Title: Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline
Narrator: Wil Wheaton
Published: 2011; Pages: 384
Audio Duration: 15 hrs; 46 min
Genre: Science Fiction
In Short: When James Halliday, the creater of the virtual/alternate reality world of The Oasis, suddenly dies, the quest of all quests begins as members of The Oasis embark in a hunt for Halliday’s fortune. Wade Watts, a teenager who lives his life on The Oasis, makes a huge breakthrough in the Quest, but he realizes that his search for the fortune is going to cost much more than he bargained for.
Why I Listened: I consulted Twitter for an audiobook that I could not stop listening to and several piped up with Ready Player One. I was apprehensive because of the subject but their praise was overwhelming.
What You Wanted to Know:
Without being too spoilerish, what did you think of the ending? (Kailana)
Yeeep! I don’t remember the ending. (But I discussed briefly with my coworker who just finished listening and he was really surprised). I have to hope that Wade’s choice at the end makes him happy. I think it will.
Someone actually makes the Oasis a reality in our society, what are your thoughts on that? (Kailana)
The first time that I encountered reading about an Alternate Reality was when I read Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson a few years ago. It reminded me a lot of games such as SIMS, which I’m not entirely familiar with but I think that you play online with others using avatars? And of course there is a pretty big online gaming world. But the thought of a society that is mostly an alternate reality is very frightening to me. Which is a little ironic given how much time Bloggers can spend on the computer, but I also try to keep myself grounded and live in the here and now. But perhaps if we lived in a post-apocalyptic world, I’d want to stay holed up in my apartment living in a virtual world also? Nah–I imagine I’d want to be like Mila Kunis in Book of Eli.
I loved the book but I’m older than you so I wondered if it’s still fun if you don’t remember all the old computer games from the 1980s, etc. (Leeswammes) and related: Since you’re younger than I am, did you “get” all the 80’s references? (BermudaOnion)
Yes, I was a babe in the 80s, so I am more a child of the 80s who was shaped by the 90s. I did get a lot of the pop culture references, especially with movies and other random trivia. The parts where I didn’t understand as much were more related to the gaming information. Other than my regular Nintendo and eventually Super Nintendo, I didn’t play very many video games. I wish that I was able to understand these references more but it didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the book.
Why in the world haven’t I listened to it yet? @lithousewife
I don’t think this was meant to be a question seriously addressed, but I’m going to anyway. I was a bit leery of the sci-fi, cyberpunk thriller premise of the book and have heard many others say the same. This is a common phrase: “This book was not something I’d normally pick up.” Or “This book was way out of my comfort zone.” But…I’ve seen very few people dislike it, so really–what are you waiting for? Plus there will be a movie, so why wait…
Bottom Line: If you are remotely interested in cyberpunk, science fiction, 80s trivia, gaming, or fast-paced adventures, this one is worth every bit of the hype it has received. Though this isn’t something I would normally ever pick up in book form, I really enjoyed the listening experience.
A Note About the Audio: Wil Wheaton narrates Ready Player One and while I hadn’t heard of him before listening (hangs head in shame), I can assure you he was the perfect choice. Well-paced, emphatic in all the right places, and tonality was perfect for the teenage boy he was narrating.
What’s a book outside of your comfort zone that you read and loved?
On the Blog:
One Year Ago – Sunday Salon 43: Books I’d Love to Read Right Now
Two Years Ago – Hoppy Easter
Three Years Ago – The Outsiders and Sam’s Letters to Jennifer
Four Years Ago – A Million Little Pieces by James Frey