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Ready Player One: A Novel Paperback – Jun 5 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books (June 5 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307887448
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307887443
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.1 x 20.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 299 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,135 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description



“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 favorite toys and games into a perfectly accessible narrative.” —Janet Maslin, The New York Times

“Triggers memories and emotions embedded in the psyche of a generation...[Cline crafts] a fresh and imaginative world from our old toy box, and finds significance in there among the collectibles.—Entertainment Weekly

“A most excellent ride…the conceit is a smart one, and we happily root for [the heroes] on their quest…fully satisfying.” Boston Globe

“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  

“An addictive read...part intergalactic scavenger hunt, part romance and all heart.”

“An action-packed, highly entertaining, nostalgic thrill ride through the past combined with the danger and excitement of a not-too-distant future. It marries the fantastical world of Harry Potter with a touch of Orson Scott Card—where fantasy is reality, geeks are cool, and the possibilities are endless.”New York Journal of Books

Ridiculously fun and large-hearted, and you don't have to remember the Reagan administration to love it…[Cline] takes a far-out premise and engages the reader instantly…You'll wish you could make it go on and on.” —

“A delirious, crypto-nerd fantasia...Crammed with ’80s nostalgia and sugar-high prose, it's ridiculous and addictive and full of toy surprises.” —Village Voice

“A smart, funny thriller that both celebrates and critiques online culture...Layered with inside jokes and sly references.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“A fun, funny and fabulously entertaining first novel…This novel's large dose of 1980s trivia is a delight…[but] even readers who need Google to identify Commodore 64 or Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde, will enjoy this memorabilian feast.”Cleveland Plain Dealer

“The grown-up's 'Harry Potter’…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

“If you identify yourself as a nerd, geek, gamer, 1980s history buff, a fan of science, fantasy, or dystopian fiction, otaku, 1980s movie fan, romantic, someone who grew up in the 1980s, or a human with emotions—you will enjoy Ready Player One. If you identify with two or more of the above, it’s a guaranteed new favorite novel.”Sacramento News & Review

“A modern-day fairy self-assured and enthralling that it’s hard to believe this is his first novel.” —Long Island Press

“Incredibly entertaining…Drawing on everything from "Back to the Future" to Roald Dahl to Neal Stephenson's groundbreaking "Snow Crash," Cline has made READY PLAYER ONE a geek fantasia, '80s culture memoir and commentary on the future of online behavior all at once.” Austin American-Statesman

“An exhilerating, unpredictable trip...Part Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and part The Da Vinci Code with a healthy dose of Tron.” —Asbury Park Press

“READY PLAYER ONE is the ultimate lottery ticket.”New York Daily News

“[Picture] the adventure comedy of Mike Judge’s Idiocracy meets South Park’s Imaginationland with a dash of Willy Wonka, except all of the cynicism has been replaced by sheer geeky love. Grade: A.” —

“A preposterously great read and a richly imagined science-fiction world that uses the very idea of nostalgia as a thematic jumping-off point...One of the true geek events of the year.” —

“This non-gamer loved every page of READY PLAYER ONE.” —Charlaine Harris, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse series

“A treasure for anyone already nostalgic for the late 20th century. . . But it’s also a great read for anyone who likes a good book.” —

“A gunshot of fun with a wicked sense of timing and a cast of characters that you're pumping your fist in the air with whenever they succeed. I haven't been this much on the edge of my seat for an ending in years.” Chicago Reader

“A rollicking, surprise-laden, potboiling, thrilling adventure story…. I loved every sentence of this book.” —Mark Frauenfelder, BoingBoing

"A 'frakking' good read [featuring] incredible creative detailI grinned at the sheer audacity of Cline's imagination.” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

[A] fantastic page-turner….READY PLAYER ONE may be science fiction, but it's also written for people who have never picked up an SF novel in their lives…”
—Annalee Newitz,

“Intriguing and thrilling. Gamers and fans of '80s pop culture will find many familiar references throughout the story...Definitely an enjoyable read and one that can be appreciated by fans of many different genres.” —

“Gorgeously geeky, superbly entertaining, this really is a spectacularly successful debut.” Daily Mail (UK)

“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 of the Shannara series

“I was blown away by this book…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 Dominance

“I really, really loved READY PLAYER ONE…Cline expertly mines a copious vein of 1980s pop culture, catapulting the reader on a light-speed adventure in an advanced but backward-looking future.” —Daniel H. Wilson, New York Times bestselling author of Robopocalypse 

“A nerdgasm…imagine Dungeons and Dragons and an 80s video arcade made hot, sweet love, and their child was raised in Azeroth.” —John Scalzi, New York Times bestselling author of Old Man’s War

“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  

“An exuberantly realized, exciting, and sweet-natured cyber-quest. Cline’s imaginative and rollicking coming-of-age geek saga has a smash-hit vibe.” Booklist (starred review) 

“This adrenaline shot of uncut geekdom, a quest through a virtual world, is loaded with enough 1980s nostalgia to please even the most devoted John Hughes fans… sweet, self-deprecating Wade, whose universe is an odd mix of the real past and the virtual present, is the perfect lovable/unlikely hero.” Publishers Weekly (Pick of the Week) 

About the Author

ERNEST CLINE has worked as a short-order cook, fish gutter, plasma donor, elitist video store clerk, and tech support drone.  His primary occupation, however, has always been geeking out, and he eventually threw aside those other promising career paths to express his love of pop culture fulltime as a spoken word artist and screenwriter. His 2009 film Fanboys, much to his surprise, became a cult phenomenon.  These days Ernie lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, their daughter, and a large collection of classic video games.  READY PLAYER ONE is his first novel. 

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By A. Volk #1 REVIEWER#1 HALL OF FAME on Nov. 6 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is essentially an homage to 1980s nerdism. As someone quite familiar with that, and who enjoyed some of that, I can relate to virtually all the insider jokes and nods that this book makes. And it makes a LOT of them. The premise is a future virtual reality online contest set up by a deceased Bill Gates-type character who leaves his entire fortune to the first person who can solve his online series of puzzles. The puzzles are all based on his childhood/teenage passions from the 1980s. Music, movies, software, and games all feature prominently in the puzzles and in this story. The contestants in the game are of course too young to have grown up with those elements, but they have studied them in great depth to become gunters- seekers of the hidden puzzles (i.e., Easter Eggs).

The hero, Wade Watts, is your typical Cinderella character. Poor, no parents, mean caregiver. Not much to see here. His band of friends are a motley crue, but generally likeable. Their opponents are (wait for it...) members of a big, bad, evil corporation. All in all, they are pretty cliche. Which could make for a weak novel, but this book is all about throwbacks and cliches. So it's perhaps not as bad as it could otherwise be.

The plot and the puzzles are largely entertaining, but after a while, the sheer geekness of it becomes wearisome. I appreciate almost all of the elements that are presented in the story, but it starts to seem more of a book about what the author thinks was cool from the 80s than an actual story using the 80s to present itself.

Overall then, this is what The Matrix would be like if the key to "winning" it was being a super-nerd (vs. messiah ninja).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a new favourite. I was born after the 80s so I don't know all that much about the decade's culture or technology. Despite that, this story is an absolute delight. I love video games and this is basically any gamer's fantasy put to paper. There's action, adventure, tension, comedy, romance, friendship, and so much more. It deals with current themes, like meeting and getting to know people on the internet; corporate greed for power; the choice between an ideal life in a virtual world or an imperfect one in the real world; sexual identity, gender perception, and how people respond to it... The list goes on. "Ready Player One" deals with all of these things in a way that's very real and mature, simultaneously taking you on an unforgettable adventure that tickles the kid in you. If you like a wholesome adventure, this is for you. If you like adventures AND you like video games, this is even more for you. And if you're just a big geek, then knock yourself out. Really, I'd say this is a book for anyone to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on Aug. 11 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A great premise, 80s nostalgia, and intriguing twists carry the story well. I did not enjoy the story telling, which fell short in being able to be captive or enthralling. Many sequences lacked enough build and details to be immersive, so the potential of an epic tale was never reached.
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By ThatGuy on Nov. 23 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is pure, unadulterated fun, from first word to final credits. Enough 80's kitch to make any fanboy (or girl) randy. Mr. Cline has you in his sights, from the very first page. He's meticulous and stealthy, every twist delights and every turn elicits an emotion. Part action adventure, part love connection, this is a tale with all of the fixings. A classic among post-apocalyptical classics.
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By Wade A TOP 500 REVIEWER on Nov. 14 2014
Format: Paperback
This book is an interesting read. It takes place primarily in OASIS, which is a virtual reality world where people do EVERYTHING. The books main plot revolves around a quest for the game creator's legacy prize. A great book of pop-culture references and 80's nerd fandom and love. Great and very quick read for video game and pop culture fans!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A beautiful mosaic of geek culture. Even without the nostalgia of 80s references, this book consumed me with its solid plot and very "real" characters.

The social commentary is very real as well, reminding us all not to forget to put down technology once in a while and enjoy the real world.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Falco Amadeus on Oct. 27 2011
Format: Audio CD
Where do I start? I should first mention that I spent a lot of time in the 80's playing many of the video games mentioned in the book, as well as watching the movies and music of that era. So perhaps for me the story was more interesting as it was more relevant. I can't say for sure. I loved it though. The idea of a future where we spend most of our time hooked into a virtual world seemed plausible, and the fact that the protagonist was an atheist was also nice as I could relate to that as well. I literally couldn't put the book down. I actually listened to it while at work, which I have never done with an audio book before. I just couldn't stop listening to it. Will Whedon did an awesome job of reading it. He added just enough flair where needed and his acting skills really seemed to add something to the characters in the story. It killed my productivity for a day, but man was it worth it. So many kewl details and interesting trivia. Even if you don't like the 80's, it may still appeal to you. There are large evil corporations, and amazing battles with manga characters. Really amazing book.
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