Ready Player One – Audiobook Review

In honor of Audiobook Week, I’m rerunning a few of my favorite audiobooks. I loved Ready Player One so much I managed to convince my husband to give it a listen and he loved it too!

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.


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:




7 thoughts on “Ready Player One – Audiobook Review

  1. This was one of so many that I loved but never got around to reviewing, and so many other reviewers said everything better, and now you have done it too. Great review! (The gushing is absolutely appropriate.) I missed a lot of the 80s references because I was a teenager in the 70s, but it didn't affect my overall enjoyment of the story. As you point out, it's essentially a quest story, and who doesn't like those?

  2. You had me a Wil Wheaton…lol…I too had a total epic crush on the boy-wonder!! If the premise of the book didn't sound awesome enough, I would have listened to it anyways for Wil!! 🙂 Thanks for the review!

  3. Ok, maybe YOU can convince Andi to read this one. 🙂 My face to face book club is discussing on Thursday and I've been trying to talk Andi into coming (not that she's been busy with a movie or babe's surgery or anything…).

    I'm trying to talk Scott into listening to this one but I'm taking baby steps to get there…

  4. I seriously cheered out loud every time I understood an '80s reference. This is such a wonderfully nerdy book 🙂

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