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on 8 April 2016
If you are a fan of (or just enjoyed) 80's pop culture, particularly that strange melange of music and new media that drew geeks across the world, then you will like this book.

If you enjoy fiction about/for young people which doesn't assume they are either idiots or monsters then you will enjoy this book.

If you remember the obsessions of adolescence with fondness only slightly tinged with embarrassment then you will, simply, get this book.

If you hanker for a love story which is as innocent as a first love story should be then this book will soothe your soul.

If you like your science fiction, believable, well written, thoughtful, humorous,exciting, just very slightly epic and full of clever references then this book is most definitely fr you. Game on!
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 3 September 2011
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?

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on 7 February 2013
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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on 11 July 2012
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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on 1 August 2015
I couldn't work out who this book was for - the 'young adults' it seems aimed at will be unfamiliar with almost all of the references. I suppose they could spend their lives researching them, but the 80s weren't that great the first time round so it feels like a fool's errand (this from someone who avoids any reiteration of their teenage years due to the awfulness of the surrounding culture). But who am I to say? The fourteen year old readership it seems written for have yummed it up.

I endured the writing style which has been politely described as 'expositional' but terms like 'bloated' came to mind and 'why show when you can tell?' And boy, did Cline tell. He told and told. Explaining the set-up is one of the challenges of sci fi, I get that, but I was left wondering if I could have had the same levels of stimulation from reading a copy of the Thompson Local directory. It would at least have been concise.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( 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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on 4 September 2015
Great premise to what could have been a great book, but with the main character being one dimensional it just feels like the author showing off his knowledge of 80s geek culture. If you are looking for an 80s based nerdgasm, this is the book for you. If you want to read a well written book, look elsewhere.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 29 August 2013
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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on 1 December 2016
Wade is your average world of Warcraft player as depicted in South Park. There isn't anything special about him other than his knack of playing video games well. The whole story clumsily and wishfully raises Wade up to levels only dreamt of by nerds worldwide, and the things he pulls off and achieves are equally as unbelievable and far fetched.

A lot of the book seems to have originated from the daydreams of teenage boys and that can be quite distracting. But this book glorifies nerds so what can I expect ...?

Despite the flaws of this book, it is well written and was a joy to read. If Wade hadn't been such a fat talentless loser and every character in the book fits a different ethnic or belief quota; then I probably wouldn't have put the book down!!

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on 21 October 2015
I know it's a cliché but this book is SUCH a page-turner. Absolutely loved it. You do not have to be a geek or even a gamer to enjoy this wonderful, wonderful book. Read it before the film comes out as I find it hard to believe that the film will be able to get the rights for all the incidental material such as TARDISs, X wing fighter, D'loreans etc etc
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