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Ready Player One Paperback – 5 Apr 2012
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"At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut―part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired byBlade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed" (Justin Trudeau Independent)
"The science-fiction writer John Scalzi has aptly referred to Ready Player One as a 'nerdgasm' [and] there can be no better one-word description of this ardent fantasy artifact about fantasy culture…But Mr. Cline is able to incorporate his favourite toys and games into a perfectly accessible narrative" (Janet Maslin New York Times)
"A most excellent ride . . . the conceit is a smart one, and we happily root for [the heroes] on their quest . . . fully satisfying" (Boston Globe)
"Gorgeously geeky, superbly entertaining, this really is a spectacularly successful debut" (Daily Mail)
"If you grew up with an Atari or maybe had a Commodore 64 back in the day, you are going to really enjoy this one. Cline really captures the feeling of those good old days in Ready Player One" (WIRED)
"The strength of Cline's first novel, other than its geeky referencing of 1980s pop culture, is the characterisation of the Candide-like Wade and his redemptive quest in both VR and the real world" (Guardian)
"Ernest Cline’s novel deserves to be a modern classic…the most relevant novel of the 21st Century to date" (Steve Wright SciFi Now)
"The mystery and fantasy in this novel weaves itself in the most delightful way, and the details that make up Mr. Cline's world are simply astounding. Ready Player One has it all" (Huffington Post)
"Enchanting . . . Willy Wonka meets the Matrix. This novel undoubtedly qualifies Cline as the hottest geek on the planet right now. [But] you don't have to be a geek to get it" (USA Today)
"Fascinating and imaginative...It's non-stop action when gamers must navigate clever puzzles and outwit determined enemies in a virtual world in order to save a real one. Readers are in for a wild ride" (Terry Brooks, #1 New York Times bestselling author)
"This non-gamer loved every page of Ready Player One" (Charlaine Harris, #1 New York Times bestselling author)
"Ready Player One expertly mines a copious vein of 1980s pop culture, catapulting the reader on a light-speed adventure in an advanced but backward-looking future. If this book were a living room, it would be wood-paneled. If it were shoes, it would be high-tops. And if it were a song, well, it would have to be Eye of the Tiger. I really, really loved it." (Daniel H. Wilson, author of How to Survive a Robot Uprising and Robopocalypse)
"The pure, unfettered brainscream of a child of the 80s, like a dream my 13-year-old self would have had after bingeing on Pop Rocks and Coke...I couldn't put it down" (Charles Ardai, Edgar Award-winning author and producer of Haven)
"Pure geek heaven. Ernest Cline's hero competes in a virtual world with life-and-death stakes -- which is only fitting, because he's fighting to make his dreams into reality. Cline blends a dystopic future with meticulously detailed nostalgia to create a story that will resonate in the heart of every true nerd" (Chris Farnsworth, author of Blood Oath)
"I was blown away by this book...Ernie Cline has pulled the raddest of all magic tricks: he's managed to write a novel that's at once serious and playful, that is as fun to read as it is harrowing. A book of ideas, a potboiler, a game-within-a-novel, a serious science-fiction epic, a comic pop culture mash-up-call this novel what you will, but READY PLAYER ONE will defy every label you try to put on it. Here, finally, is this generation's NEUROMANCER" (Will Lavender, New York Times bestselling author of Obedience)
"Completely fricking awesome...This book pleased every geeky bone in my geeky body. I felt like it was written just for me" (Patrick Rothfuss, #1 New York Times Bestselling author of The Wise Man’s Fear)
"Pleasingly geeky novel ... No wonder there are plans to make into a film" (Shortlist)
"Ready Player One is a fantastic adventure set in a futuristic world with a retro heart. Once I started reading, I didn't want to put it down and I couldn't wait to pick it back up" (S.G. Browne, author of Breathers and Fated)
"Cline's novel is a nerdcore odyssey; engaging and fun, this Gen-X popcult thrillride drew me in like a Galaxian machine set to free play." (James Swallow)
"Cline [crafts] a fresh and imaginative world from our old toy box ... Cline strikes the nerves of nerd culture as expertly as Andy played that skeleton organ in The Goonies" (Entertainment Weekly)
"Totally awesome!" (Edinburgh Evening News)
"I would recommend this book in a heartbeat...young or old - it's just brilliant!" (Books4Teens.co.uk)
"In the safe hands of none other than Mr. Steven Spielberg, this is your last chance to read the book before the movie hype drowns out the written word. A mixed up dystopian fantasy adventure novel with more nods to 80’s pop culture than even the biggest John Hughes fan will be able to handle, it’s just a whole lot of fun to read" ('Best books of 2015’, All in London)
"This is one you need to read before EVERYONE knows about it!" (So Feminine)
The Sci-Fi Sensation of the Year - a jaw-droppingly cinematic space opera, part classic coming-of-age story, part brilliant pop-culture mash-upSee all Product description
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Top customer reviews
I consumed it through audio, and Will Wheaton, aka the young Ensign Crusher from Star Trek, did the job perfectly.
I found some of the descriptions a little long and bordered on the tedious, but after the second half the story really got going and held the tension well to a respectable finish.
I don't know why it took me so long to get a copy, I read the synopsis a few times and had it in my want to read list for ages but just never got around to it, I'm so pleased I did.
Let's get the bad out of the way;
World building; not a great deal of depth, you get the dystopian gist and enough to set a scene. That covers the real world, as for the virtual world it's pretty much up to you to prove together your favourite childhood games, movies and music to visualise what is possible within the 'Oasis'.
Writing; a bit rushed, not a great deal of elegance, and the arc and it's build ups and conclusions along the way are pretty obvious.
Every now and then you feel like your having some pointless 80s information or quote or reference thrown in your face for no reason.
Now for the good;
The main characters are just normal chubby spotty nerds, social rejects who live there life through third virtual selfs where they can be whoever and whatever they want. They are relatable, loveable, annoying and hilarious to read.
The pace of this book never stopped, never had a dull moment, never went stale. One minute battling through a DnD quest in the virtual world, hammering old 80s video games, playing through classic movies, then in the real world fighting, running and infiltrating a militarised evil corporation, masturbating with latex dolls, falling in love and just generally coming of age.
The 80s; the references to movies, games, music, fashion, etc gave a fantastic fun element to this book for me, I sat back while reading and brought up a classic 80s rock collection and never put the book down, as above it did dean like it was thrown in your face a little but looking back at the book that was the point, the fascination, addiction and love of the 80s pop culture was so intertwined with every aspect of the plot.
This is a book I would recommend to anyone who has a general love for sci-fi, fantasy, and all things geeky, it is a coming of age story, a story of resistance against an oppressions and is also a scary look into the future.
Plans for this weekend? Feet up with the wife and kids and blast through some much loved classic 80s movies, maybe even break out the old emulator and whoop some ass on joist!!!!
As we meet the principal protagonist we find that the world of the 2040s is in bad shape. The planet is beset with rampant global warming, economic collapse and the majority of its inhabitants living on government subsidies. So far, so, standard dystopian future! However the thing that moves this from a standard YA dystopia and into the realm of a bestseller are three key features; the hero Wade Watts, the world building and the massive amount of 80’s pop culture references.
Wade has real problems to struggle against; no mother or father, living on his own, no friends his own age and only the quest for the easter egg to keep him focused. A fat kid from the wrong side of town living on his wits and natural intelligence. With no friends or family he has to constantly fight for everything he possess.
The world building is excellent with the reader immediately able to visualise the world of deprivation, global warming and the end of oil. A world so terrible that most of the population has moved into the virtual world to get away from the grim reality of everyday life. The mechanics of the virtual world are also well detailed and thought out. As I was reading the book I kept thinking of a fully immersive version of Warcraft. The book is written from a first person perspective. The reader effectively lives inside Wade's head, which helps a lot with Wade being able to explain a lot of the 80's cultural references.
About half way through we meet the evil corporation trying to thwart our heroes plans. These "bad guys" are simple, one dimensional, greedy corporate goons. Having worked in the financial services sector for many years I recognised, their motivations and methods immediately. The bad guys are cheap and cheesy and a stark contrast with the heroes who are street punks living in a virtual world. The evil corporations motivation is greed and the heroes are motivated by fun, friendship, glory and the pursuit of the prize. Who you gonna root for — come on?
The final third of the book works well with our heroes facing bigger and more complex challenges. The finally is also well done and fun.
All in all an excellent, fun yarn. The book is well written, great entertainment with a blistering pace. If you are looking for a deeper meaning, or insight into nerd culture, this is probably not the book for you.
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