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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

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Hmmm... Well... Err... Yeah... It was ok, I suppose.
After finishing Ready Player One, I asked myself all the questions someone about to review a book does. Had the world I spent the last 3 days of my life living in lived up to the expectations I had when I purchased this product? Was the brilliant idea that sucked me in to begin with executed poorly or was I blown away by the authors ability to drag me in to his...
Published 6 months ago by Juliet's dagger


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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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52 of 56 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 500 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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5 of 5 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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10 of 11 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
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Ready Player One (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
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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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 (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Ready Player One (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
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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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 Brilliaint. Tense. Exciting. Non nerds will enjoy it too., 21 July 2014
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This review is from: Ready Player One (Kindle Edition)
Ready Player One is one of those books that should be read by a lot more people than actually will. A lot will be put off reading it by thinking that it will be incredibly nerdy and to a certain extent it is. However, the story as a whole, ignoring the computer geekiness of it all, is fantastic.

The basic plot is that a famous computer software designer and creator of the OASIS, (a virtual reality world that most of the world uses), has died and left a series of complex puzzles to solve. The person who can solve these puzzles will inherit his fortune and control of the OASIS company. People around the world struggle to get anywhere until one day a boy called Wade Watts manages to crack the first clue. After this a few more people crack it. Unfortunately, a nasty corporation, (booo hissss), wants control of the OASIS to make more money and are prepared to do whatever is necessary to get to the end of the puzzles first.

It is pretty geeky and has a load of references to video games from years gone by and 80’s film and music. As someone who was a teenager in the 80’s I knew what they were. Anyone born after then may struggle a bit, but I don’t think it will detract from the fun of the story. Most of the plot is set inside the virtual world of the OASIS but it is written in a way that you almost forget where it is and happily read along until some event reminds you that you are in a pretend setting. The action and suspense build up throughout the book and I found myself really willing the characters on to get to the next clue before the bad guys. It’s great stuff.

There are even a few parts to the plot line that do a pretty good job of highlighting discrimination, how wrong it is, and how people can like someone until they find out that that person is another gender, a different ethnicity, or maybe has a disability or condition that makes people look the other way. It shows that some people turn to the computer world to make friends because the real world has treated them badly. It also shows that some other people need to get away from their virtual world and meet real people before they become completely unable to socialise in the real world. Both sides of the argument about the pro’s and cons of computer socialising are shown to good effect.

I hope that more people read this because it really deserves success. As I was reading it I wondered if anyone would dare to try turn it into a movie and as it turns out someone already is. Hopefully they don’t ruin it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Hmmm... Well... Err... Yeah... It was ok, I suppose., 10 Jan 2014
By 
Juliet's dagger (Liverpool, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ready Player One (Kindle Edition)
After finishing Ready Player One, I asked myself all the questions someone about to review a book does. Had the world I spent the last 3 days of my life living in lived up to the expectations I had when I purchased this product? Was the brilliant idea that sucked me in to begin with executed poorly or was I blown away by the authors ability to drag me in to his protagonist's head? What about the quality of the writing, the likability factor of the characters and the tightness of the plot? I spent a considerable amount of time giving myself a good inquisition, but all I could come up with is 'uh, it was alright'.

The Gist -
Wade, our protagonist, is a penniless, unloved teenager without a friend to his name. He lives in the stacks - a trailer park slum - with his aunt, her boyfriend and a dozen other families. The world is disintegrating around him and society is now desperate, with most families relying on food stamps or the proceeds of a meth lab to keep them going. Wade's only escape from his harsh reality is The OASIS - a total immersion virtual reality simulation game - in which he can be whoever he wants to be. In the OASIS, Wade has friends and a real chance to make something of his life by spending every free moment he has trying to win the competition the kooky creator of the OASIS set up before he died, a competition that awards the victor with the billions of dollars he left in his will.

I loved the idea of this story when I began to read - questing through a virtual reality to win some mega bucks, solving riddles and kickin' some serious ass as we go - but then all the technical and 80's jargon spoiled it. I can easily overlook the lack of depth in a character, which unfortunately is what I had to do anyway, and I can whitewash over plot holes when a story has me hooked, but every time I got really in to it, the author hit me with yet another page or two of detailed description of a games console that went out of production before I was even a twinkle in my father's eye. I am not easily confused, I have managed to fly through the whole SONG OF ICE AND FIRE series without forgetting who is who and what is what, but this book had me stumped on almost every other page by constantly referencing some 80's game or movie or song that I had never heard of. I am not knocking the fact that the quest our main character undertakes is completely 80's related, the author has an expertise in this field that I am actually really impressed by, but for someone like me, who didn't arrive on this earth until 1986 and has no particular interest in that era, it was quite confusing and, to be honest, mind-numbingly boring.

Overall, this story was well written and entertaining at times but I had no strong feelings towards any of the characters nor cared about their position at the end, which turned out to be very predictable and clichéd.
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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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