concept' behind Rush's masterpiece, 2112. Of course, 80s pop-culture nostalgia aside, this is still (at its heart) a book about a video game. Fortunately, the characters are strong, well-rounded, and engaging, with Aech and Art3mis nicely rounding out the Wade/Parzival trilogy of game players. The sixers are an army of largely faceless goons (think Stormtroopers), but their leader, Sorrento, is a suitably over-the-top villain, obsessed with winning the game and seizing control of OASIS for nothing more than corporate greed. While the plot had a definite dry spot in the middle, it still held my attention, keeping me reading right through the end. Had this been a story rooted in the nostalgia of any other decade, I doubt I would have found it half as enjoyable, but it must be said that Ernest does more than just pay lip service to the 80s. His love for pop-culture absolutely permeates the novel, guiding it, shaping it, and driving it, as opposed to just decorating it. All-in-all, a much better read than I anticipated . . . even if it has left me mourning my lost youth. :)
Date published: 2012-02-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely AMAZING. I really don't like the cover or chapter 0001, but damn was this novel amazing! Ready Player One tickled every geeky bone and nerve system in my body, triggering explosions of nostalgia and uncontrollable spazzing. I don't know how many times I turned to a page and completely freaked out because one of my favourite songs/movies/games was mentioned. This novel is the story of Wade Watts (aka Parzival), the first person to score on game designer Jim Halliday’s egg hunt scoreboard. It is the story of his journey to the end of the hunt, the characters (both online and offline) he meets, the worlds and time-periods he gets to glimpse through OASIS, and the all too real dangers that come barrelling with it. As Wade struggles to find Halliday’s egg and win his fortune, he must not only face the virtual world, but the reality that he so wants to escape. Ready Player One described in one word is epic. PURE AND UTTER EPICNESS. I really don't need to give this stars because five just wouldn't be enough! I loved almost every page of this novel. It has a little of something for everyone. Games, music, movies, books, fantasy, sci-fi, romance, adventure, mystery, and pretty much the whole SHE-BANG. I can understand why some people might not like this book, but I relate a whole lot more to those people that do. Maybe it's me trying to get my nerd-on, but this book just hit all the right chords. It was fun and quick, and a real page-turner. I admit, there are little things that I disliked about this book (such as the slow chapter 0001), but all the good things just outweigh the negative ones. This book was much too fun to read to give it anything but a good review. To be honest, I was very worried to read this book because I thought it just may not live up to the hype around it. However, for me, it did live up to every praise it has received. Ready Player One is something so unique, and special that it can’t be ignored. I may not have been born in the 80s but I was born close enough to those years to know a lot of the references in this book. I grew up listening to my parents’ music, watching my older cousins’ movies, reading my older friends’ books. I loved games like PAC-MAN, Asteroids, Space Invaders, and the more modern variations of the game Tennis. I lived in both the 80s and 90s, and 2000s. I got to experience these different generations, and I loved them all. Reading this novel was like travelling back in time. It made my heart swell with memory. As Flannery so eloquently put in her review, Ready Player One is nostalgia porn – and it is nostalgia porn done incredibly well. However, this time travelling is not the only thing I liked about this book. I liked how the world seemed so real, yet so outrageous at the same time. If ever we had the technology to achieve something like OASIS, I am quite sure that the teenage population will not come out of their bedrooms (even less so than they do now). It will be as it is in the book, us strapped to chairs or intricate machines, visors over our eyes, refusing to see the world in front of us. If the Earth deteriorates far enough, we won’t ever want to come back to reality. And if we were all to be honest, if we lived in the conditions these characters lived in, most of us would no doubt spend all our time in OASIS. Running away. Hiding. It’s what some of us do now. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, this anonymity and technology we take advantage of…who says we’re not heading straight towards a future like the one in this novel? I like this book more than just for its novelty and blast-to-the-past prowess, but because it shows us how important our human connections are. It shows us that even though we may take escape from games and the virtual world, we still have something to live for in our own reality. Wade loves OASIS, he breathes it, but he realizes there are things in the real world he wants to hold onto, things he finds of utmost importance. This is a fun and entertaining book, it takes you on an unbelievable ride, but it also teaches you along the way. You may observe a little insight you already knew, or you may learn something completely unknown. Whomever, whatever, wherever you are, whether you like to game or not, it doesn't matter; Ready Player One is a book you should not pass up.
Date published: 2011-11-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Like Junk Food for my Geeky Soul This review originally posted at Christa's Hooked on Books (http://christashookedonbooks.blogspot.com) It's the year 2044 and the world is obsessed with OASIS. OASIS is the ultimate virtual experience. It's a whole other reality where you can interact with others, go to school, shop, or just completely re-invent yourself. And if that wasn't enough, when the creator, James Halladay, dies, he gives even more to the users of OASIS. He creates a game within the system. An Easter egg hunt. Using his favourite movies, games, music and books as clues, users can race to solve the puzzles and win his entire fortune and the keys to OASIS itself. For a young boy named Wade, this is it – this is his life's calling. It's a way out of the misery and drudgery that is his life. But as the competition steepens he realizes it's not just his virtual life that's on the line. This book was like candy for my ultra dorky soul. There were so many references to things I love – video games, cheesy tv, John Hughes movies...you name it, it was probably in this book. At one point they re-enact Ferris Bueller's Day Off! I loved it. It was like one big nerd party as you followed Wade along on his adventure through the OASIS. I think that's what kept this from being yet another “root for the underdog” sci-fi novel. There was so many different ways it could make a personal connection with you. Whether you loved Pac Man, lived off Cap'n Crunch, have seen Bladerunner a million and a half times or dreamed of having a DeLorean of your very own, this book will find a way to bring up some of your fondest memories. These references are the novels greatest strength, but they are also its greatest weaknesses. It is most definitely targeted at a very specific demographic. If you are too young (or too old) or if you are just not the giant nerd I am, this novel could easily lose all it's charm. You don't need to get all the referenced to enjoy the story and the adventure but knowing at least some of them will definitely enhance your reading experience. For me this novel was an incredible trip to both the future and the past. I loved every minute of it and was constantly sharing scenes with the people around me. At times it made me laugh, at times it had me on the edge of my seat. If you consider yourself a nerd/geek or just a plain old fashion dork I think you'll love it just as much as I did.
Date published: 2011-09-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Book! One of the best books I've read! Honestly, I cannot remember when a book pulled me in like this one did. It's easy to read from page 1 and gets you addicted after the first chapter. Finished it faster than most books - and even put off watching some new fall TV shows to read this (unheard of for me!). Sure, I was sucked into the hype because I was a child of the 80s, but I am also middle-aged non-gamer chick who happened to dig all the gaming aspects of the book. I am a sci-fi and YA dystopian lit lover, but I wouldn't really consider this to be either. It's an adventure story, pure and simple. The concept is slightly derivative, but there's nothing derivative about the content. The level of detail the author goes into when he's describing some of the more technical aspects of the book gives away that this dude knows his stuff. And somehow, he manages to write the technical parts of the book so that the lay person could easily pick it up and get on board. His writing style is easy to read and truly impressive for a first time novelist! My only criticism of the book is that Wade is like Techno-man and 007 all rolled into one - super-human technological abilities and super-human spy-like capabilities. Can any one human REALLY know all this stuff? I could see if he was a robot/computer himself, but good God, this boy knew so much about technology and was self-taught! But...we all want the heroes in our stories to be the 'best' and impress us, so I am easily swayed to love him and believe that his character could be real! I hear this is going to be made into a movie - and I can't wait to see what they do with OASIS! I get goose-pimpley just thinking about it!!!
Date published: 2011-09-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Will appeal to many groups of readers Ernest Cline's debut novel Ready Player One is an unusual, unique and utterly addicting read. Kind of like a computer game that you can't shut down until you... It's 2045 and the Earth is in pretty bad shape. Most of the fossil fuel is gone and food and land are in short supply. To escape, most citizens check into The Oasis - a virtual world created by James Halliday. In the Oasis you can do or find anything you would ever need or want. When Halliday dies, he leaves the world with his last bequest - a baffling puzzle known as an Easter Egg is hidden somewhere in the Oasis. (Think Second Life) Solve it and you'll have all the money and power you ever dreamed of. Young Wade Watts has spent most of his young life plugged in and joins the millions of Egg Hunters or 'gunters, as they come to be known, in the search. He spends years learning about Halliday's favourite games, televison shows and obsessions - most of them based in the 1980's. When the first clue is found after many years, the stakes couldn't be higher for Wade and his on line friends - for Innovative Online Industries, the world's largest internet provider, want to win the prize themselves - and take over the Oasis. Ready Player One is completely outside of my normal tastes, but I really, really enjoyed it. I was initially intrigued as it seemed to fit into my recent obsession for YA dystopian fiction. But I found myself really enjoying all the '80's references - Pac Man, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Commodore 64's, song lyrics and a whole lot more -for these are the clues used to solve the puzzle. There's lots of adventure with epic good versus evil battles throughout. But Cline has also thrown in some thoughtful explorations of friendship, coming of age and yes, romance. Lots of fun for a variety of readers. I can see Ready Player One easily being made into a movie. And it's jumped on to Maclean's Canadian bestseller list at #9.
Date published: 2011-09-06

– More About This Product –

Ready Player One

by Ernest Cline

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 384 pages, 9.6 × 6.4 × 1.3 in

Published: October 18, 2013

Publisher: Crown Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 030788743X

ISBN - 13: 9780307887436

Read from the Book

0001 I was jolted awake by the sound of gunfire in one of the neighboring stacks. The shots were followed by a few minutes of muffled shouting and screaming, then silence. Gunfire wasn’t uncommon in the stacks, but it still shook me up. I knew I probably wouldn’t be able to fall back asleep, so I decided to kill the remaining hours until dawn by brushing up on a few coin-op classics. Galaga, Defender, Asteroids. These games were outdated digital dinosaurs that had become museum pieces long before I was born. But I was a gunter, so I didn’t think of them as quaint low-res antiques. To me, they were hallowed artifacts. Pillars of the pantheon. When I played the classics, I did so with a determined sort of reverence. I was curled up in an old sleeping bag in the corner of the trailer’s tiny laundry room, wedged into the gap between the wall and the dryer. I wasn’t welcome in my aunt’s room across the hall, which was fine by me. I preferred to crash in the laundry room anyway. It was warm, it afforded me a limited amount of privacy, and the wireless reception wasn’t too bad. And, as an added bonus, the room smelled like liquid detergent and fabric softener. The rest of the trailer reeked of cat piss and abject poverty. Most of the time I slept in my hideout. But the temperature had dropped below zero the past few nights, and as much as I hated staying at my aunt’s place, it still beat freezing to death. A total of fifteen people liv
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From the Publisher

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?

About the Author

ERNEST CLINE has worked as a short-order cook, fish gutter, plasma donor, elitist video store clerk, and tech support drone.  His primary occupation, however, has always been geeking out, and he eventually threw aside those other promising career paths to express his love of pop culture fulltime as a spoken word artist and screenwriter. His 2009 film Fanboys, much to his surprise, became a cult phenomenon.  These days Ernie lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, their daughter, and a large collection of classic video games.  READY PLAYER ONE is his first novel. 

Editorial Reviews

“The science-fiction writer John Scalzi has aptly referred to READY PLAYER ONE as a “nerdgasm” [and] there can be no better one-word description of this ardent fantasy artifact about fantasy culture…But Mr. Cline is able to incorporate his favorite toys and games into a perfectly accessible narrative.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times “Triggers memories and emotions embedded in the psyche of a generation...[Cline crafts] a fresh and imaginative world from our old toy box, and finds significance in there among the collectibles.  A-”—Entertainment Weekly “A most excellent ride…the conceit is a smart one, and we happily root for [the heroes] on their quest…fully satisfying.”— Boston Globe “Enchanting… Willy Wonka meets the Matrix . This novel undoubtedly qualifies Cline as the hottest geek on the planet right now. [But] you don''t have to be a geek to get it.”— USA Today    “ Ridiculously fun and large-hearted, and you don''t have to remember the Reagan administration to love it…[Cline] takes a far-out premise and engages the reader instantly…You''ll wish you could make it go on and on.”—NPR.org “A fun, funny and fabulously entertaining first novel…This novel''s large dose of 1980s trivia is a delight…[but] even readers who need Google to identify Commodore 64 or Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde, will enjo
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