Customer Reviews


348 Reviews
5 star:
 (246)
4 star:
 (73)
3 star:
 (21)
2 star:
 (4)
1 star:
 (4)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


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

versus
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


‹ Previous | 1 2 335 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Retro-Futuristic, 5 Sep 2013
By 
J. Ang - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ready Player One (Kindle Edition)
This work is caught in a double-bind. It reads like a young adult's novel, complete with an ordinary, slightly overweight teenager whose avatar becomes a cyber-hero in the virtual gaming universe called the OASIS, against a harsh futuristic dystopian landscape. However, the pop culture references littered across the pages with admirable ease (that would send any 80s junkie/geek to 7th Heaven) are likely to appeal to Gen-X-ers, who would find these references thrillingly recognisable, and likely to be lost on the contemporary "Hungry Games" youth market.

Notwithstanding the lack of familiarity, the latter group would still be able to empathise with and root for the underprivileged protagonist Wade Watts, who battles teenage infatuation and heartbreak even as he searches for the Easter Egg that worldwide gamers are competing for in the virtual universe when the creator of OASIS dies. Aptly, he chooses the avatar name Parzival, a variation of King Arthur's knight, Percival, who is known for his quest for the holy grail. Perhaps the 80s references and the teen hero are also selling points for the novel because together, they manage to appeal to readers across the spectrum.

The plot is fast-moving and Cline moves it along expertly with rather engaging scenes, and no wonder, given his background as a screenplay writer. (It would no doubt make an exciting Hollywood blockbuster, although clearing the copyright/trademark restrictions for the plethora of games, movies, TV series and other products that appear in the novel might prove to be a legal nightmare for Warner Brothers).

However, perhaps what is commendable about Cline's detailed pop-culture referencing also results in some rather awkward and goosebump-inducing passages, like these:
When explaining how hard Wade tried to crack the code in the lines of a clue, Cline tells us he did so "until [his] brain began to feel like Aquafresh toothpaste." Elsewhere, when he is under siege by the evil corporate troops, Wade describes the attack: "They were here to cut open my apartment and pull me out of it, like a chunk of Spam being removed from a can." Shudder shudder.

Not the sharpest writing, but sinfully enjoyable nonetheless.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really imaginative, 15 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Ready Player One (Kindle Edition)
The main protagonist in the book is Wade. Wade is a disillusioned teen living in a not too distant future. A future where there is a chronic energy crisis. By that I mean there isn't any! It's all gone! Planet Earth has all but run out of fossil fuels and the world has subsequently gone into total meltdown. War, famine, disease and record unemployment are rampant the world over.

The only thing that keeps Wade going is the OASIS. The OASIS is a vast virtual world and is the brainchild the brilliant and eccentric game designer James Halliday. Inside the OASIS Wade can escape the decrepit misery of the real world and immerse himself in the beautifully rendered vistas of the OASIS. Inside are thousands of different worlds to explore which are inhabited by millions of avatars (human controlled characters). The extent to which the OASIS has become a part of society is best demonstrated by the fact that Wade goes to school inside the OASIS!

It all changes however when James Halliday dies. Upon his death his will is executed and James Halliday reveals via a pre-recorded video that he has hidden an egg inside the OASIS. The finder of this egg will inherit ownership of the OASIS and all of Halliday's billions. Cue worldwide hysteria! Wade - and half the planet - then devote their entire life to finding the egg. But to find it he must first decipher a number of clues and solve a series of puzzles. All the puzzles are based on 80's pop culture due to James Halliday's fixation with that era. This takes the reader on a wonderfully nostalgic ride down memory lane. If like me you are a 30 something male you are going to lap this up. Wade has stiff competition though, mainly through the all-powerful corporate bully that is Innovative Online Industries. Their commander-in-chief - Sorrento is obsessed with the egg and fights real dirty to get to it first.

The characters are really well developed. Along the way Wade falls in love and goes on a tremendous journey as a person. The book also poses some moral questions, such as how us humans have no regard for our beautiful planet and are quite happy to destroy it in the name of convenience!

I cant recommend this book highly enough and therefore suggest you let Wade's take you on a glorious adventure across the OASIS!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mindblowing!, 26 April 2013
By 
Ms. E. Gartshore "avid reader" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Ready Player One (Kindle Edition)
Anyone who was young in the 1980s (and particularly Rush fans) will love this book. It is imaginative, nostalgic and incredibly well crafted.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rip roaring reminder of my 80's gaming, musical and cultural roots, 25 April 2013
By 
Angus Milner-Brown (Bridport, Dorset United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ready Player One (Kindle Edition)
Ready Player One has it all in a breathless race through the wonders of 80's gaming classics...mixed in with Dungeons & Dragons, Pretty in Pink, Led Zeppelin and Pac Man..It's a wonderfully humorous tale, with the pace and careful plotting of the 'Da Vinci Code'...I hope Ernest Cline picks up his Dungeon Masters robes and delivers another quest very soon.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty damn good, 21 April 2013
This review is from: Ready Player One (Kindle Edition)
I really liked this book. It did get a little repetitive at points which is why it lost a star but other than that great book. It was a really interesting read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 80's Child, 21 April 2013
By 
K. Middleton - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Ready Player One (Paperback)
If you're a child of the 80's, this will sending you spiralling into fits of nostalgia. It's a superbly crafted novel and a really good read. There's plenty of action. It will have your inner geek screaming in ecstasy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 19 April 2013
This review is from: Ready Player One (Kindle Edition)
Picked this up expecting an indifferent rehash of "For the Win". Wow! Was I wrong! this is an excellent book, especially for anyone who grew up in the eighties. When you read this you will realise just what a geek you were when you pick up the hidden references as well as the signposted ones. for anyone who has forgotten how much fun it was playing D&D with those ridiculous 20 sided dice, this book will bring back those memories. Also an excellent multi layered sci-fi and action story as well. This is a book you finish and don't want to read anything for a while after as whatever comes next will be a disappointment. Ernest Cline has reached the top of the scoreboard with this one.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read and nostalgia overload, 12 Feb 2013
By 
Mark Booth (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Ready Player One (Kindle Edition)
If you are of a certain age as I am you will love the references throughout this book to films, TV shows, computer games and more of the 80s. Some of the references didn't mean much as they were clearly American - not much Japanese Manga Saturday morning cartoons over here in Blighty!

Its not just the nostalgia though as Cline keeps the story zipping along with all the characters nicely drawn and engaging. I didn't even see the "twist" related to one of the characters and i usually spot these things coming a mile off, so hats off there.

If you aren't of a certain age, but still a geek about computer games you'll love it, and even if you are neither the story holds up well enough to keep you turning the pages.

Finished in double quick time and can't recommend highly enough.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Joy Sticks, 4 Feb 2013
By 
This review is from: Ready Player One (Paperback)
What do you expect from a book that bears comparison to both Willy Wonka and The Matrix? A massive virtual reality set against a backdrop of a disater ravaged utopia? Check. An ultimately benevolent mad man in funny clothes promising untold riches? Also check. More geekery than a box set of The Big Bang Theory? Aha, gotcha!

If, like me, you have invested (not wasted) a good deal of your life pursuing the past-times of gaming (computer and roleplaying) , reading sci fi and comics, watching genre series and Monty Python and generally embracing your inner and outer geek, then this will cackle your gladys and and cause your nipples to explode with ecstacy - every page is a treasure trove for fan boys. Written in a burst of cultish adoration, the plot and characters are almost subsequent to the references, though the characters themselves are avatars for every awkward geek who lost himself in the unreal to escape what was essentially the disappointing real.

It's not perfect - real world problems are glossed over and you get the feeling that an editor has stepped in to prevent Cline from overloading on geekails - but it is a great homage to the golden age of geek and if you grew up in the eighties i assure you this will have something that rings your bell. Very enjoyable escape and a very promising debut.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 335 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Ready Player One
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (Paperback - 18 Aug 2011)
Used & New from: 13.59
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews