Ready Player One: A Novel by Ernest ClineReady Player One: A Novel by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One: A Novel

byErnest Cline

Paperback | June 5, 2012

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about

The worldwide bestseller—now a major motion picture directed by Steven Spielberg.

In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines—puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. 

But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win—and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.

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...
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Title:Ready Player One: A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:400 pages, 7.92 × 5.19 × 0.85 inPublished:June 5, 2012Publisher:Crown/ArchetypeLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0307887448

ISBN - 13:9780307887443

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Spectacular This book was great, I was hooked from the beginning to the end. Enjoyed all the nostalgia and it really took me back to my childhood. Loved all the characters, and loved the story line.
Date published: 2018-04-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fun heartwarming read Bought this book on a recommendation. Absolutely loved it. Thrilling, nostalgic and heartwarming. It's a simple story told very well.
Date published: 2018-04-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from WONDERFULL book! I bought this book less than a month ago and I do not regret it. It was great all of the 80's pop culture. I didn't understand all of it ( I am not an 80's kid). It was amazing. The movie however changed everything from the book. Never the less it was still great.
Date published: 2018-04-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not an 80s kid nor a gamer but still a fun page-turner Not an 80s kid nor a gamer but still loved the book. Most of the references went over my head but that didn't matter, because it was just such a fun page-turner that I read it all in one sitting. The author built such an immersive world, both on OASIS and the futuristic real-life. As such, there was a lot of exposition and info-dumps which might bore some people, but for me, just made me more immersed into the story. Some aspects irked me, like the plot holes, logical inconsistencies, and the cringey/stereotypical portray of the two Japanese characters. If you're looking for a new, fun book, you should read Ready Player One!
Date published: 2018-04-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It's okay I knew going into this that the book would have no shortage of pop culture references (that's the main selling point that everyone talks about with it, after all, and I can't say the novel didn't advertise itself as being exactly that), but I was hoping for more. I was digging the dramatic tension of the quest and the concept of the Oasis, but throwing in SO MANY pop culture references just makes the story feel like "References: The Novel." Characters literally high-five one another early on after proving they know more references than another character, and it just seemed overly self-congratulatory about an aspect of the novel that I already felt was a little lame. It's an easy and fast paced read with some fun drama and sci-fi world building. It's just smothered in too thick layer of 1980's namedrops, which seems to be exactly what a lot of people love about it, so what do I know? I didn't dislike it at all and would still recommend it overall, it just didn't do enough to live up to the massive hype for me.
Date published: 2018-04-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from a lot like drake"s nice for what he those angles like you fmous but you showing off but its alright
Date published: 2018-04-11
Rated 1 out of 5 by from No. Just No I had to read it for school for English class and didn't like one bit. Maybe it is because I'm not into sci-fi but honestly, the plot is not good and you just know the ending and the outcome for the protagonist. Very predictable.
Date published: 2018-04-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Entertaining, but not great After owning this book for several years, I finally dove in and read it last month. Didn't take me long, as I was very entertained with all of the 80s pop-culture references. But that's about it. Was actually surprised in hearing several co-workers complain about it being too heavily doused with the 80s references, but then again, I believe they probably understood maybe 50% of them. Easy read, entertaining, cool premise with the keys/quest, but that's about it. Movie was alright, looked great, but they totally ruined the meeting between Parzival and Art3mis. Then again, they did it the best they could. Will read 'Armada' by Ernest Cline (as I've owned that since it came out), but definitely not rushing to.
Date published: 2018-04-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Can't wait to see the film! I've been recently getting into Sci-Fi books, and films, when I heard about this book by Ernest Cline. I noticed that it was super popular and that a film adaptation would be coming out, so I decided to give this a shot. Let me tell you, that I quite enjoyed this novel by Mr Cline! It has great underlying themes and great characters, and an intense plotline. I know the movie is out now, but I haven't had time to watch it yet and I'm quite excited for it now that I've read the book!
Date published: 2018-04-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Instant Favourite I couldn't put this book down. Absolutely love it. Highly recommend reading this book!
Date published: 2018-04-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Immersive Journey! Typical me of course would read this book around the same time the movie is released.. BUT I'm beyond glad I did. Ernest Cline takes you on a phenomenal journey full of heart and nostalgia; it's a darn shame the movie couldn't quite capture this magic (although I do understand why they had to change it up quite a bit). The friendship all five form is something truly special and I was so immersed inside the OASIS world, I didn't want to leave after that last page. It's a true page turner and highly recommended for sci-fi lovers who are looking for a feel good story (surprisingly, considering it has its dark moments) of overcoming the odds, infused with capitalism and sprinkled with love here and there.
Date published: 2018-04-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this ! It was such an amazing book, this was a great ride for any nerd or movie lover ! hopefully they stick to the material when it comes to the movie !
Date published: 2018-04-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I CAN'T WAIT I saw the trailer for the movie and a youtuber I enjoy recommended it to his viewers so I am really excited to read this book! I bought it today and it is AMAZING
Date published: 2018-04-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Solid escapism blended with straightforward nostalgia If you're in the mood for something pulpy, fun, and easy to breeze through in a few solid sittings - look no further. If you're hoping for something with a little more craft and intelligence, I would suggest looking elsewhere... Cline's prose isn't exactly polished, in fact, it borders on the too-casual. This is certainly a better story than has been adapted to the film version, but it suffers the same plotting issues and fails to flesh out several of its characters' motivations. The attention to detail is impressive and obviously evidence of a passion project, but it also frequently feels like references for the sake of references. Reader beware, that's all. Would make for a great vacation from heavier, more complex material - save this one for a quick summer break.
Date published: 2018-04-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Enjoyable Found this book rather enjoyable, pleasure to read.
Date published: 2018-04-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from I wanted to love this book..... As a child of the 80s, I enjoyed all of the throwbacks to TV, etc; however, I just could not get into this book. I got about two-thirds of the way through and realized I just wasn't invested in the storyline or characters at all.
Date published: 2018-03-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love Super love this book, so so writing though. Oh well
Date published: 2018-03-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Action-packed I typically don't read sci-fi type novels, but this was amazing. Immersive, action-fueled, strong characters, interesting plot, believable story. A good weekend read
Date published: 2018-03-31
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Story of overhyped Read this in anticipation for the movie, but I must say i was expecting a little more
Date published: 2018-03-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Meh A very immersive story that will make you get lost in the pages, but there are a lot of problems with the actual writing. It's extremely predictable, the characters are all one-dimensional, poor development of themes and ideas, lacks any sense of suspense/irony/tragedy which makes most of the story easily forgettable. Worth a read, but don't expect anything too amazing.
Date published: 2018-03-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Story will suck you in, but it could be a lot better A very immersive story that will make you get lost in the pages, but there are a lot of problems with the actual writing. It's extremely predictable, the characters are all one-dimensional, poor development of themes and ideas, lacks any sense of suspense/irony/tragedy which makes most of the story easily forgettable. Worth a read, but don't expect anything too amazing.
Date published: 2018-03-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What an experience! I bought this book a while ago and I read it recently because I wanted to read it before the movie and I am so glad that I did!
Date published: 2018-03-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great book great book. grow on the 80's and love all the reference. very enjoyable and finished in a few hours. love it!
Date published: 2018-03-28
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Hoping the movie will be better than the book The book is extremely over hyped, but not a bad read overall if you're looking for something mindless
Date published: 2018-03-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Awesome read An intriguing plot with solid characters and a wonderful revisit to the 80's.
Date published: 2018-03-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book! I'm not a huge fan of reading, but a friend raved about this book so I decided to try it. I ended up finishing it in one a day!
Date published: 2018-03-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fun Read It was an exciting and fun read throughout the entire book
Date published: 2018-03-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Way better than I expected! I would describe this book as a mix of the Running man and Charlie in the chocolate factory. I was surprised just how good this book was and the amazing references to the 80's. Every time this book mentioned a song or video from the 80's I would look it up on youtube to add atmosphere. It was great.
Date published: 2018-03-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Well done! I recommend this book to everyone. My husband (who isn't a frequent reader) finished the book in a day. If you grew up in the 80's, there are so many references that will make you smile. Love it!
Date published: 2018-03-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A trip down memory lane A fun novel that I enjoyed more because of the numerous pop-culture references of the 80s. I discussed it with my sci-fi book club and overall we all enjoyed it.
Date published: 2018-03-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Heavy on the 80's I enjoyed reading this, although many of the 80's references were lost on me - I did find the story compelling and interesting to think about. The writing was OK. Overall I kept reading because I liked the adventure, I liked the ideas and imagery, and I liked the plot.
Date published: 2018-03-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Could not stop reading I loved this book from start to finish! I honestly could not stop reading and actively looked for excuses to stop what i was doing to finish this book.
Date published: 2018-03-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from GREAT book for gamers / geeks!! Absolutely Phenominal! 5 stars!! Mayyyyybbeeee 4.75, just cause the main character can be a little clingy and annoying at times, and tends to repeat himself a lot, but I loved the book overall! So many amazing references (both obscure and mainstream) to old video games, books, movies, tv shows, comics, and songs, most of which I got, and the rest of which were thoroughly explained by the author. Super cool mix of utopian and dystopian, and the OASIS is an absolute DREAM for any gamer or geek. You can't help but imagine yourself in this fantastic world. Can't wait to see the movie!! #plumreview
Date published: 2018-03-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Favorable Read this upon a recommendation from a friend and while I liked the story I can't say it was thrilling or the best. It felt a little like a recycled plot troupe, what with the whole "joining together to save this thing" angle but the characters were well developed and interesting.
Date published: 2018-03-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down I'm not a gamer, and I haven't seen the major movies involved in the game, but I still loved this book! There is just so much 80s pop culture, so much that I've missed, and I had to write down some movies that I need to watch in the future. I loved pretty much every part of it and couldn't put it down. The author has a way of revealing just enough information but yet keep you coming up with more questions so that you just have to keep reading to get the answers. That's the perfect kind of book for me. I can't wait to see the movie in a couple of weeks!
Date published: 2018-03-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing read! Really great book with a bunch of action and amazing 80's references!
Date published: 2018-03-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Completely brilliant The amount of references shoved into one book is extraordinary. I finished the book in under a week because of how invested I was in the plot and the main character. This book is the fantasy that everyone nowadays wishes they could live in.
Date published: 2018-03-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Super cool story concept and really loved all the 80's references throughout!
Date published: 2018-03-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Eh To be honest, not looking forward to the Movie. It looked like they were trying to rehash Hunger games a little
Date published: 2018-03-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Surprisingly great I started to read this book as a novel for my English class, and I am glad I got the opportunity to read it. It was a captivating novel.
Date published: 2018-03-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great story! I loved the 80's nostalgia and though I'm not a video game geek I thoroughly enjoyed this story!
Date published: 2018-02-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from In love This book was amazing. It kept me up late at night because I didn't want to put it down. The pace was fast throughout. I loved the combining of the past and a possible future. I always love a good dystopian society novel. I've already recommended it to all my friends. #plumreview
Date published: 2018-02-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Vintage Awesome! I loved this book. It is so well written, the world building is amazing, and the characters are interesting. I loved all the pop culture references; everything from Buffy to Star Wars to Neon Genesis Evangelion was in this book, and I loved it. Couldn't put it down. Can't wait to read something else by this author.
Date published: 2018-02-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome! I thoroughly enjoyed the audiobook version. Wil Wheaton does a wonderful job as narrator. Great for fans of 1980s media/gaming/music/culture! The best way to enjoy this audiobook is at a computer, to be honest. The book is full of a plethora of references to so many songs, games, movies, shows, etc. from the 1980s and you might want easy access to a search engine to look up the references as they're named. There is simply no way that you will know all of the media references, but that's okay. I'd highly recommend looking up the pop culture references as you go along because it definitely enhances the experience as you immerse yourself in the story. Be sure to (at the very least) have a Ready Player One music playlist open to play the appropriate songs at certain points in the book.
Date published: 2018-02-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A favourite geeky, adventurous, dramatic, fun, thrilling. It's absolutely amazing!
Date published: 2018-02-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from WOWOWOWOWOWOW!!!! okay, WOW!!! My boyfriend has been telling me to read this book for almost three years (even though he has never read it, he is not a reader), and I was convinced I would never read it because i was not into video games or VR or 80s references, but holy cow, that was amazing! i am so glad I read it, the research is incredibly well done, you can tell that Ernest Cline put his heart and soul into this novel. The story line is exceptional, not predictable at all, and the surprises just kept on coming! Amazing, definitely recommend!!!
Date published: 2018-02-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book My son is reading this book for the 2nd time. He still enjoys it a lot.
Date published: 2018-02-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must read for all geeks Great book, and has become a sort of road map for all things geek in the 80s.
Date published: 2018-02-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this. Book was amazing. Loved it. Can't wait to see what Ernest Cline has for us next.
Date published: 2018-02-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Real Page-turner I ordered this book online after many recommendations, and I am so glad I did. I initially thought I would read it over the space of a week or two, but I honestly just couldn't put it down. Whether you're into Sci-fi, 80s television, Anime, movies, or videogames, there is something here for everyone. Do me a favor and give this one a read.
Date published: 2018-02-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Addictive This was one of the first sci-fi/fantasy books I had read and it was the perfect book to get me into the genre! A great futuristic adventure with lots of "easter eggs" and 80's references.
Date published: 2018-02-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Lots of hype With all the hype around this one, I expected it to be more well written. The story was incredibly imaginative and interesting, but there was definitely waves of when the story moved really well and then when it stalled. The writing wasn't always the best, but overall it was an interesting read.
Date published: 2018-02-12
Rated 1 out of 5 by from lame so lame over hyped, I was excited to read this then just got disgusted by how bad it was.
Date published: 2018-02-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Chock-full of 80's references I never would have read this had it not been recommended to me, but I loved it. If you have any interest in 80's pop culture, video games or sci-fi I'd say give it a try.
Date published: 2018-02-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book. I started reading this for a book club even though it's not the type of book I would usually read. Within the first couple of pages I was hooked. It was interesting and fast paced. It was very well written and had likable characters that were relatable. I read all 400 pages in three days. I think people who don't usually read science fiction would also like it.
Date published: 2018-02-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Brilliant I enjoyed all the pop culture references, so much fun and entertaining
Date published: 2018-01-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A new family favourite! My boyfriend got me to start it and I can't put it down! Absolutely love it! #plumreview
Date published: 2018-01-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So much nostalgia If you like the nostalgia of 'Stranger Things', you'll probably like this book. The book dragged a little in some places but, overall, was a very good read. Definitely one of the best books I've read all year.
Date published: 2018-01-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Book, Ton's of 80's Nostalgia #plumreview Loved the theme of the book and was written well. Kept me interested right to the end!
Date published: 2018-01-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Love the story concept My boyfriend recommended me this book. That being said, he doesn't read much, if at all, on his own time. I enjoyed the concept of this book but I felt that the main character was a little cringe-y. HOWEVER! For those of you who are in his age group (teenage high school gamer people, which I used to be years ago so I can understand) then this book is a great getaway-- without having to play it out in an actual game. Despite my criticism, I still think this book is great.
Date published: 2018-01-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Love Letter To All of Us Nerds The reason this is four stars and not five, is because I write this some time after reading it... the afterglow has worn off and there are some issues with the book which shone through. None the less, a fun item to read. Ready Player One's Dystopian near future was created prior to the Hollywood mainstreaming of Teenage Dystopia stories (looking at you Divergent, Hunger Games, Maze Runner, Fifth Wave...). Welcome to OASIS, where citizens of the globe go to escape the hellhole society has become. Our protagonist, along with his two besties embark on a journey straight out of a classic RPG as they go in search of untold fortune/power, face mortal and digital peril and must navigate teen-love. Sidequests abound, discoveries are made- both for the quest and for each other, all while facing off against an evil corporate entity hellbent on taking the almost mythical fortune and power for themselves. You know how this ends. We all do. Enjoy the ride, get a bit drunk on the nostalgia and re-embrace your inner nerd. Therein lies the problem, you know how it's going to end and there are few suprises. Grab you D20's and let's go.
Date published: 2018-01-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fun! Another big book I can cross off my list as read! There's something so satisfying about tackling a super popular or hyped book, and it's even better when you actually enjoy it! This is arguably the nerdiest book I've ever read, chocked to the absolute brim with video game references and 80's pop culture trivia. As someone who is a die-hard pop culture fan, this is a real treat. I'm still astounded about the amount of detail that Ernest Cline was able to incorporate into the story. I could argue that this can also be its weakest point, as sometimes I got overwhelmed by just how much in-depth description I was constantly being bombarded with, but without it, I don't think it would be nearly as possible to have created such a world and story like this one. I loved Wade's narration and how snarky and smart he was. I was rooting for him from the very start. Scavenger hunt plots are some of my favourite and I love trying to solve the puzzles along with the characters (granted, this one was a lot harder as I am definitely not as knowledgeable about this decade like Wade is). Can't wait to see the movie!
Date published: 2018-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Super fun ride Excellent story! if you can relate to anything 80's you will love this nerd fest of 80's nostalgia. Fun, and exciting read from start to finish. No wonder Steven Spielberg picked it up for a movie. This book was basically written for him, lol.
Date published: 2018-01-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A fun read! Fun with a lot (a LOT) of references to the 80's, which adds to the enjoyment!
Date published: 2018-01-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting it was interesting, and the premise was new and refreshing. It was cool to read something that wasn't just a washed up version of things made previously. It may be hard to connect to if you don't have any understanding of the references being made. But all around a pretty entertaining book.
Date published: 2018-01-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from All The World's a Video Game This book really looked at the computer/video game culture in a new way. It was fun and exciting. As someone who is not normally a video game or sci-fi/fantasy reader or player. This book kept me interested and entertained from start to finish.
Date published: 2018-01-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great book! great book that kept me entertained throughout. I'm going to ready more from this author #plumreview
Date published: 2017-12-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from All Time Favourite The world building in this novel is stunning! I hope the movie will do it justice. As for the writing, it's classic to science fiction, and the plot while it may seem simple, was executed flawlessly. Yes, some of the nostalgia was a little much, but it wasn't distracting.
Date published: 2017-12-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book Im not one for fantasy books, but I really enjoyed this book. Would definitely recommend it if you like science fiction books
Date published: 2017-12-26
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Lots of nostalgia... And not too much else. I enjoyed all the nerdy references, which were right up my alley. The central plot - a video game easter egg hunt that turns out to be so much more - was a good vehicle for the story as well. Unfortunately, the characters are a bit bland and the author fumbles any time the characters step outside the game world.
Date published: 2017-12-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing!!! Hands down best book I've read so far this year. Can't say anything bad about it. If you want to be mind blown and brought into another world all with the same feeling of intense binge reading this is the book for you! I highly recommend it's amazing. A must read!
Date published: 2017-12-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Different but good I love the 80's so this was awesome with all the references. Slows down at bit in the middle but good read overall.
Date published: 2017-12-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A favorite! While reading this book, I kept smiling, wanting to read faster, getting really stressed out near the end, having vivid mental images of the OASIS in my head, wishing I could experience it myself… now it’s over and I want more. This book has a lot of good reviews so I think anyone could enjoy it, but it was especially fun for me and, I’m guessing, for anyone who has ever played a MMORPG because I kind of miss it sometimes and the book gave me so many memories of my past gaming fanatic self. Obviously my experience didn't include the 3D virtual reality aspect but still, the conversations you have with other players, the kind of relationship or friendship you start building with them sometimes, party quests, bosses, leveling up your avatar and all other details still rang a bell for me. Any geek will tell you, this book is a gem. I had so much fun while reading it. When I enjoy a book, I realize it at the end, thinking back to what I have read to give it a rating. But this was a totally immersive experience. I was having fun from the start, and that’s why I paced myself and took over a week to read it. I didn’t want it to end too quickly but now it’s over and I’m sad.
Date published: 2017-12-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it! Holy batman! A book centered around 80s gaming and pop culture!? Nostalgia time! I thoroughly enjoyed the book, though I did skim over the long explanations of things I already knew. After I got about halfway through, there was no way I could put the book down. I had to keep reading.. I did find it a bit contradictory. On one hand, the OASIS allowed Wade to make friends sans prejudice... But Halliday and Wade both acknowledged the importance of real life, and not getting lost inside virtual reality. I like to think that you can try and find a balance between both, and that's how I usually aim to live my life. In the end I would recommend this book to EVERYONE.
Date published: 2017-12-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome This book was amazing and the movie coming out is going to be even better. I did it for my Grade 8 Book Report. Though I did wish that Wade ran into more problems throughout the way. He literally could pass every gate and find the keys with much ease. Yes, he did run into more problems along the way but still....
Date published: 2017-12-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great nostalgic journey for those who grew up in the late 70's and 80's I never heard of this book before I started seeing the teaser trailers for the upcoming Spielberg directed release in 2018. I can see now after reading it how hard it will actually be to stay as true to the book as possible. There are so many references in this book both obscure and well known that it would be 100's of millions just to secure the rights to all the franchises brought up. I loved this book even though a lot of the nerdier references to old video games were beyond me, but i was fun to google those things when I ran into them to get a better understanding. Sometimes it seems as though the author was using a wikipedia entry to reference something instead of having actually experienced and enjoyed these things as a youth himself but I enjoyed them all.
Date published: 2017-12-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Interesting Book Great read by a fantastic author.
Date published: 2017-12-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Nostalgic Quest A fantastic quest that reads like a old "choose your own adventure book" as the hero(s) race to uncover clues to a hidden treasure before an evil corporation can and impose their plan (insert evil big boss cackle). In a collision of nostalgic fantasy, sci-fi and then upload a futuristic version of a virtual reality, the reader is "hit" with g-g-geeky references that, for someone like myself, enchant some lost childhood of memories. We'll see if the upcoming movie can live up to the book.
Date published: 2017-12-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Read A real page turner, it seems like young adult fiction from the outside but hidden away is a interesting commentary on internet culture, escapism, and the evolution of social media.
Date published: 2017-12-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A fun adventure story I enjoyed this book and all of its nerdy references. It should be stated that this is a particular kind of book, it's a lot of fun and a real page-turner, but it isn't beautifully written or particularly thought-provoking. It is, in essence, an adventure story with a lot of action, and a fairly predictable rags-to-riches sort of a plot. Essentially, it's a young adult novel for adults. Still, it's a good story if you love sci-fi, and probably very nostalgic if you were a nerd in the 80s.
Date published: 2017-12-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great! I thought this book was cool and had good references, but did not feel very relatable.
Date published: 2017-12-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Our generation's William Gibson Part William Gibson's "Neuromancer", part Orson Scott Card's "Ender's Game," part Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (with technology instead of candy). Simultaneously futuristic and nostalgic, and probably prescient, this magical book was almost impossible to put down, and I'm not even a gamer. Best of all, it is well written. Read it!
Date published: 2017-12-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fun Read! This book starts off a little slow due to all the information and backstory needed to really get in to it. It starts to pick up about half way through the novel. Really enjoyed this book it was such a fun read! Loved the mash of 80's and futuristic sci-fi elements it has. It really has a 80's nostalgic feeling going on. I'm excited for the film adaption hoping it lives up to the book. Pick this up give it a chance! #pluereview
Date published: 2017-11-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it I loved this book. It was fun and fast moving. Can't wait for the movie
Date published: 2017-11-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read Enjoyed this very much. Very interested in the film adaptation
Date published: 2017-11-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An unexpected win! I bought this book last year because it was recommended as a staff pick, SO glad I did!! It's well written, sucks you in to the story and has great throwback references to 80's pop culture. Totally worth reading before the movie comes out!!
Date published: 2017-11-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Ready Player One Wonderful if you like the 80s in any way! There were a few low points and things that I would've liked the author to delve into a little more but I didn't mind that enough to let it deter me.
Date published: 2017-11-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable read!! I was recommended this book by friends of mine, so I took them up on it , very enjoyable read with all the nostalgia of the 80s which I grew up in, it brought back memories of that time! Can't wait for the movie, the trailer looked good!!
Date published: 2017-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Super enjoyable! I really enjoyed this book. While it occasionally strayed in the "too much" category with all the pop culture references, the book overall was engaging and interesting. Loved the concept and how visual the descriptions are.
Date published: 2017-11-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best book I've ever read Honestly couldn't not put this down, spent the whole night reading. I was simply phenomenal!
Date published: 2017-11-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Mind Blown A coming of age story that made me feel nostalgic and gave me goosebumps at the same time. I read this 5 years ago and wondered if they would ever make it a movie and lo and behold, Spielberg is doing it....for a good reason too!
Date published: 2017-11-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I devoured this book! I laughed, I teared, I got angry, I got happy... Basically I felt a lot of emotions reading through this book (which only took me two days!) Turning the last page felt like saying goodbye to good friends. But I know it simply means "I'll see you again soon" since this is definitely a book I'll pick up again and again so I never forget it.
Date published: 2017-11-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great period references of a not so distant past Really good book, one of my favourite aspects is the references to the 1980s which is cool since it really wasn't that long ago and there aren't many books I have read that glorify that time so this makes it really unique in my mind. The story is a little bit Harry Potter-ish - kid from a poor family with no one to love him immerses himself in the quest to save humanity. Would read again!
Date published: 2017-10-31
Rated 2 out of 5 by from it was okay So I thoroughly enjoyed the concept of this book, but I found the references made were a bit overkill and took away from the plot. Maybe if I grew up with these references I would have enjoyed the book more. I found myself having a hard time getting through it, but I can see why people enjoy it so much.
Date published: 2017-10-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Awesome book I loved this so much and all the 80s references. Really excited for the movie, hope it does the book justice!
Date published: 2017-10-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from worth a read I had a hard time getting into this book at first. The characters are a bit shallow and chilche, but the story picks up and I enjoyed the read overall.
Date published: 2017-10-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A FUN READ I bought this book a few weeks ago and am still getting through it. At he beginning I found the story really interesting and freaky. The premise of the book seemed to me to hit really close to what could really happen in this world and I found the idea really well thought out. As I keep reading, I find the story is starting to slow down and go stale. I am half way through and really hope this picks up and becomes the great read I thought it would be.
Date published: 2017-10-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from i love this book this book is so awesome a must read for all teens
Date published: 2017-10-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved I really loved this book. It was on my list ti bymuy forever, and one day i was in the store and was stuck between this book ans another book. So glad i got this one.
Date published: 2017-10-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great fun! This book was great -- exciting, futuristic, nostalgic, all wrapped up to form a super-cool sci-fi. I'd recommend it to anyone who has an interest in gaming. But even I don't, and I still found this novel to be extremely entertaining (not to mention an interesting satire on real life... and where it's headed).
Date published: 2017-09-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from nice book liked the book, thought it was interesting but don't get the hype
Date published: 2017-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Not generally a fantasy fan, but... This was a great read. Keeps you interested. Well explained.
Date published: 2017-09-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Read! Couldn't put it down and everyone I know who's read it has loved it. Fantastic.
Date published: 2017-09-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down Great writing and storyline. Whether or not you grew up with 80s pop culture, you will love this book. It has a great dystopianight storyline and I can't wait to see what Cline does next.
Date published: 2017-09-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very fun Such an awesome book had a great time reading it
Date published: 2017-09-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my all time favourites! My only complaint about this book is that it ended. An amazing read, and re-read, and re-re-read... LOVE.
Date published: 2017-08-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Extremely fun read! Think Alice in Wonderland meets 80s pop culture, with a strong dose of video game subculture. A fun adventure that brings us into an augmented reality where anything is possible, including lots of references to film, music and gaming cultures. #staffreviews
Date published: 2017-08-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING!!!! I loved this book, ready the whole thing in two sittings, cant wait for the film!!!
Date published: 2017-08-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from For everybody! I'm not even into video games (at all) and I normally don't read sci-fi but WOW this was an adventure. Can't wait for the film.
Date published: 2017-08-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic read! Had a fun time reading this, in anticipation for the upcoming film adaptation. Great characters, plot, and enjoyable references to pop culture, including Monty Python and Willy Wonka.
Date published: 2017-08-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Insane I got to read an ARC of this, and it appealed to every geeky part of me. I'll probably write a blog about it later, but for now, a brief review: Simply said? This book was fucking awesome.
Date published: 2017-08-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! Wow! This was unlike anything I’ve ever read before. I had heard good things about this book for a while but it wasn’t until I saw the movie trailer that I was convinced I needed to read this book. Wade Watts is a teen living in poverty in a dystopian future where the world has basically run out of resources and everything has gone to shit. Wade, like much of the rest of the world spends his time in a 3D virtual video game utopia called the OASIS in order to escape the real world. The book follows his epic journey to complete a quest set up by the OASIS creator and find a hidden easter egg in the game (while also preventing an evil tech corporation from winning it first). Wade also has some awesome virtual friends- Aech, Art3mis, and Japanese duo Daito and Shoto. Their characters were just as compelling as Wade’s and I found myself rooting for all of them to win the game. It’s also filled with 80’s pop culture references which I found super nerdy but also super cool. I have a new list of 80’s movies, songs and shows to check out now! One thing I really liked was how unpredictable the whole story was. It kept me guessing the whole time and there was so many twists and turns. The author did an amazing job of immersing the reader completely in the story. Even if your not normally into sic-fi or video games you’ll still enjoy this book! I don’t read much sci-fi at all and I don’t play video games and I still loved it :)
Date published: 2017-08-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from If you loved "Enders Game".... Reality sucks. The main character lives in a world which is crowded, dirty, and dangerous. Virtual reality, however, has some benefits. You can look better, act cooler, and go on adventures you can only dream about when you're offline. It's interesting to read a novel like this one; to see the pop culture of the past mix with the technology driven future. It all begins when a man who devoted his life to video games dies, leaving the key to his fortune trapped in the game he has created. The only way to gain access to his money and his company is to beat the game. Only one person can do that. So, get ready to climb the leader boards and enjoy reading about the future while remembering the past. (Although it wasn't that long ago, really.)
Date published: 2017-08-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love it! I absolutely loved this book, and it has been a long time since I have found a book that I absolutely loved and was absorbed in. It created a whole small world to get immersed in. I have never really played videogames and I am not good at knowing the names of famous 80s stuff, but that did not make the book any less enjoyable.
Date published: 2017-08-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I loved this book!! I was slow getting into this but after the first chapter I couldn't put it down. It's one of the best I've read and I can't wait to see the film when it comes out!
Date published: 2017-08-03
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Good fun, but not much more While I really like the idea behind this book, I found that the writing style was just not for me, and the story and characters were not quite enough to push me past that. That being said, there are a lot of really fun ideas within this story, and I know quite a few people who adore it, so if you are not picky about writing style and are just looking for a fun nostalgic trip down the 80s block of memory lane, then this just may be for you!
Date published: 2017-07-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very fun read This is a real page turning read, super fun and smartly written!
Date published: 2017-07-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A great read My brother gave my 14 year old son this book but I got to it first. It was an entertaining, fast paced book about a quest to save virtual reality from the bad guys. Love the way the history of the computer and video games were entwined with the race. Great for video game lovers and children of the 80's.
Date published: 2017-07-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing I read this a while back but it still blew me out of the water. It was exciting, fast paced and fun. I'd recommend to anyone
Date published: 2017-07-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Made Me Want to Start Reading Books Again In the age of electronics, this book made me want to get back into reading again! Funny that the story revolves around gaming and electronics! Well worth the read!
Date published: 2017-07-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible Fun! Most accurately described as a "Nerg-gasm", "Ready Player One" by Ernie Cline is one of the most addictive, entertaining novels since Harry Potter. In these pages, every self-proclaimed geek and lover of 80's culture will find a perfectly nostalgic home to take warmth and comfort in like a childhood blanket. This fantastically whacky novel is a flawless love-letter to retro video gaming, popular culture and even obscure 80's music and films, all set in a desolate future made bearable only by a stunningly life-like virtual universe called OASIS. The world - both real and virtual - are plausible, fleshed out glimpses of a potential 2044 America and virtual computing technology. It is a fast-paced adventure, complete with friendship, romance, puzzle-solving, villains, and unpredictable plot twists generated by welcome ventures down seldom used trails leading to ancient geek lore. "Ready Player One" is a creative, fun, and easy read that almost any lover of science fiction and the 80's era would have an absolute blast reading! Rating: 9.3/10
Date published: 2017-07-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A fun story! A fun story, filled with 80s pop culture references and near-future virtual reality possibilities.
Date published: 2017-07-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A fun read A fun story, filled with 80s pop culture references and near-future virtual reality possibilities.
Date published: 2017-07-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A fun read A fun story, filled with 80s pop culture references and near-future virtual reality possibilities.
Date published: 2017-07-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting The novel screams unique. The world fosters a intriguing premise, that one can't help but delve into. There were, however moments of hesitation, especially with the festering main character. Overall, the book was worth the read, and filled the capacity of interest.
Date published: 2017-07-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! This book is a fucking great story. Awesome from start to finish and I would absolutely recommend it to anyone.
Date published: 2017-07-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my new favourites This book was COOL. I hadn't expected to be hooked immediately, what with all the gaming lingo and references to 80's movies and music, but dang! The premise was enough to have me absorbed right away, with promise of virtual reality and a puzzle-filled quest. This was a really neat mix of Harry Potter, Jumanji, Second Life, and whatever else comes to mind. I was able to catch a few references here and there that made me chuckle, but otherwise, the video game portion was explained well enough that I was able to follow along regardless. Safe to say, this was a totally different book than from what I'd usually read, but I loved every minute. Can't wait for the movie (yes I can, they usually butcher movies).
Date published: 2017-06-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love this! Really great book celebrating nerd culture!
Date published: 2017-06-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! Amazing book. One of the best SciFi books I have read in a long time. Couldn't put it down!
Date published: 2017-06-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from !!! It's been a while since I finished a book in one sitting. I had heard good reviews of this book a couple years ago, but picked it up in chapters recently. It takes a couple chapters to get immersed, but its worth it! It's filled with 80's trivia, but you don't have to obsessed to love this book. I appreciate the diverse characters Cline uses to tell his story.
Date published: 2017-06-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Just buy it! After reading this at the library, I knew I had to buy this modern classic for my shelf. I was born in 87' so a many of the references were a bit before my time, but regardless, it's a great, great read. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-06-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Let Me Count The Ways I had a friend tell me to read this for a few years now. Finally, this year she bought it for my birthday. Where do I even begin to say how fantastic this book is? I mean, if you're looking for a read that is just sheer fun, this is it. You don't have to have lived through the 80's or be a video game junkie or know every bit of obscure music facts to enjoy this. So many of Cline's little details made me smile and the villains are downright dastardly. I really can't say a single bad thing about this novel, and that's a rare thing.
Date published: 2017-06-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from sooo good! I really enjoyed this book and I am not a gamer at all!
Date published: 2017-05-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good I listened to the audiobook for this one. I loved the world in this book, the virtual reality and the easter egg hunt were wonderfully creative and imaginative. I have to give the author kudos for his imagination. I also liked the characters and the way they interact with the real and imaginary worlds. Some parts were slow and detailed, and since it was an audiobook I couldn't skim all the details I wasn't interested in, but still I enjoyed it.
Date published: 2017-05-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sci-Fi 80s Pop Culture Thriller Definitely the best I have ever read that was not part of a series and even then it would be close. If you are a fan of 80's Pop Culture, Video Games, and/or Great, Well-Written Books, this is a must read.
Date published: 2017-05-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So much fun I loved this book, with so many things from the 80's included in a futuristic setting, I can't wait to see what they do with the film version
Date published: 2017-05-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely Fantastic Book Couldn't put this one down. Highly suggested for anyone interested in anything nerdy. Good story regardless though. Can't recommend this one highly enough.
Date published: 2017-04-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Engrossing I picked this up on a whim and was sucked into the premise. It was a fun, fast paced book. The 80s references was also a lot of fun.
Date published: 2017-04-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loads of fun I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I'm not a gamer, nor particularly enthralled with the 80's (though, I'm old enough to be quite familiar with it). But, the premise, world (real and virtual) and characters were all interesting. The book has plenty of adventure and fun 80's facts.
Date published: 2017-04-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this book This was a really great book especially for anybody who grew up in the 80's with video games. Really recommend this. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-04-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So entertaining and fun to read It was a great book, and I really enjoyed reading it. It was so entertaining and it kept me engaged the whole time. I loved all of the 80s references and I would totally recommend it!
Date published: 2017-04-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Pulling a Pendergast I originally bought this for my dad, who ended up thinking it was ‘really weird’. I, on the other hand, thought it was totally awesome. If you’re into video games, dystopian worlds, 80’s pop culture, mysteries and adventure, or even if your not, pick up this book! As a non-gamer I thought it was a fun read.
Date published: 2017-04-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing I read this for an English course to analyze and write an essay on and while I ultimately chose a different book to work with, this book was fun, interesting and kept me interested. Loved the fantasy and gaming aspect of it!
Date published: 2017-03-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AWESOME! Fantastic references to pop/geek/nerd culture intertwined into this amazing piece of work. Have read it multiple times and have also listened to via audiobook on roadtrips. Golden!
Date published: 2017-03-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Nostalgia aplenty This book was suggested to me by a friend who read it, and liked its many references to the 1980s (despite not being born until 1990 himself). I, being older (much older) fully enjoyed the parts about PacMan, the Atari 2600 and Family Ties. The novel takes place in the future where people basically spend most of their lives in a virtual reality. The creator of this virtual reality dies, and leaves a fortune hidden in the vastness of the virtual world. Everybody spends their waking moments studying the man, and in particular, the 1980s in hopes of finding the first of three clues that will lead them to the treasure. However, a sinister rival company is also looking, but our protagonist stumbles onto the first clue unexpectedly, and the chase is on.
Date published: 2017-03-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Feeling it, Loving it! the first 3 chapters were slow to be, but the minute Wade gets involved in the Hunt the novel picks up until i couldn't even put it down. It was an amazing read, and definitely great read for any true gamer. Many nostalgic references of 90s video and arcade games.
Date published: 2017-03-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What a fantastic, clever book. If you're a fan of the 80s, alternate reality, comics and video games, this one's for you. Full of adventure and questing and a very VERY detailed world, RPO is one of those books that sucks you in and doesn't let go. A rare treat.
Date published: 2017-03-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Most Enjoyable Sci Fi in Years This is pure fun. In a dystopian future where people live in trailers stacked on top of each other - VR internet is a great way to escape AND get an education AND there is a search for a hidden prize there for those with enough love of the distant 1980's to be able to piece together the clues. Being a child of the 80's I felt like this book was written for me - there are so many geeky references your head will spin. Maybe too many references but it's so much fun - who cares? Really what this is, is a Nerdgasm for 80's geek culture wrapped in sci fi scavenger hunt. Don't think too hard about it and just enjoy.
Date published: 2017-03-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This was great! This was a great read. I decided to read it, because a lot of people were singing its praises. It is a really exciting and fast paced book. I couldn't put it down!
Date published: 2017-02-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing! Total nostalgia trip; loved it!
Date published: 2017-02-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fun Read! If you like the 80's or old video games, the this is the book for you.
Date published: 2017-02-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from References A lot of references in this near-future cyber sci-fi thriller.
Date published: 2017-02-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Breakfast Club meets Enders Game Good 80s nostalgia. Fun book!
Date published: 2017-02-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from FANTASTIC Fantastic story of the not too distant future with an immense amount of pop culture references embedded throughout. It was like a trip down memory lane, but in the future. I've read this three times now, it is just so entertaining. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-02-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic story, very well-written! Bought this book, it sat on my coffee table for a couple weeks, picked it up this weekend and read the thing in a day. I thought this book was incredible. It gives the reader a look at what life was like, is like now and where we're heading, and does this in a witty way. Certainly makes me think about what state the world could be in just decades from now and what social and technological implications there might be. I thought this writer did a fantastic job and I plan on reading his other book now, Armada.
Date published: 2017-02-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thrilling Great read. Loved the disparity between the VR world and the real one they lived in. Page turner.
Date published: 2017-02-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this! This was my April book club book and this was my favourite book club pick so far! It was a book I never would have read on my own. I can't wait for this to become a movie!
Date published: 2017-01-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Favourite of 2016 I think this became my favourite read of all 2016. What an amazing adventure with great characters and a superb plot! I highly recommend it!
Date published: 2017-01-30

Read from the Book

0001I 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 lived in my aunt’s trailer. She slept in the smallest of its three bedrooms. The Depperts lived in the bedroom adjacent to her, and the Millers occupied the large master bedroom at the end of the hall. There were six of them, and they paid the largest share of the rent. Our trailer wasn’t as crowded as some of the other units in the stacks. It was a double-wide. Plenty of room for everybody.I pulled out my laptop and powered it on. It was a bulky, heavy beast, almost ten years old. I’d found it in a Dumpster behind the abandoned strip mall across the highway. I’d been able to coax it back to life by replacing its system memory and reloading the stone-age operating system. The processor was slower than a sloth by current standards, but it was fine for my needs. The laptop served as my portable research library, video arcade, and home theater system. Its hard drive was filled with old books, movies, TV show episodes, song files, and nearly every videogame made in the twentieth century.I booted up my emulator and selected Robotron: 2084, one of my all-time favorite games. I’d always loved its frenetic pace and brutal simplicity. Robotron was all about instinct and reflexes. Playing old videogames never failed to clear my mind and set me at ease. If I was feeling depressed or frustrated about my lot in life, all I had to do was tap the Player One button, and my worries would instantly slip away as my mind focused itself on the relentless pixelated onslaught on the screen in front of me. There, inside the game’s two-dimensional universe, life was simple: It’s just you against the machine. Move with your left hand, shoot with your right, and try to stay alive as long as possible.I spent a few hours blasting through wave after wave of Brains, Spheroids, Quarks, and Hulks in my unending battle to Save the Last Human Family! But eventually my fingers started to cramp up and I began to lose my rhythm. When that happened at this level, things deteriorated quickly. I burned through all of my extra lives in a matter of minutes, and my two least-favorite words appeared on the screen: game over.I shut down the emulator and began to browse through my video files. Over the past five years, I’d downloaded every single movie, TV show, and cartoon mentioned in Anorak’s Almanac. I still hadn’t watched all of them yet, of course. That would probably take decades.I selected an episode of Family Ties, an ’80s sitcom about a middle-class family living in central Ohio. I’d downloaded the show because it had been one of Halliday’s favorites, and I figured there was a chance that some clue related to the Hunt might be hidden in one of the episodes. I’d become addicted to the show immediately, and had now watched all 180 episodes, multiple times. I never seemed to get tired of them.Sitting alone in the dark, watching the show on my laptop, I always found myself imagining that I lived in that warm, well-lit house, and that those smiling, understanding people were my family. That there was nothing so wrong in the world that we couldn’t sort it out by the end of a single half-hour episode (or maybe a two-parter, if it was something really serious).My own home life had never even remotely resembled the one depicted in Family Ties, which was probably why I loved the show so much. I was the only child of two teenagers, both refugees who’d met in the stacks where I’d grown up. I don’t remember my father. When I was just a few months old, he was shot dead while looting a grocery store during a power blackout. The only thing I really knew about him was that he loved comic books. I’d found several old flash drives in a box of his things, containing complete runs of The Amazing Spider-Man, The X-Men, and Green Lantern. My mom once told me that my dad had given me an alliterative name, Wade Watts, because he thought it sounded like the secret identity of a superhero. Like Peter Parker or Clark Kent. Knowing that made me think he was must have been a cool guy, despite how he’d died.My mother, Loretta, had raised me on her own. We’d lived in a small RV in another part of the stacks. She had two full-time OASIS jobs, one as a telemarketer, the other as an escort in an online brothel. She used to make me wear earplugs at night so I wouldn’t hear her in the next room, talking dirty to tricks in other time zones. But the earplugs didn’t work very well, so I would watch old movies instead, with the volume turned way up.I was introduced to the OASIS at an early age, because my mother used it as a virtual babysitter. As soon as I was old enough to wear a visor and a pair of haptic gloves, my mom helped me create my first OASIS avatar. Then she stuck me in a corner and went back to work, leaving me to explore an entirely new world, very different from the one I’d known up until then.From that moment on, I was more or less raised by the OASIS’s interactive educational programs, which any kid could access for free. I spent a big chunk of my childhood hanging out in a virtual-reality simulation of Sesame Street, singing songs with friendly Muppets and playing interactive games that taught me how to walk, talk, add, subtract, read, write, and share. Once I’d mastered those skills, it didn’t take me long to discover that the OASIS was also the world’s biggest public library, where even a penniless kid like me had access to every book ever written, every song ever recorded, and every movie, television show, videogame, and piece of artwork ever created. The collected knowledge, art, and amusements of all human civilization were there, waiting for me. But gaining access to all of that information turned out to be something of a mixed blessing. Because that was when I found out the truth....I don’t know, maybe your experience differed from mine. For me, growing up as a human being on the planet Earth in the twenty-first century was a real kick in the teeth. Existentially speaking.The worst thing about being a kid was that no one told me the truth about my situation. In fact, they did the exact opposite. And, of course, I believed them, because I was just a kid and I didn’t know any better. I mean, Christ, my brain hadn’t even grown to full size yet, so how could I be expected to know when the adults were bullshitting me?So I swallowed all of the dark ages nonsense they fed me. Some time passed. I grew up a little, and I gradually began to figure out that pretty much everyone had been lying to me about pretty much everything since the moment I emerged from my mother’s womb.This was an alarming revelation.It gave me trust issues later in life.I started to figure out the ugly truth as soon as I began to explore the free OASIS libraries. The facts were right there waiting for me, hidden in old books written by people who weren’t afraid to be honest. Artists and scientists and philosophers and poets, many of them long dead. As I read the words they’d left behind, I finally began to get a grip on the situation. My situation. Our situation. What most people referred to as “the human condition.”It was not good news.I wish someone had just told me the truth right up front, as soon as I was old enough to understand it. I wish someone had just said:“Here’s the deal, Wade. You’re something called a ‘human being.’ That’s a really smart kind of animal. Like every other animal on this planet, we’re descended from a single-celled organism that lived millions of years ago. This happened by a process called evolution, and you’ll learn more about it later. But trust me, that’s really how we all got here. There’s proof of it everywhere, buried in the rocks. That story you heard? About how we were all created by a super-powerful dude named God who lives up in the sky? Total bullshit. The whole God thing is actually an ancient fairy tale that people have been telling to one another for thousands of years. We made it all up. Like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.“Oh, and by the way . . .​ there’s no Santa Claus or Easter Bunny. Also bullshit. Sorry, kid. Deal with it.“You’re probably wondering what happened before you got here. An awful lot of stuff, actually. Once we evolved into humans, things got pretty interesting. We figured out how to grow food and domesticate animals so we didn’t have to spend all of our time hunting. Our tribes got much bigger, and we spread across the entire planet like an unstoppable virus. Then, after fighting a bunch of wars with each other over land, resources, and our made-up gods, we eventually got all of our tribes organized into a ‘global civilization.’ But, honestly, it wasn’t all that organized, or civilized, and we continued to fight a lot of wars with each other. But we also figured out how to do science, which helped us develop technology. For a bunch of hairless apes, we’ve actually managed to invent some pretty incredible things. Computers. Medicine. Lasers. Microwave ovens. Artificial hearts. Atomic bombs. We even sent a few guys to the moon and brought them back. We also created a global communications network that lets us all talk to each other, all around the world, all the time. Pretty impressive, right?“But that’s where the bad news comes in. Our global civilization came at a huge cost. We needed a whole bunch of energy to build it, and we got that energy by burning fossil fuels, which came from dead plants and animals buried deep in the ground. We used up most of this fuel before you got here, and now it’s pretty much all gone. This means that we no longer have enough energy to keep our civilization running like it was before. So we’ve had to cut back. Big-time. We call this the Global Energy Crisis, and it’s been going on for a while now.“Also, it turns out that burning all of those fossil fuels had some nasty side effects, like raising the temperature of our planet and screwing up the environment. So now the polar ice caps are melting, sea levels are rising, and the weather is all messed up. Plants and animals are dying off in record numbers, and lots of people are starving and homeless. And we’re still fighting wars with each other, mostly over the few resources we have left.“Basically, kid, what this all means is that life is a lot tougher than it used to be, in the Good Old Days, back before you were born. Things used to be awesome, but now they’re kinda terrifying. To be honest, the future doesn’t look too bright. You were born at a pretty crappy time in history. And it looks like things are only gonna get worse from here on out. Human civilization is in ‘decline.’ Some people even say it’s ‘collapsing.’“You’re probably wondering what’s going to happen to you. That’s easy. The same thing is going to happen to you that has happened to every other human being who has ever lived. You’re going to die. We all die. That’s just how it is.“What happens when you die? Well, we’re not completely sure. But the evidence seems to suggest that nothing happens. You’re just dead, your brain stops working, and then you’re not around to ask annoying questions anymore. Those stories you heard? About going to a wonderful place called ‘heaven’ where there is no more pain or death and you live forever in a state of perpetual happiness? Also total bullshit. Just like all that God stuff. There’s no evidence of a heaven and there never was. We made that up too. Wishful thinking. So now you have to live the rest of your life knowing you’re going to die someday and disappear forever.“Sorry.”...OK, on second thought, maybe honesty isn’t the best policy after all. Maybe it isn’t a good idea to tell a newly arrived human being that he’s been born into a world of chaos, pain, and poverty just in time to watch everything fall to pieces. I discovered all of that gradually over several years, and it still made me feel like jumping off a bridge.Luckily, I had access to the OASIS, which was like having an escape hatch into a better reality. The OASIS kept me sane. It was my playground and my preschool, a magical place where anything was possible.The OASIS is the setting of all my happiest childhood memories. When my mom didn’t have to work, we would log in at the same time and play games or go on interactive storybook adventures together. She used to have to force me to log out every night, because I never wanted to return to the real world. Because the real world sucked.I never blamed my mom for the way things were. She was a victim of fate and cruel circumstance, like everyone else. Her generation had it the hardest. She’d been born into a world of plenty, then had to watch it all slowly vanish. More than anything, I remember feeling sorry for her. She was depressed all the time, and taking drugs seemed to be the only thing she truly enjoyed. Of course, they were what eventually killed her. When I was eleven years old, she shot a bad batch of something into her arm and died on our ratty fold-out sofa bed while listening to music on an old mp3 player I’d repaired and given to her the previous Christmas.

Bookclub Guide

A Guide for Reading Groups
 
New York Times Bestseller
Ready Player One
A Novel
 
By Ernest Cline
 

Questions and Topics for Discussion

US

Editorial Reviews

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER“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.” —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  “An addictive read...part intergalactic scavenger hunt, part romance and all heart.” —CNN.com“An action-packed, highly entertaining, nostalgic thrill ride through the past combined with the danger and excitement of a not-too-distant future. It marries the fantastical world of Harry Potter with a touch of Orson Scott Card—where fantasy is reality, geeks are cool, and the possibilities are endless.” —New York Journal of Books“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 delirious, crypto-nerd fantasia...Crammed with ’80s nostalgia and sugar-high prose, it's ridiculous and addictive and full of toy surprises.” —Village Voice“A smart, funny thriller that both celebrates and critiques online culture...Layered with inside jokes and sly references.” —San Francisco Chronicle“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 enjoy this memorabilian feast.” —Cleveland Plain Dealer“The grown-up's 'Harry Potter’…the mystery and fantasy in this novel weaves itself in the most delightful way, and the details that make up Mr. Cline's world are simply astounding. READY PLAYER ONE has it all.” —Huffington Post“If you identify yourself as a nerd, geek, gamer, 1980s history buff, a fan of science, fantasy, or dystopian fiction, otaku, 1980s movie fan, romantic, someone who grew up in the 1980s, or a human with emotions—you will enjoy Ready Player One. If you identify with two or more of the above, it’s a guaranteed new favorite novel.” —Sacramento News & Review“A modern-day fairy tale...so self-assured and enthralling that it’s hard to believe this is his first novel.” —Long Island Press“Incredibly entertaining…Drawing on everything from "Back to the Future" to Roald Dahl to Neal Stephenson's groundbreaking "Snow Crash," Cline has made READY PLAYER ONE a geek fantasia, '80s culture memoir and commentary on the future of online behavior all at once.” —Austin American-Statesman “An exhilerating, unpredictable trip...Part Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and part The Da Vinci Code with a healthy dose of Tron.” —Asbury Park Press“READY PLAYER ONE is the ultimate lottery ticket.” —New York Daily News“[Picture] the adventure comedy of Mike Judge’s Idiocracy meets South Park’s Imaginationland with a dash of Willy Wonka, except all of the cynicism has been replaced by sheer geeky love. Grade: A.” —AVClub.com“A preposterously great read and a richly imagined science-fiction world that uses the very idea of nostalgia as a thematic jumping-off point...One of the true geek events of the year.” —HitFix.com“This non-gamer loved every page of READY PLAYER ONE.” —Charlaine Harris, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse series“A treasure for anyone already nostalgic for the late 20th century. . . But it’s also a great read for anyone who likes a good book.” —Wired.com “A gunshot of fun with a wicked sense of timing and a cast of characters that you're pumping your fist in the air with whenever they succeed. I haven't been this much on the edge of my seat for an ending in years.” —Chicago Reader“A rollicking, surprise-laden, potboiling, thrilling adventure story…. I loved every sentence of this book.” —Mark Frauenfelder, BoingBoing"A 'frakking' good read [featuring] incredible creative detail…I grinned at the sheer audacity of Cline's imagination.” —Milwaukee Journal Sentinel“[A] fantastic page-turner….READY PLAYER ONE may be science fiction, but it's also written for people who have never picked up an SF novel in their lives…” —Annalee Newitz, io9.com “Intriguing and thrilling. Gamers and fans of '80s pop culture will find many familiar references throughout the story...Definitely an enjoyable read and one that can be appreciated by fans of many different genres.” —Examiner.com“Gorgeously geeky, superbly entertaining, this really is a spectacularly successful debut.” —Daily Mail (UK)“Fascinating and imaginative…It's non-stop action when gamers must navigate clever puzzles and outwit determined enemies in a virtual world in order to save a real one. Readers are in for a wild ride.” —Terry Brooks, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Shannara series“I was blown away by this book…A book of ideas, a potboiler, a game-within-a-novel, a serious science-fiction epic, a comic pop culture mash-up–call this novel what you will, but READY PLAYER ONE will defy every label you try to put on it. Here, finally, is this generation’s Neuromancer.” —Will Lavender, New York Times bestselling author of Dominance“I really, really loved READY PLAYER ONE…Cline expertly mines a copious vein of 1980s pop culture, catapulting the reader on a light-speed adventure in an advanced but backward-looking future.” —Daniel H. Wilson, New York Times bestselling author of Robopocalypse “A nerdgasm…imagine Dungeons and Dragons and an 80s video arcade made hot, sweet love, and their child was raised in Azeroth.” —John Scalzi, New York Times bestselling author of Old Man’s War“Completely fricking awesome...This book pleased every geeky bone in my geeky body.  I felt like it was written just for me.” —Patrick Rothfuss, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Wise Man’s Fear  “An exuberantly realized, exciting, and sweet-natured cyber-quest. Cline’s imaginative and rollicking coming-of-age geek saga has a smash-hit vibe.” —Booklist (starred review) “This adrenaline shot of uncut geekdom, a quest through a virtual world, is loaded with enough 1980s nostalgia to please even the most devoted John Hughes fans… sweet, self-deprecating Wade, whose universe is an odd mix of the real past and the virtual present, is the perfect lovable/unlikely hero.” —Publishers Weekly (Pick of the Week)