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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended
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...
Published 17 months ago by paul nelson

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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 24 months ago by J. Parkinson


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8 of 8 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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50 of 54 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
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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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4 of 4 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
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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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular Geekfeast for the senses., 22 Aug 2011
By 
Beanie Luck Spud (Cotswolds) - See all my reviews
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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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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., 11 July 2012
By 
J. Parkinson "Retro Gamer" (Wakefield UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ready Player One (Paperback)
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 we will ever find out unless we get another book.

I also felt the geek references weighed sections of the books down. Sure I got them but I didn't think it needed so much of an explination. And at times I felt the characters were a little too one dimensional. You almost can predict what characters are going to be like pages before it's actually revealed.

The entire book feels like it's film waiting to be produced. Which is a great possibility as Warner has bought the rights to it. And thats one of my biggest niggle about this. It doesn't feel like I am reading a book. It feels like I am almost reading a plot outline for a film complete with script. It feels like the author is pitching it to a board of executives at a film studio rather than selling it to the reader.

Yet I have to admit I did enjoy the book. It was easy to read and worked well during my breaks on night duty. You could leave it for a while and come back and not have to recap the story from the previous pages. The geek and popculture references did bring a smile to my face especially the gaming and anime ones. Ready Player One is also a startling look at the way people interact with each other in our current times.

Many of the forms of interaction in the book are only slightly futurised versions of what are available to us now. And the way people interact with each other in the OASIS can be seen in current the current gaming world. For example it's easy to draw comparrisons between how people interact in the OASIS with the real world game The World of Warcraft. Friendships, rivals and even relationships happen in the game world just like it plays out in the book. So for someone who has never experienced this sort of human interaction will get a glimps of what it is actually like.

So yes it is an enjoyable book. Full of insight and geeky references. But I feel the niggles in it are just too much to ignore. Which is why I will stick to my 3 star rating.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable!, 16 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Ready Player One (Kindle Edition)
Just amazing, I couldn't put this book down. One of my friends bought it and I read the blurb in the back. I went and bought it immediately and I'm extremely glad I did. This book has had me forgetting to breathe, laughing out loud and really really hooked.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining book for fans of computer games, 2 April 2014
By 
Hfffoman (Kent) - See all my reviews
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Ok, this isn't booker prize winning writing but it is extremely entertaining. For computer game fans, it would make a brilliant holiday read when you are missing your games.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read., 23 Mar 2014
By 
Paula Mc (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ready Player One (Kindle Edition)
'Ready Player 0ne' is the story of Wade Watts (or Parzival as he known) whose life is consumed by the OASIS, a world you plug yourself in, which the most of the world's population has. Wade's adventure begins when the OASIS creator, James D Halliday passes away, his legacy? A game that if anyone wins, that person gets the OASIS along with the money and stock that comes with it, for Wade who has spent his life living in a stacker, a tower of mobile homes in a large mobile home park, winning would change everything for Wade. He just has to pass the quests and fight a company that wants the OASIS for its own.

I was pleasantly surprised by 'Reader Player One', I started reading it with some caution because I am in no way a 'gamer', I have only really played 'Street Fighter' and that was on my younger brothers sega mega drive (showing my age). I enjoyed James D Halliday's obsession of the 1980's, the clothes, the music, the TV shows, it made me feel nostalgic, I loved how much I recognised and remembered (although I was slightly confused when it came to American TV shows that had never be shown in the UK but Google helped).

The book also highlights the risks of living in a virtual reality world, Wade for instance does not know how to live in the real world (as does the rest of the world, its very depressing in 2044) and is quite content to hide but as Wade's quest continues he starts to look at the world around him and starts making changes. I liked Wade, he was well written and real, the own downside was his feelings about death but I think that was down to him living as part of the OASIS for most of his life.

Wade was witty, funny, intelligent and you really want him to win the quest.

An interesting, nostalgic story which I will read again.

Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 stars - the ultimate gamers' fiction, 9 Mar 2014
This review is from: Ready Player One (Kindle Edition)
I’ve spent the last hour or so wavering between giving this book 4* or 5*. It’s a difficult one to judge. It’s been a long time since I’ve read any science fiction, but my housemate persuaded me to give this one a go and I’m glad she did.

It follows the story of Wade Watt, a teenage gamer in a world where virtual reality is more real than reality itself. Set in a semi-post-apocalyptic America, real life is pretty grim. The world is in its third decade of recession. Fuel is almost entirely depleted and the majority of the population exists in a state of abject poverty, living in slums known as The Stacks, which are trailer parks of caravans stacked up to thirty high in rusting frameworks.

Almost everyone spends their time hooked up to OASIS, which is a virtual reality world that anyone can access with a visor and a pair of special haptic gloves. It’s started to replace the functions of the real world. Kids attend school there, business is conducted there and the currency is more valuable and stable than any currency in the real world.

When the creator of OASIS dies, he leaves his vast multibillion dollar fortune to whoever can solve a series of riddles, obtaining keys that allow them through “gates” where they have to complete a challenge to obtain the riddle for the location of the next key. It also happens that the creator of OASIS was obsessed with 80′s sub and pop culture.

Into this walks Wade, our (anti)hero. He’s a nerdy, slightly overweight, acne spotted eighteen year old who knows just about everything there is to know about the 80s and is obsessed with finding Halliday’s easter egg, which will give him the creator’s fortune and control over the company that owns and runs OASIS. It’s been five years since Halliday died and when Wade finally figures out the location of the copper key, everyone goes nuts.

Cue a thrilling ride through virtual reality, retro gaming and culture, battles with The Man (IOI – aka the ‘sixers’) and a sweet coming of age and romance story.

It took me a long time to really get into the story, to be honest. I had a weirdly sheltered upbringing – science fiction was a total no-no in our house. I’ve still never seen the original Star Wars movies all the way through, I’ve never been into gaming and even most of the television culture is unknown to me. I didn’t even discover Firefly until a couple of years ago. For that reason alone, most of the references went way over my head. I was also only born in the 80s so much of it meant absolutely nothing to me. That said, the ones I did know and love made me smile whenever I came across them. It also meant that I was a little at a loss to understand the rules of OASIS. I’ve never been any kind of VR gamer or into D&D, so I was lacking some of the framework for how it all worked. I did pick it up the deeper I got into the story and I’m not taking off any star rating because of my own ignorance. I just wish I’d been able to pick up on more of the references.

The other reason it took me a while to get into it is that Cline has created a uniquely rich world. From the grim reality to the awe-inspiring virtual reality of OASIS, he’s given it rich texture, presence and history. The characters are fascinating. That kind of world building requires the reader to have a vast amount of information and the majority of it is imparted in the first several chapters. To give Cline credit, he does it in a graceful enough way to avoid that awkward “info-dump” feeling. It’s all worked into the story, but it’s a lot to wade through to get into the actual shape of the story.

When you do though, you get so absorbed in it that sometimes you forget the characters are in virtual reality. It’s a weird experience but thoroughly enjoyable.

There were so many aspects of this story that I connected with and, sometimes, that was in an uncomfortable way. At one point Wade realises that OASIS has become his life because it’s everything he can never have in the real world. Coming back gets harder and harder every time. I know that feeling so well. When I’m writing, I get absorbed in the worlds I create. Coming back to reality from being someone who has no limits is a crushing, hollow and depressing feeling. It resonated in ways I can’t describe.

There’s a lot of discussion about the nature of online relationships and how people choose to either hide their reality completely or are more real online than they ever could be in person. Again, that was something that connected with me on a base level. I’ve met some of my best friends online. Most of them I’ve met in person, but it’s too easy to forget that there are a lot of people online that aren’t who they claim to be. If you’ve ever been burned by something like that, you’ll know exactly where the character’s emotions are coming from.

The moral aspect of the story is also kind of interesting. Wade and his fellow egg hunters (known as Gunters) spend a lot of time clashing with IOI, a huge multinational corporation that is determined to find the egg first so that they gain control of OASIS and make money from it. With unlimited funds and staff to throw at it, Wade and friends are very much the underdog in a classic David vs Goliath story.

I can’t help but think that the book would make a brilliant film, but the CGI would have to be astonishing to do it any kind of justice and I could imagine that the copyrights would bog a studio down in paperwork for decades to come.

From all my praise, you’re probably wondering why I knocked off half a star. The truth is that I knocked off a whole star for various plot holes. There were a couple of occasions in the book when things just conveniently all came together that didn’t quite ring ‘true’. There were also a couple of occasions, most notably towards the end when Wade sets up his indenture, that everything happens and you suddenly get an explanation of the last three weeks leading up to it. It’s almost like Cline wrote the book in an entirely linear fashion and when he realised something had to happen that he hadn’t plotted for, he just dropped in the backstory there and then, Blue Peter style, to get everyone in the right place.

I then awarded an extra half star for kudos alone. This is a debut novel. A debut novel people, one that is richer and deeper than an awful lot of the scifi that’s out there and being written by established authors. If you love gaming, scifi or the 80s (or any combination of the above) this book will blow you away. Buy it.
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Ready Player One
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (Paperback - 5 April 2012)
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