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54 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE ULTIMATE NOSTALGIA TRIP FOR Gen-Xers
READY PLAYER ONE is one great piece of literature, a book that not only will get hold of you from page one and never let go but it will also speak directly to your soul. At the same time though, Gen-Xers will have the time of their life in a nostalgia trip of the 1980's like no other.

Wade Watts is an 18-year old orphan living with his heartless aunt in a...
Published on 3 Sep 2011 by NeuroSplicer

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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A nice easy read but could have done with a little more work.
I was close to giving this book a 4 star rating but I just can't get the niggles out of my head. Firstly I just feel the book was not finished properly. It's all most like running face first into a brick wall with it's abruptness. Another chapter, for me, outlining what happens next would have been great. As there a few loose ends that should be tied up. But alas i doubt...
Published on 11 July 2012 by J. Parkinson


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54 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE ULTIMATE NOSTALGIA TRIP FOR Gen-Xers, 3 Sep 2011
By 
NeuroSplicer (Freeside, in geosynchronous orbit) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Ready Player One (Paperback)
READY PLAYER ONE is one great piece of literature, a book that not only will get hold of you from page one and never let go but it will also speak directly to your soul. At the same time though, Gen-Xers will have the time of their life in a nostalgia trip of the 1980's like no other.

Wade Watts is an 18-year old orphan living with his heartless aunt in a stacked trailer park. He is obese and suffers from acme and severe lack of social skills but to him it matters little because he is almost always online, getting schooled and hanging out with his friends on a massively multiplayer online environment named OASIS.

OASIS consists of a virtually endless number of worlds, some magical, others cyberpunk and yet others approximating the real world. OASIS is a huge success as in 2044, when the gap between the rich and the poor has grown into an unbridgeable chasm and all of the fossil fuels are gone (but not the environmental problems their abuse caused), life is bleak for the great majority of humanity. The only sane refuse is to get lost in this digital heaven.

When James Halliday, the insanely rich and eccentric creator of OASIS, dies he wills his multi-billion company to the first person who will discover the three keys he Easter-egged into his digital universe. So the worldwide stampede of egg-hunters (known as gunters) starts off, people searching for the ultimate video game prize. Their only clues are Halliday's video message and known 80's fixation. With such a global race, a race that takes the masses back to simpler and happier times, the 80's come back in fashion.

Early video games, taking their first steps just out of the primordial sea and capturing the imagination of an entire generation with only some blinking pixels. Classic RolePlaying Games with dungeon crawling, looting, re-equiping and leveling up. Sit-coms of unique determined optimism, springing from an era of a growing economy and reigned-in capitalism. SciFi TV series offering immersion that was never again replicated. Toys and gadgets that sprung from instances of pure genius. Movies so epic in scope and impact that one developed blind-spots to their cheesy props and plot holes.

Like a good 80's pop-culture narrative the hero (known by his handle of Parzival) has companions (Aech and Art3mis, Shoto and Daito), he has to face powerful villains (Sorrento and his army of Sixers), overcome insurmountable obstacles and find his destiny. A classic piece of literature that will find its rightful place in the 21st century canon.

The pop-cultural zeigeist shows a strong geek-chic bias lately but even if the 80's were before your time or you never played any MMOGs or even any video games you will still love this book. You will not want to miss a single line of code, you will more fun than Ferris Bueller on his day off and, when done, you will feel the urge to start it all over again. And again.
Because you too will ask yourself: did Ernest write this book especially for me or is the gravity tag of the pop-culture during our teenage years so powerful we have all unknowingly turned into its image?

Can you hear the 28K modem screeching its connecting handshake in the background?

WITH MY HIGHEST RECOMMENDATIONS!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended, 7 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Ready Player One (Paperback)
Reading the reviews and the book blurb, most of you are going to think -it doesn't sound like something I'd enjoy. I'm not a gamer, and I didn't grow up in the 80's.
Ignore all that and immerse yourself in this excellent novel set in 2044 where everyone spends most of there time in a virtual world called OASIS, Our hero Wade Watts is looking for the clues to find the 'golden egg' and the fortune of the now dead creator of the OASIS world. He must find 3 keys and 3 gates and undergo a series of tests to progress and win the prize ahead of the corporate monsters striving to change OASIS into a money making machine.
This is one of the most fun and exciting books I've read this year.
Once you start reading this you simply will not want to put it down, the story flows very well and is very entertaining, the only slight criticism would be the seemingly quick ending. The tension could have been built better and the final challenge should have played out longer.
That said, I did read it in 4 sittings it reads quickly like a movie and will definitely make a fantastic movie when and if it eventually gets made.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ready Player One - Fantastic story (especially if you love video games), 29 Aug 2013
By 
Miss AL Holloway (Oswestry) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ready Player One (Kindle Edition)
This book comes highly recommended by me to gamers, sci fi fans and geeks everywhere.

I feel as though this book was especially written for people of my generation. Growing up in the 80s I am familiar with a lot of the popular culture referenced here. Oh, and I love gaming. If I'm not actually playing a game then reading about someone else playing one is great.

The story is about Wade, his life is pretty sad, but he copes because he has the OASIS - a virtual world which seems like a future generation of MMO with a touch of second life. Everyone uses it, and everyone knows about the Easter egg that the games creator has hidden somewhere in the OASIS. The story is about Wade and his friends hunting for it. But it is so much more than just a quest for the egg. There are numerous references to popular films, music, games and television, mainly from the 80s era, loads of action, and a few clever twists and turns. I think recognising all the references enhanced my enjoyment of the story, but even without that it is still action packed and very enjoyable. I raced to the end because I loved it so much, then regretted it because I wanted to keep reading.

I hope that Ernest Cline writes many more books in this vein, as I enjoyed this one a lot. I'm now on a quest too, to get all my like minded friends to read this book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Geeks Rock! -At Least Virtually That Is., 20 Sep 2011
By 
Tommy Dooley "Tom" (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Ready Player One (Paperback)
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This has already had so much said about it that I probably have nothing to add. I am not a geek or a fan of computer games, but I did kinda grow up in the eighties and I did like Space Invaders, so I did not think I was the target audience for this book - I could not have been more wrong.

It is set in 2044 where the real world is so poor that most people spend as much of their time possible, just ignoring it. This is done by living in a virtual world on the OASIS. Our hero is Wade Watts, he is still at virtual school on the OASIS living outside of Ohio in a `stack'. A stack is a futuristic trailer park for when we run out of fuel. The trailers are all piled into stacks to save space and the need for travel as no one save the mega rich can afford fuel anymore. Wade lives through his on line avatar `Parcival', he has no real friends and life is just below tolerable with his nasty aunt. She took him in when his mother died ostensibly to steal his food credits.

Then the inventor of the OASIS dies and announces in his will he has left an `Easter Egg' somewhere in the OASIS virtual world; whom so ever finds it first gets to own the multi billion dollar biggest game on the planet. There is also an ISP firm called the IOI, who want to take control and charge for the previously, free access, thus ruining the lives of most users. They own near on everything else, having their own security and prisons or `indenturtements', and are not a nice bunch at all. To get to the `Egg' you wil have to complete a number of tasks and pass through three `Gates'.

Wade then starts to try to find the first gate and the action is on, as IOI and all the other egg hunters or `gunters' are doing the same. Author Ernest Cline writes with love and passion about his favourite time (the Eighties) and his favourite pass time, computer games and all associated paraphernalia including music.

He describes a world that could happen and a virtual world that is probably a logical step from where we are today. There is nothing I don't like about this book, it is going to be made into a film and unless its as good as `Gone With The Wind', it ain't gonna be a patch on this. Even if you are not a computer geek there is something here for you. I found it just totally engrossing and wanted it to carry on for at least another hundred or so pages. Also, as I am not a geek I learnt an awful lot about things I had no idea about however, I was fine with the Monty Python references. I can not recommend highly enough - spoil yourself and read this.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular Geekfeast for the senses., 22 Aug 2011
By 
Beanie Luck (Cotswolds) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Ready Player One (Paperback)
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This book is outstanding.

The author is a self confessed supergeek and wrote and directed a film called fanboys about obsessive star wars fans Fanboys [DVD] George Lucas endorsed the film.

The writer realised that nobody was going to allow him to delve into the geek culture as much as he wanted too within a screenplay forum, and had all the ideas about a screenplay based on this story rejected, and so he decided to write this book instead.

The ironic thing is that on the strength of this book it has now secured film rights which were rejected as an original screenplay idea and the author will now write the screenplay as well.

Im a bit hesitant to go into a lengthy review as i dont believe that anything i write can possibly put into words how great it is.

18 year old Wade Watts is an overweight supergeek that spends most of his life jacked into the Oasis, a virtual life that you access via a headset that displays the world directly onto your retinas and gloves (think caprica visors).
When the owner and creator of oasis dies he leaves a will stating that he has hidden 3 keys in the middle of his game that once gotten will give the winner sole ownership of the oasis.

As you can well imagine gamers all over the world go into a frenzy trying to discover the keys based on clues that the owner James Halliday had left and nobody finds anything for 5 years, until Wade suddenly discovers the location of the 1st key.

Wade is a tad obsessed with Halliday and has watched and read everything that James had ever mentioned on his website and so with the vast amount of research he has done into the owner Wade believes he has an advantage over the other Gunters ( Egg Hunter Geeks )

The story then goes on about the rest of his journey to try and discover the rest of the keys and try and win the contest, all the while being chased by his best friend Aech who is also desperate to win, his cyber crush Art3mis and Japanese Brothers Shoto and Daito and they are all being trailed by the sixers, an evil clan of supergamers that work for Evil conglomerate IOI and will do anything to win, even assault and murder.

There are masses of 80's pop and culture references, luckily as i was a teenager in the 80's, all of this made sense to me and i laughed out loud at some of the cheesy references that i myself can distinctively remember.

For example, setting his alarm clock to wake him him to wham's wake me up before you go go because he hates it and its the only way to get him out of bed.

Knowing every word to War games, and monty python, all the 80's cartoons etc the attention to detail is quite astonishing.

I firmly believe that this book will become one of those books that is always on the top ten list of the greatest books ever written, it really is that good.

The author is a genius as he has left me wanting more, it was so descriptive, so engaging that i didnt realise how much time was passing by as i read it, and i didnt want it to end, and when i turned the final page i actually sighed Noooo out loud.

Please hurry up and write another one.

Has catapulted itself into my top 5 favourite books of all time....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure nostalgic joy., 10 Nov 2013
By 
E. Motler "ed_motler" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ready Player One (Paperback)
I bought this book purely because of the title.
When I was a kid there was an arcade machine in the Tea Shop at the local park where I lived. It was one of the early Space Invader cabinets. My best friend and I would go down there with a stack of coins at the weekend just to play the game. When you dropped a coin in the slot at the front, the machine beeped to life and the last words you saw before the action started, in big pixelated capitals were; Ready Player One! That was probably 27 years ago. Anyway Back to the Future.

Oh lordy what do you say about this book?

The Nostalgia is strong in this one.

See what I did there. If your first computer was a ZX Spectrum, you know who Max Headroom was, you own a copy of The Breakfast Club on VHS and you can solve a Rubik's Cube without pulling all the stickers off and rearranging them, then the chances are that you are probably going to love this book.

This is a wonderful book, an unashamed trip into the 80's but set and acted out in a dystopian near future. It tells the story of a no-mark geek and his battle to save the world... well a virtual world called the Oasis anyway. On the way we get treated to a journey into the world of old skool games within the most complete VR game imaginable. Cline cleverly ties this all together along with some stand out scenes in the real world of the story, to create one of the most original and compelling books that I've read in a long time.

A lot of people when asked to summarise this book will say that it's the Matrix meets Willy Wonka, in fact that's the first thing that came to my mind, but that would be to ignore all the elements of the story that make it so immersive and compulsive. It would also be easy to dismiss it as being too overly reliant on the nostalgic element as well, but that would miss the point. The nostalgia is the guilty pleasure. Whilst you could say that it's essentially for geeks who grew up in the late 70's and 80's, it's not exclusively so. The story is strong enough to stand on its own without the reader being aware of all the "wicked" reference's to 80's nerd and pop culture. You don't even need to understand BASIC or Machine Code to 'get it'. It's very compulsive reading and I found myself finishing it all too quickly.
Ready Player One is the definition of a page turner. With some wonderful scenes that are crying out to be transferred to the big screen. When this book is made into a film, and it will be I guarantee you, done right it will absolutely have jaws on floors.

I don't think that I've ever read a book quite like Ready Player One. It's engaging, different, weird, wired and wonderful. There are very few strained elements. Sometime the dialogue is a bit clunky and there are some literary issues. None of this detracts too much because the story will carry you along to somewhere new before you have time to notice any flaws. The most important thing that I can say about Ready Player One is that I read every page with a big silly grin on my face. How often can you say that about a book?

++YOU EARNED 10,000 BONUS POINTS READING THIS REVIEW++
++POWER UP TO NEXT LEVEL++
++ READY PLAYER ONE! ++
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Geeky but great, 16 Mar 2013
By 
Andy Phillips (Leicestershire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ready Player One (Paperback)
There are already over 180 reviews at the time of writing this, so I'll keep it brief. I thought this novel was fantastic. It's exciting, well written and was the sort of book that made we want to just read a few more pages before going to bed every night. Be warned that it won't appeal to everyone, but if you have fond memories of the 1980s (particularly video games, role playing, movies and music) then there's got to be something for you in this book. Essentially, imagine a book that's about 75% set in a huge version of World Of Warcraft where the plot centres around 1980s culture then you get the idea.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I was 50/50 about buying this book - in hindsight, I just wish I'd bought it sooner..., 25 Oct 2014
This review is from: Ready Player One (Kindle Edition)
Ready Player One is not a literary classic. Which is a good thing, because unless you're really in the right mood literary classics are boring and wordy. The book is promoted as being brilliant for people who grew up in the 80's and love video games - and it is - but it's perfectly accessible to people born in any decade whether you're a gamer or not. Of course, 80's gamers will revel in the numerous references and will identify closely with our hero & narrator Parzival, but if you're put off by this then think again - the story is so much more than geek speak and nods to pop culture.

Ready Player One is set in a future, semi-apocalyptic world that is far removed from our own but not so far removed that you can't be transported there when you open the pages. Capitalism, corruption, and overpopulation are the problems in Ernest Cline's dystopia just as they are in our 2014. Spanning that world and the Matrix-like pseudo-reality of the OASIS is a tale of triumph in the face of adversity, friendship, vengeance, and a love story. Yep. A love story.

If I had to make a criticism of the book, it would be that there are some chapters that seem to be chock full of exposition, as the narrator explains to the reader the details of a particular place, or situation. There is a 'rule' that writers like to throw around which says "Show, don't tell" and on occasion this book breaks the rule for pages at a time. That said, rules are made to be broken, and what's wrong with telling if you can tell it well?

I recommend this book for all, and if you have any family or friends who enjoy a good adventure book and have an interest in video games, then buy them this as a gift.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ready Player One!, 12 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Ready Player One (Kindle Edition)
I love books about games and games about books.

The year is 2044 and life on earth has taken a bit of a downward turn. A large number of the poor population live in super trailer parks where trailers are stacked on top of each other in trailer tower blocks. People are spending more and more of their time online in an immersive mmo game environment called OASIS, to the extent that teenagers can attend school online as conventional schools are under funded and over subscribed.

James Halliday, billionaire inventor of OASIS dies and in his will states that whoever can unlock three gates will receive his entire fortune. This kick starts a treasure hunt that sees ordinary people go head to head with big corporation in a race to find the keys and unlock the gates by following a series of clues. Wade Watts is an orphan, he has no money and his whole existence is shaped around the hunt and acquiring/obsessing about obscure 80s films, games, tv , music etc. Five years after Halliday's death, Wade becomes the first person to find a key and sets in motion a crazy rollercoaster of events.

This book is a wonderful romp through 80s pop culture (with an admittedly American flavour) and a heap of situations that will be familiar to anyone who has played an MMO. People of a certain age will love being able to geek out about the hundreds of references they can spot. Some people might think that Cline has gone overboard but I think it fits with the obsessive nature of the characters hunting the keys. The author also touches on a message about reliance on the virtual world and how people interact. Even loner geeks need to find some kind of balance.

I originally thought that I would give the book around a 4. It doesn't have an amazing writing style. Although the OASIS world is described beautifully, the real world only gets explained in sketchy terms. I then stopped to think about why I read. Do I read just to be educated by spectacular use of the English language? Some times maybe but mostly I like to be entertained, a bit of escapism is always cool. I devoured this book in two sittings on the same day and enjoyed every minute so I think it fully deserves a 5! Plus, Wil Wheaton for user council!

If you have a sense of nostalgia about the 1980s, retro gaming, cult films you must read this. You will love it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars If you like retrogaming and 80s references you will love this, guaranteed., 29 July 2014
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This review is from: Ready Player One (Kindle Edition)
This book is a Willy Wonka Golden Ticket story, set in 2044 amidst a backdrop of futuristic social media and vast amounts of 80s pop culture. It's an absolutely essential read for anyone into retro video games, and would also be enjoyed by any reasonably geeky person who likes 80s music, movie and roleplaying references.

I usually critique a book by raising a few points that I felt could be improved, but honestly, everything was spot on for me. The characterisation, humour and pacing were all perfect. The race to win the grand prize is genuinely engaging - I really found myself caught up in the drama of each gate being opened - much like the world's audience in the book itself.

The references are incredibly well done which is worthy of note in itself. There would only have had to be a single scene referencing an 80s film that was done badly, for the enjoyment to end and the cringing to start - but it just didn't happen. Time after time (sic) the author drops something in that is just joyously nostalgic. That's not to say I got all the references of course [you'd have to be an Alpha Nerd to get all of them - my own areas of ignorance seem to be with Japanese mecha anime, much to my shame] but it doesn't matter - there is enough in there to please even a moderate geek that is aware that the 80s existed.

To me, this is a clear example of a labour of love. Cline has put things in this book that he knows that only one person in fifty will get, and he's done it anyway, as it meant something to him. I think that's part of the secret of why it works - there is no pandering to the masses here, just an extremely original futuristic story brimming with retro charm and zing.

I've recommended this to lots of friends, male and female, and they've all loved it too (at least one bought the audiobook version).
So, I would say you do need to be a bit of a geek to get the most out of this, but, refreshingly, it appeals equally to both sexes. Not often you can say that!
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Ready Player One
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (Paperback - 5 April 2012)
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