Ready Player One

Ernest Cline
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?

Reviews

Reviewed: 2018-06-03
Awesome book. An absolute must read if you are into 80s pop-culture, mmo's, computers, console gaming, and real bad movies and tv series. I think anyone who grew up in the 80s will have a special affection for Ready Player One.
Reviewed: 2017-11-17
Some of the set-up was feeling overly derivative in the beginning - and the writer's style and abilities grew from chapter to chapter (with a couple hiccoughs in the beginning) - - but it grew on me in a big way and became a book I hated to put down.

I was an 80's kid, myself, and there are many juicy rewards for readers of my generation in here. Also, some ponderous obsessions (Silver Spoons... really?) - but for the most part, wonderful reminders of a time period and a spirit that pervades the whole novel - right through the conclusion.

Ready Player One is a lot like Snowcrash, with more of a YA vibe, and fewer of the pretensions that slightly weighed down Snowcrash.

It's such a good feeling to read a book that lives up to its hype and promise. Don't read it for depth - it honestly strikes me as a YA book and I'm surprised it isn't categorized as one - but it's some quality escapism, about the qualities of escapism.
Reviewed: 2017-10-18

Read this book now. And throw on the Tom Sawyer . Or really anything Prog Rock.

 

Amazeballs.

Reviewed: 2017-01-29
Closer to 3.5 stars.

Though immensely entertaining and intricately plotted, this book definitely didn't live up to its hype for me. A rundown of things that nag at me:

- One girl who is bad ass and desired by all the men, but fails to be just as bad ass as the lead dude in the end. Like Astrid in HTTYD.
- The stuff with Aech's reveal was not that well handled. People stereotype young black women, so aren't we lucky we can make white male avatars in the year 2044? Give me a break.
- The honoring of '80s art by espousing trivia answer after trivia answer about said art misses the entire significance of the art. People who doubt that video games are art will not begin to understand why they're worthy of being called art from this book.
- The dystopian setting is nothing more than a motivator for these characters. It is an excuse for them to be logged in almost all the time and for us not to think they're complete losers for doing so. You could have an evil corporation without a full-blown dystopian setting.
- There are 1.5 important female characters, and almost no honoring of art made by women or people of color. The true dystopia is in being stuck in the freaking 1980s.
Reviewed: 2017-01-17
An attempted hybrid of Dickens and Scott Card with endless fan-boy indulgences, Ready Player One is unfortunately weighed down by its overuse of geek culture references, often allowing the pace of the tale to screech to a halt.
Reviewed: 2016-08-26
I was never much of a gamer--unless the game was Trivial Pursuit. The only video game I ever enjoyed was Frogger, but I wasn't good at it. And until just a couple of days ago, when it came up as a plot point in this particular novel, I had no idea that Pac-Man had 256 levels; I don't hink I ever made it any further than the third. Having said that, I did spend a little time in arcades during my college years, and more often than not during the last couple of decades, I've had a videogame system in my house. In addition, there's no question that I'm a pop-culture addict--movies and TV and music--and I consumed plenty of it during my formative years in the 1970s and 1980s. In more ways than not, Ernest Cline's debut novel, Ready Player One, is written in my language.[return][return]Cline's deep understanding and affection for nerd culture was evident in his screenplay for the cult-favorite movie Fanboys, and it fully informs his first novel. The plot momentum of Ready Player One--which is a highly plot-driven novel--relies on a slew of geeky details. Set in a not-too-distant future in which the current recession has yet to end and natural resources have been even further depleted, the characters here are just a few of the millions who choose to spend most of their lives in the virtual reality of the OASIS--so much more than a video game--rather than in the difficult and unappealing real world. Some go into the OASIS with a specific purpose, though; they're "gunters"--a contraction of "egg hunters"--searching for the "Easter egg" that its creator, James Halliday, programmed into it. For years, they've been trying to unravel the puzzles that leads to it, because the first person to find that secret will be the sole heir to Halliday’s fortune...and now that 17-year-old Wade Watts, known within the OASIS as Parzival, has become the first gunter to get within reach of the prize, the OASIS exerts a greater, and more dangerous, allure than ever before.[return][return]While there's really no profound statement at the heart of Ready Player One, it's an ambitious novel, largely because it has so much packed into it. It can be risky to reach so far, especially with a first novel, and at times it doesn't quite make it. While I found some of the delights of the novel in its details--for the most part, they are well-chosen and effectively deployed--at times it felt like were just too many of those details, and they threatened to weigh things down, particularly in the audio production (I might have just skimmed some of those sections in print, to be honest.) On the other hand, and particularly when considered in light of Cline's background as a screenwriter, the precision of description makes for very effective world-building, and I appreciated how easy he made it to visualize the story. [return][return]I read this in audio; although there were times that I felt that the format unfortunately emphasized some of the weaknesses in the prose and made the novel feel longer than it needed to be, I think it was a good call, and the choice of reader for the audiobook is perfect. Wil Wheaton doesn't just get nerd culture; he's a participant in it, and as a former cast member of a Star Trek series, he's a component of nerd culture. He sounded like he was genuinely enjoying himself, even during some of the less-compelling instances in the story, such as recitations of the the standings in the egg hunt (some of the details I'd have skimmed in a print copy). That enjoyment was contagious. Despite its imperfections, and not just because of the nerdy and period-specific details, I was thoroughly engaged and entertained by Ready Player One
Loved this book! It's my fave or all the ones I've read this year. The author has a mixtape list on his website of all the songs mentioned in the book.

http://www.ernestcline.com/blog/2011/09/21/the-official-ready-player-one-soundtrack/

Gimmick book... writing awful... let me see, what else? Ah, yes. There's lot of 80's trivia (my cup of tea). Unfortunately that's all there is to it. For a book with so much hype, it's not much.

My main gripe with the book relies on the fact that the people have a endless fascination with the 80's, but they are too young to have experienced it, aside from virtual textbooks. This struck me as very odd and it completely ruined the book for me. Writer's voice?

Read "Snow Crash" by Neal Stephenson, if you want something in the same vein, but way, way better.


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