Ready Player One

Ready Player One

Book - 2011
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Random House, Inc.

The bestselling cult classic—soon to be a major motion picture directed by Steven Spielberg.

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 by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

It’s the year 2045, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune—and remarkable power—to whoever can unlock them.  

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved—that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt—among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life—and love—in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape. 
A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?

Baker & Taylor
Immersing himself in a mid-21st-century technological virtual utopia to escape an ugly real world of famine, poverty and disease, Wade Watts joins an increasingly violent effort to solve a series of puzzles by the virtual world's super-wealthy creator, who has promised that the winner will be his heir. (This book was previously listed in Forecast.)

& Taylor

Immersing himself in a mid-twenty-first-century technological virtual utopia to escape an ugly real world of famine, poverty, and disease, Wade Watts joins an increasingly violent effort to solve a series of puzzles by the virtual world's creator.

Publisher: New York : Crown Publishers, c2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780307887436
Branch Call Number: FIC Cline
Characteristics: 374 p. ; 25 cm


From the critics

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Jan 22, 2018

In the year 2040 people will be obsessed by the 1980s. Here, in this preposterous fantasy, half the world is. The protagonists are a multinational, multicultural, multisexual stew who are out to solve a virtual reality (VR) game for a whole lot of money and control of the VR itself. But we’re out of oil, climate change is rocking the planet, and a worldwide depression of 30 years is gripping the earth. Naturally, these heroes, as poor as dirt, spend all their days locked inside the VR boning up on 1980s trivia and playing video games. That’s how the problems of the future get solved. They call themselves “geeks” and “nerds,” but I think better names for them are “doofuses” and “ne’er-do-wells.” Somehow, this turkey is going to be made into a movie directed by Steven Spielberg – but I’ll bet it won’t fly. This is no literary work, the prose is pedestrian bordering on ambling. Easily digestible and forgotten.

Jan 18, 2018

This is an excellent book. If you're really into science fiction, are an avid gamer, or are really int 80s pop culture you'll enjoy this book.

Jan 18, 2018

I love love love this book! Just finished it, and want to read it again!
I would love so much for everything in this book to be real. To be able to escape into a
VR experience like that would be amazing.
The book is well written and keeps you entertained the whole way. With a few OMG moments, a romance and lots of laughs it will keep you turning pages and be sad when it's done.
I hope the movie is just as good!

Jan 12, 2018

You don't have to be a gamer or obsessed with the 80's to become engrossed in Ready Player One. While Austin Cline depends heavily on the 80's to create the atmosphere of the OASIS, it's what happens in the real world and how the OASIS interacts with it that breathes some life into this dystopia. When the only world you and everyone else wants to be in is virtual, how we go about living our lives is drastically altered. What is the value of love, friendship, and even your life?
While I've heard from others that Ready Player One is just a rip-off book about the 80's, I disagree with those people. Ready Player One is about how one person's obsession can be shared with others, that nothing is outdated if you choose to place some value onto it whether it be monetarily, aesthetically, or to sustain your very life.

AshleyF2008 Jan 10, 2018

Ready Player One has an interesting premise and interesting history. However, those things fall apart in dense info dumps and a "Mary Sue" protagonist. Anything Wade needs to accomplish, he is an expert at, even in those moments when others are seemingly more clever and resourceful. Only one thing happens in the book to shake Wade even slightly, though he recovers quicker than I did (which is ridiculous). Wade's obstacles seem to be present more to show the reader how ingenious he is without actually placing him in any danger of failing and the side characters are just puppets to support his success.

Dec 23, 2017

I'm not a gamer and sci-fi is not my genre. "Ready Player One," is a sci-fi book about gamers in the future so by rights I shouldn't have liked the book but here I am ready to rave about it. Wade Watts is the protagonist of the book set in 2044 but since it is based on nostalgia much of it deals with games of the seventies and eighties. I read descriptions of games like "pacman" which even I had played on my Atari 800. While the descriptions are really interesting it is the story which keeps you turning pages. Wade and his friends Eitch, Artemis, and Shato are vying for the holy grail and they have to defeat the bad guys the sixers.WIll they do it? Will good triumph over evil once you start reading I guarantee you'll be hooked and can't put it down till you're at the end. A book which addresses fun, race, gender, and sexual orientation; and above all it's a romance too.

Dec 19, 2017

I grew up playing MMORPG. I stopped after my sophomore year in college. I still would like to continue playing, but being an adult is much more important. Reading Parzival’s adventure gave me youthful nostalgia. I was born in the late 80s so I couldn’t understand most of the 80s reference, but the story line was the main draw.

Nov 07, 2017

The concept of the book seemed interesting, so I checked it out. I have a few problems with how this was written, namely:
1) the propensity to overexplain concepts (such as MMO gaming) multiple times within the same chapter. I found myself yelling “you already told me that!” more than once.
2) a thesaurus was obviously absent from the author’s house. He keeps referring to one character as “Rubenesque,” every single time she’s mentioned.
3) I think the author confused a trailer from a trailer park with RVs.
Predictable, lazy storytelling wrapped in nostalgia.

Oct 30, 2017

Great, engaging book. Not as deep or introspective as some classic Sci-Fi out there, but then again it doesn't really mean to be. Predictable? You can definitely call it that. On the other hand, it's great fun, and a total page turner.

Oct 23, 2017

I have mixed reactions regarding this story. Its an easy, page turning read. It generally follows the Hero's Journey algorithm, though I never got the sense that the protagonist was infallible. I didn't find any real morals to any parts of the story, other than perhaps the future of VR is sad and hollow, not heroic.

Its easy to get mixed up in the 80s nostalgia as a Gen Xer, but at the same time, the references smack as disingenuous. Like episodes of the television program "The Goldbergs," many references are of the design "Do you remember this? Yes? Cool!" The protagonist simply has to have knowledge of the 80s to move on in his quest, not actually solve any mind bending problems.

Overall, good to read at the pool or on the plane, just do not expect any Gibson or Stephenson level cyberpunk sophistication.

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Jun 16, 2016

This kid is very poor and very alone. Being in this virtual world allows him to escape. He grows up in this society that is falling apart and only wants to find fortune. He stumbles upon his first clue into a puzzle everyone else has given up on. It leads into the most adventurous roller coaster of a lifetime, with plenty of retro 80's to go along with it.

Apr 09, 2013

An entertaining read about the 1980's "tech" looking back from 40 years in the future. Pacman, Atari 2600, and Journey are part of a quest through a completely virtual, all-encompassing universe.


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Dec 30, 2016

“You know you've totally screwed up your life when your whole world turns to sh*t and the only person you have to talk to is your system agent software.”

Aug 13, 2016

No one in the world gets what they want and that is beautiful.


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Feb 04, 2016

Coarse Language: The usual swearing when frustrated, nothing out of the ordinary.

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