Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

April 3, 2012 Audio Books, Book Reviews, Books 14

This is one of those reviews where I’ve been sitting here going, “um…where do I begin?” And “what do I say?” And “I’ll never be able to make anyone want to read this book.”

It can get kind of ugly when I get like that.

This calls for my trusty standby method, which I rarely use because I feel it is not very effective. Gush and rave. Gush and rave. Because oh my goodness y’all. I am a child of the 80s and I ADORED THIS BOOK. And I completely and totally adored Wil Wheaton, the geek wizard who narrates the book.

Okay. So. The year is 2044 and the world is jacked into the net like never before because WOW the real world? It’s ugly. Very ugly. Thanks to James Halliday, a Steve Jobs like character, there is a place to go. He created a virtual reality world where people work, go to school, play games and basically do all their living except for the bare necessities. Like everyone else, our main geeky geek Wade Wyatt, goes into the OASIS, this virtual world, and spends all his waking hours there. Wade is a, well, a nobody. He goes to school. He lives with his crazy aunt because his mom and dad died a long time ago. He doesn’t have a lot of friends and the ones he does have, he met in the OASIS. As in he’s never met them in real life. He is, by most standards, a loser. But he’s a SMART loser. And he’s just so darn LIKE-ABLE. He has underdog written all over his immersion suit.

Like the rest of the world, Wade hopes to solve the greatest mystery of the times. When James Halliday died, he bequeathed his ENORMOUS fortune to the gamer who beats his game. Obsessed with the 80s and 80s culture (movies, games, music, books, and more are not safe), Halliday created a difficult series of riddles that must be solved to get the keys, open the gates, and win the prize. For years gamers have quested to find the prize, and no one, NO ONE, has made it to the first gate.

Until Wade Wyatt.

If you are a child of the 80s, ever lived in the 80s or no anything ABOUT the 80s, I can’t see how you can’t find something to love in this book. If you’ve played Ms Pac-man, watched a Matthew Broderick movie, listened to Rush, loved everything John Hughes, or played Dungeons and Dragons, or more, you will find something familiar in this book. And that is just. the. tip. of. the. iceberg. And even if you don’t know much about these things, and more, I don’t see how you wouldn’t love this book because at it’s heart, it’s a great story of a boy, and a girl, saving the universe. And, you know, themselves and such.

And Wil Wheaton’s narration? Is masterful. I have found a new favorite narrator. And I loved it when the text referred to him. It was a like a magical Easter Egg (pun all KINDS of intended, if you’ve read the book) of fantastic fun.

So, I’m sure I didn’t really convince you to read it. If I did, please let me know and boost my morale a bit. If you don’t love this book, I’ll eat my hat. If it’s made of Pop Rocks and Hubba Bubba and Tab.

Yuck.

Favorite quotes:

Being human totally sucks most of the time. Videogames are the only thing that make life bearable.

I watched a lot of YouTube videos of cute geeky girls playing ’80s cover tunes on ukuleles. Technically, this wasn’t part of my research, but I had a serious cute-geeky-girls-playing-ukuleles fetish that I can neither explain nor defend.

Whenever I saw the sun, I reminded myself that I was looking at a star. One of over a hundred billion in our galaxy. A galaxy that was just one of billions of other galaxies in the observable universe. This helped me keep things in perspective.

Continue your quest by taking the test

Yes, but what test? What test was I supposed to take? The Kobayashi Maru? The Pepsi Challenge? Could the clue have been any more vague?”  ME: Do you have any idea how proud I was that I knew what the Kobayashi Maru was???? 

I created the OASIS because I never felt at home in the real world. I didn’t know how to connect with the people there. I was afraid, for all of my life, right up until I knew it was ending. That was when I realized, as terrifying and painful as reality can be, it’s also the only place where you can find true happiness. Because reality is real.

They read it:

eclectic/eccentric (who says reading this made her miss World of Warcraft)

Devourer of Books (who says “Wil Wheaton’s narration lends it that extra oomph, so get ahold of it in audio if you can.”)

The Readventurer (who calls this book nostalgia porn, the best two word description ever)

The 3 R’s Blog (who confesses to not being much of a gamer, but that the book was written in her language anyway)

Other fun stuff:

The Spotify Playlist for Ready Player One

Ready Player One website

Ready Player One Wikipedia entry

Ready Player One Facebook page

And lastly, the trailer:

 

 

 

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14 Responses to “Ready Player One by Ernest Cline”

  1. Belle Wong

    I have this in audio! I got it because Wil Wheaton narrates it.. Now that I've read your review, I'm definitely moving it up the TBR! I'm a child of the 80s – this is going to be a great read, isn't it?

    • Heather

      It's going to be fantastic. I can't wait to hear what you think of it Belle!

  2. bermudaonion

    This book was outside of my comfort zone but I picked it up because my son wanted to read it and, guess what, I loved it too! The pop references were fantastic!

    • Heather

      The pop references had to be my favorite part. I just loved it when I recognized something, and I recognized way more than I thought I would! <DIV style=”FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: verdana, helvetica, sans-serif”> <DIV style=”FONT-SIZE: 12pt; FONT-FAMILY: times new roman, new york, times, serif”> <DIV dir=ltr style=”RIGHT: auto”> <DIV></DIV>

  3. Meg

    You know what? I've seen reviews of this one all over the place but never really became invested enough to learn what it's even about. Though I'm more a child of the '90s (born in '85 — good year), I have a feeling I would really appreciate this one!

  4. Pogue

    I read this, I loved this. I am going to have to get the audio book just for the heck of it.

  5. Andi

    I really didn't care so much about reading this one before your review, but now, I AM SOLD!!! Seriously.

  6. dog eared copy

    I totally empathize with your struggle to write this review! I listened to the audiobook as well and, well there is so much to say and all of it good and you want to share but you don't want to spoil, but the inside jokes are just so delicious! Rave and Gush is a good way to go with this one :-)

  7. @DevourerofBooks

    You already know that I super loved this, but I fully support your rave/gush reaction to it. I was actually slightly too young for most of this stuff, having been born in the early 80s, but it didn't matter, the book was just too awesome.

  8. softdrink

    I was more of a Bubble Yum gal…it didn't stick to the braces. :-D

    And I'm still kicking myself for reading this one instead of listening to Wil Wheaton!

  9. Melissa @ Book Nut

    So, I actually read the book, and loved it, but you make me want to go back and listen to the awesome Wil Wheaton reading this. It has to take the coolness up a notch. (On a side note, I still have yet to find the right person — in person — to sell this book to. The people who would love it, just don't frequent bookstores. Alas.)

    • Heather

      I know exactly what you mean. I JUST KNOW my husband would love it, but he just gives me that blank “you want me to read what?” stare when I mention it. *sigh* <DIV style=”FONT-FAMILY: verdana, helvetica, sans-serif; FONT-SIZE: 10pt”> <DIV style=”FONT-FAMILY: times new roman, new york, times, serif; FONT-SIZE: 12pt”> <DIV dir=ltr> <DIV style=”BORDER-BOTTOM: #ccc 1px solid; BORDER-LEFT: #ccc 1px solid; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0px; LINE-HEIGHT: 0; MARGIN: 5px 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 0px; PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; HEIGHT: 0px; FONT-SIZE: 0px; BORDER-TOP: #ccc 1px solid; BORDER-RIGHT: #ccc 1px solid; PADDING-TOP: 0px”></DIV>

  10. Miranda

    I've read a few reviews on this book since a good friend recommended it to me last month – a huge gamer so this really was right up his alley. Even after hearing him gush over it, I really wasn't convinced that it was for me even considering I'm a huge sci-fi nut. I'm waiting for this weekend since I'm anxious to hear a review on this literary AM radio I got hooked on a few weeks ago called The Book Report. I stumbled on the show by accident a few weeks back and now I try to catch up with their schelude and the streaming shows on The Book Report website. I guess I'll make the book decision after.

  11. Heather

    I would love to hear what you decide! <DIV style=”FONT-FAMILY: verdana, helvetica, sans-serif; FONT-SIZE: 10pt”> <DIV style=”FONT-FAMILY: times new roman, new york, times, serif; FONT-SIZE: 12pt”> <DIV dir=ltr> <DIV style=”BORDER-BOTTOM: #ccc 1px solid; BORDER-LEFT: #ccc 1px solid; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0px; LINE-HEIGHT: 0; MARGIN: 5px 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 0px; PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; HEIGHT: 0px; FONT-SIZE: 0px; BORDER-TOP: #ccc 1px solid; BORDER-RIGHT: #ccc 1px solid; PADDING-TOP: 0px”></DIV>

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