Audio Book Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Release Date: August 16, 2011
Publisher: Random House Audio
Length: 15 hours 46 minutes
Narrator: Wil Wheaton
Format: Audio
Genre: Science Fiction/ Fantasy
Buy: Kindle | Paperback | Audio 


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?


I just saw the movie preview for this book the other day and I have to say I wasn't impressed.  I hope that its better than the preview makes it out to be.  This was an amazing book.  I wasn't sure what to expect although I heard good things about it.  Wade lives most of his life inside a virtual word called the Oasis.  The maker of the Oasis, Halliday built an easter egg into it for anyone to find but the winner takes all...meaning his money, the Oasis everything.  Its been a race for the egg since Halliday died and while most people have given up a select few have continued the quest.

This book was like Willy Wonka set in the 80's. For me it was a trip down memory lane of video games, pop culture, and 80's music.  Cline brilliantly combined all of this in an action packed search for the key to the ultimate prize.  While others want it in order to control the Oasis, and thus the world, Wade just wants to get out of his crappy life.  Winning the ultimate prize is a like a pipe dream that keeps him going.

Wade lives through his avatar instead of living in the real world. Sort of like people do now who hide behind their facebook persona's or gaming avatars. It seems our world is not so far from from Wades. Where school is virtual, kids hang out in virtual dens and spend most of their time online instead of in the real world.

Wil Wheaton's narration is brilliant and takes you deep inside the Oasis.  Listening to this book through headphones made me feel like I was living inside my own made up world, an Oasis of my own. Brilliantly done. So glad I decided to listen instead of read it.