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Publisher's Summary

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 10,000 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 20th 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?

©2011 Ernest Cline (P)2011 Random House Audio

What the critics say

"As narrator of this offbeat, futuristic adventure, Wil Wheaton must evoke a teen's naïveté and cynicism about real life and incorporate this veteran gaming geek's expertise of ‘80s culture.... Wheaton is up to the task, presenting an engaging treasure hunt while also dramatizing the hero’s enthusiasm at playing classic games like Pac-Man. Also a twist on Pilgrim's Progress, this novel has something for everyone." (AudioFile magazine)

“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)

"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)

Editorial Review

In a high-stakes game, do you have what it takes to triumph over millions of other gamers and Nolan Sorrento? Find out how to gain the ultimate prize in the sci-fi adventure novel Ready Player One.

This epic sci-fi story details the opportunity of a lifetime for gamers looking to find the lottery ticket that will bring them not only riches but fame and glory - if the gunters don’t get there first. A series of clues weave together in an epic puzzle within the virtual reality of OASIS, a seemingly perfect virtual world. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline follows the main character Wade Watts aka Parzival, on an intense and exciting mystery adventure, using aspects of suspense, science fiction, and mystery to create a truly engaging listen.

Ready Player One is the perfect audiobook for fans of video games and old-school geek culture, as Cline leaves easter eggs and subtle pop culture references to real-world nerd-dom throughout the story. Fans of gaming culture will love the way he mixes classic tropes with engaging storytelling for a must-listen experience. This dystopian story is imaginative and inventive, and Cline’s world-building skills will have the story coming to life around you.

Will Wheaton lends his familiar voice to the narration, bringing a wealth of former reading experience to this audio experience. As a celebrated actor, author, and sci-fi icon, he is the perfect choice for this science fiction epic. Just as characters like Art3mis, best friend Aech, and Anorak escape into the first-person virtual world and try to gain control of the OASIS, Ready Player One will have you feeling as though you left your real life behind and plunged into this fantasy world yourself.

Featured Article: 20 Best Celebrity Audiobooks for Storytelling by the Stars

What do you get when you pair literary classics with expert narrative talents? A listening experience like none other. Enjoy your favourite titles brought to you by top A list actors and actresses. From expert narration to full-cast readings, these celebrity Audible titles pull out all the stops. We’ve compiled a list of some of the 20 best celebrity audiobooks narrated by some of your most beloved famous actors. Enjoy the tales you know and love read by acclaimed celebrity audiobook narrators that put their own personal spin on these classic tales.

What listeners say about Ready Player One

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So much Fun!!

This book is so much fun to listen to!! I absolutely loved it! In fact, it was difficult to stop listening until I'd reached the end. So good!!

16 people found this helpful

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Perfect!

This book was the perfect geeky book, exactly as I thought it would be. It is full of so much history and all woven together in a futuristic world so fantastically!

The narration was amazing! Wil Wheaton did a great job bringing the story to life with his reading and varying voices for the characters!

I will definitely be listening to this again soon!

5 people found this helpful

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Nostalgia at its best

The references in this book will definitely bring back memories (in addition to revealing your age). Wil Wheaton definitely brings this story to life and delivers an amazing performance.

5 people found this helpful

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amazing really good I loved any 13+ would love it.

it was surprising at some point and super good I would read.this book over again

8 people found this helpful

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excellent book

excellent book, great Reid once I started it I couldn't stop. wonderful job by will Wheaton

3 people found this helpful

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Awesome

Very well performed and well written book. Highly recommend. This was my first audiobook and am very glad to have chosen it

3 people found this helpful

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  • JM
  • 2017-12-23

Fun Story, OK Writing

The story is fun. Wil Wheaton performs well. I did not enjoy the writing style because it is very repetitive and most explanations were analogies referring to 80s sci-fi rather than a crafted description. Chapters 21-33 were a struggle to get through because I felt myself asking "why does any of this matter?" Overall I'd say it's an OK book.

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Will wheaton's mispronunciation of words...

I found myself in a cringe like state for certain words Will wheaton mispronunced. Words such as Captian, internet, and poser.

2 people found this helpful

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great story, great performance.

Great book with such a realistic story. You connect with the characters and have a great sense of nostalgia throughout. One of my most favorite books.

5 people found this helpful

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What the ***

Seriously? Wade has read (some by heart), watched (again some by heart), more books, movies, tv shows BY GRADE 11, than Halliday did in his life. I could have gotten past this if by the 2 hr 40 min mark the author wasn’t still hip deep in saying how much this teenager knew. I really wanted to keep going because of Wil Wheaton, but…. “I just can’t do it captain, I just don’t have the power.” (Ok, so the 60s not the 80s)

1 person found this helpful

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  • Joshua Simpson
  • 2019-01-27

Thanks, But No Thanks

Wil Wheaton was literally the only reason I got even halfway through. I understand the appeal of it that led to its popularity, but it's just... so much cringe. The protagonist is also just so wholly unlikable.

54 people found this helpful

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  • Roxtar
  • 2019-07-22

Large amounts of filler

Will Wheaton does little to bring life to the characters. At times I wasn't sure who was saying what, due to the same voice/tone used for all characters.

The story is a cool walk down nostalgia lane, but there were too many internal dialogues when it felt like the protagonist needed to move forward.

36 people found this helpful

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  • Lauren Valente
  • 2018-11-28

As if written by a lonely nerd then read by him...

Descriptions of unimportant things went on far too long. At least half of the book is a reference of other people's work. I listened to the whole thing since it was a decent story idea, however I spent 90% of the story rolling my eyes. Narration was just plain terrible.

29 people found this helpful

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  • Larry higgins
  • 2020-02-04

Great book

Lots better than the movie. Listened to it twice in a row. Will listen again

28 people found this helpful

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  • Matthew
  • 2019-11-03

Good audiobook, bot family friendly.

1. The main character is atheist and there is a demeaning paragraph on Christian world creation ideals. However there is one inspiration small side character that is Christian.
2. There is a paragraph involving the main character having sex with a realistic doll in the virtual world. It was disturbing and I fast-forwarded through.
I wish I would’ve made note of the exact times these events occurred so other viewers could skip if wanted.
Other than those, loved it.

45 people found this helpful

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  • Rudi Beach
  • 2019-10-26

AWESOME

This book is amazing much better, and more detailed than the movie although, not the best for kids lots of cursing. Lol

17 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-10-24

Bad

This is the only book I have ever returned. I'm not religious and the world-building, in the beginning, is intriguing. However, when describing most things that are happening, it's a simple "remember what that place looked like from that thing? Yeah it's that." instead of going into decent detail. I get it, it's a nostalgia trip, I'm a huge nerd as well, however, this runs past the line for cringe. It's more of a self-insert, "look at how cool I am for knowing this thing about this thing" which would be fine. Yet once it starts getting into, "well actually" territory, and it devolves into, "and then my friend high fived" it just becomes unbearable. The only reason I say I'm not religious was that none of the atheism was a turn away for me. I'm open to religious work, non-religious works, and anti-religious work. This book is just bad because it is bad. I love some schlock from time to time but I couldn't stand this. The nostalgia blinders definitely got to people this time around.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Reuben C
  • 2020-03-27

I don't understand all of the hype

I want to start out saying that Ernest Cline is a pretty good writer. I also love Wil Wheaton's narration style.

I don't understand why this book is so massively poplular. It's full of super liberal ideologies, and the very tiresome "humanity is evil and destroying the planet" dogma. Like so many liberal writers, clearly Ernest Cline loves to pat his own back and say "look how woke I am."

I also find it very interesting that people who claim religion is a big fat lie, and that anyone who believes in God is several fries short of a happy meal, still write stories about the struggle between good and evil. Without God, there is no good and there is no evil. If we are all just the result of random mutations, then morality, and the ideas of good and evil, is all just a bunch of meaningless garbage. Life, according to Ernest Cline (and every other atheist) has no purpose. So why write a story about good and evil? What's the point? Because no one is interested in reading a book about how pointless life is.

This story also got bogged down in INSANE amounts of 80's trivia. For someone born at the end of the 80's, pretty much all of it went over my head, and thus was incredibly, skull poundingly, dull. I also found the protagonists dialogue with his friends to be over the top full of profanity. I thought the MC was supposed to be smart and cultured? Yet all of his interactions with other characters is severely lacking in depth and intelligence.

Overall, it was a waste of time, and I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone. There are a lot better writers out there, in terms of quality of content, like Brandon Sanderson for one.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Snarls
  • 2019-02-13

A Silly Opera

In fantasy or scifi the world should, at some basic level, make some darned sense. This one doesn't and is so darned silly that it is painful. Yeah, the geeky stuff is OK, and if it had been reined into some reasonable scope instead of presented as the biggest of biggest of REALLY BIGGEST space operas, it would have been better. I thought the characters, for the most part, childish, and honestly never gave a darn what happened to them, or really ever thought they were in any danger.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Bill
  • 2016-01-18

Deus Ex Machina

Any additional comments?

Do you like Deus ex Machina? This book is a study in how to use it...terribly, often, and to poor effect. It's also a book about video games and gamers, and while the author clearly did some research into the culture of the 1980's, he also doesn't know very much about gaming and gamers. He also doesn't know much about writing basics. Good dialogue? Nope. Cliches? Yep. Character depth? Sorry. Stereotypes? Indeed.

I'm a gamer. I'm a writer. I badly wanted this to be a good book. Its just not. The narration starring WW as a weirdly one-dimensional reader didn't help...but it really didn't hurt that much either.

15 people found this helpful