Ready Player One by Ernest Cline,
narrated by Wil Wheaton

Publisher: Random House/Books on Tape
Release Date: August 16, 2011
Format: Audiobook (13 discs, 15 hrs 41 min)
Source: Library
Genre: Adult, YA, Science Fiction, Dystopian
Buy: B&N | Amazon | Audible | Indiebound

[My interview with Ernie Cline]

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? (Goodreads)

Ready Player One absolutely blew me away, and took me by complete surprise. I was pretty sure that I would like it, but I wasn’t expecting to LOVE it so much. It’s easily one of my favorite reads/listens of 2012, and is now on my favorites bookshelf. This book is full of fantastic nerdy-ness, and Ernie Cline’s world building is incredible! If you’re a fan of late 20th century pop culture, then this is THE book for you. I couldn’t help but feel nostalgic while listening to this audiobook, and loved every minute of it!

Ready Player One takes place in a dystopian future where essentially human kind has sucked the planet dry of natural resources. Their escape is the OASIS, a virtual world where as avatars they can work, play, go to school, socialize, and hunt for the “egg” in the game to win Halliday’s fortune – all while being completely anonymous.

It wasn’t much of a jump for me to think that our society could end up plugged into a virtual world in the not-so-distant future. I liked how there was emphasis on facing the world, meeting people in real life, and focusing on what is real. I love how Wade’s character started off as being completely isolated, then established true friendships, and even fell in love along his quest.

Whil Wheaton as the narrator was fantastic! I don’t think there could have been a more perfect narrator chosen for this book! I was a little surprised that Books on Tape didn’t use sound bytes for classic noises (Pac-Man, game over, etc.) but Wheaton did a pretty good job at making the sounds himself. It was probably safer to not include the actual sound, as it may have sounded cheesy or over the top.

Ready Player One is most definitely an adult/YA crossover title; though I’m not sure teens will be able to appreciate all the references. If you’re a fan of the 80s, dig pop culture from the mid-70s to present day, and enjoy a good quest, I think you’ll LOVE this book! I highly recommend Ready Player One, in print, and most definitely the audio version!

Author Links: 
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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25 Responses to Audiobook Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

  1. kimbacaffeinate
    Twitter: kimbacaffeinate

    This sounds like a fun read/listen I went to high school in the early 80’s and have the high hair pics to prove it…LOL Adding this one to my list. Great review cupcake 🙂
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted..Waiting on Wednesday~ In a Fix by Linda GrimesMy Profile

  2. Sarah Williams
    Twitter: sawcat

    I heard great things about this audiobook from Sheila of Book Journey, so I have it waiting on my ipod. I’m glad you confirm her opinion.
    Sarah Williams recently posted..#ArmchairBEA Day 5- Experts SayMy Profile

  3. I think I’m going to listen to this one next! I didn’t even know Wil Wheaton narrated it?!?! How awesome is that!

    Awesome review … I can’t wait to listen!
    Kristilyn (Reading in Winter) recently posted..Waiting On Wednesday: My Life Next Door, by Huntley FitzpatrickMy Profile

  4. This sounds interesting, kind of like a mystery/scavenger hunt version of Surrogates. And it is kind of cool that Wil Wheaton narrated it!
    Heather McCorkle recently posted..Never Surrender Release CelebrationMy Profile

  5. Andrea says:

    This sounds like so much fun! I love the idea of all the different pop-culture references in this one. And the puzzle in a virtual world is so cool. Definitely one that I need to check out!
    Andrea recently posted..Review: The Reckoning by Alma KatsuMy Profile

  6. Marina says:

    I loved this audiobook! I’ve been preaching it’s greatness to everybody I know and have converted quite a few. I’m glad you enjoyed it as well.

  7. fakesteph
    Twitter: fakesteph

    I LOOOVED this book and I’ve heard the audio is fantastic (love Wil Wheaton!). I thought one of the books strengths is its ability to feel nostalgic even for those (like me) who know nothing about the 80s! Or at least very little. Man… I totally want an OASIS account now.
    fakesteph recently posted..Odd Thomas by Dean KoontzMy Profile

  8. TG says:

    I did not know Wil Wheaton did the audio for this! You’re right; he’s the perfect choice!
    TG recently posted..Book Review: The Selection by Kiera CassMy Profile

  9. […] Audiobook Review: READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Cline (so much love for this book!) […]

  10. […] Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, narrated by Wil Wheaton […]

  11. […] Cline, Random House, young adult I was thrilled when I learned that Ernest Cline, author of READY PLAYER ONE was coming to Denver as part of his paperback release tour… but I was ECSTATIC when I was […]

  12. […] down, READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Cline (linked title goes to my review), which is narrated by Wil Wheaton! Wil is THE […]

  13. […] 6. Ready Player One by Ernie Cline Ah, if only I could have my very own OASIS account so I could explore the virtual worlds. There are so many planets I’d visit – Star Wars, The World of Harry Potter, neighborhoods where some of my favorite 80s shows/movies took place… […]

  14. I SO need to check this one out. Great review.

  15. […] a virtual gaming-based book, pick up a copy of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One. Jen from A Book and a Latte loved it! She said the audio version was all kinds of fabulous. (Since it’s narrated by Wil Wheaton, […]

  16. […] are listed in no particular order, but Ready Player One was my absolute favorite of the year! Also, this is a list for books I’ve read in 2012, not […]

  17. pabkins
    Twitter: pabkins

    Oh man I reaaaally need this on audio…I have it in hardback and haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. Going to check the library website now to see if its on audio! Love WWheaton!
    Pabkins @ My Shelf Confessions

  18. I’ve been hearing so many good things about this book. I need to add this to my wishlist but it is just so far outside of my comfort zone so I just don’t know …

  19. Chrystal says:

    I think this is one of my all time faves too! I own it in print but listened to audio narrated by Wil Wheaton. It’s amazing! ! Love your review.

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