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4.6 out of 5 stars
Ready Player One
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Showing 1-10 of 10 reviews(4 star)show all reviews
on April 30, 2015
i liked it. not a "thinking book". but fun. lots of 80s refs.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2015
Highly entertaining. The book is very well written, in the sense that it does exactly what it sets out to do without making the writing or the language a distraction for the reader. This in YA fiction, a typical coming of age story. But Ready Player One isn't as angst'y as many of the other popular YA novels.
I have two major criticisms of this book. The first is that there is too much description of 80's junk. I didn't mind it for the first 100 pages. I found that it helped me understand the extent to which the narrator was immersed in the culture and told me how extensively he had done his research (which is important to the overall story). But after we are 200-300 pages in to the book, and the characters and setting are well established, there is no need to continue to go in to the level of detail which the author does. I found myself regularly skipping ahead, jumping over large swaths of descriptive text, without having missed anything actually relevant to the story.
The second issue I have with this book is that it lacks depth. There is a very weak message, (which Cline tries to pull out of a hat in the last pages), but other than that the book is pretty much just plain entertainment. The author is using science fiction to tell a story, rather than using a story to explore the implications and moral quandaries that arise from science fiction ideas. I tend to prefer the latter type of novel, but if you are just looking to be entertained, and enjoy 80's and 90's nostalgia, then this is a great book for you.
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on January 15, 2015
A well done and thoroughly obsessive look at our geek culture obsessions. Throw in a mysterious figure, corporate malfeasance, friendship and love and you get a story of the moment that feels timeless.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon November 14, 2014
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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on June 23, 2014
The book is page turner, easy to read and suspenseful. I feel those who were serious gamers in the 80's would really appreciate it more as there are tons of references to old computer games.
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on April 1, 2014
This was a fun book - though if it weren't for a friend's recommendation I probably never would've gotten past page 50. As fun as the last 325 pages are, the first 50 are a real slog. I don't know if you need to be a fan of the 80s to enjoy this book but it certainly helps.
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on February 1, 2013
This was a fun novel. An interesting quest that keeps moving at a brisk pace, likeable (if somewhat two-dimensional) characters and the author's easy-breezy writing style make for one of those books that suck you in and keep you turning pages late into the night. I was an 80's geek (not quite so hardcore as Cline), so many of the references resonated with me. But I don't think that is a prerequisite to enjoy the story, as Cline does a fairly good job of explaining situations, for example, in video games that I wasn't familiar with. Unfortuantely, I found the 80's references, especially in the first half of the novel, to be laid on a bit thick. Cline really pounds the reader over the head with movie, music and video game references, and you can tell he's fully indulging in his own nostalgia for these things. Alas, I couldn't help wondering if a high-school kid (Wade) in 2044 would look upon the 1980's as "nostalgia" or as "ancient history". I suppose it could be argued that the protagonists in this story share a special view of the 1980's that maybe the general population of 2044 wouldn't have.

I read that Warner Bros. bought movie rights for this one day after the publishing deal was signed. That's not surprising. The book reads like a screeplay in the vein of War Games or a John Hughes movie. The Good Guys are just a tad too clever and lucky, while the Bad Guys have unlimited power but are idiots. But that's okay, because this book doesn't try to be complex or thought-provoking. It's unabashedly simple, straightforward and exciting. I respect a story that doesn't pretend to be anything other than what it is. And this one is a lot of fun.
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on January 21, 2013
I wouldn't call this a great piece of literature, but I sure had a ton of fun reading it. Recommended to anyone who grew up in the late 70s/80s/early 90s and/or played old video games, frequented arcades, watched old TV/movies from the 80s, listened to music from the 80s, played table top RPGs and/or watched old godzilla/ultraman/etc. movies or anime.
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on June 17, 2012
My best friend and I met in ninth grade (that's freshman year for those of you reading from south of the border). I was seated on the floor, my back to my locker, reading a D&D guidebook. My future roommate, then just a stranger in torn jeans and a baggy plaid shirt, stopped before me and said something along the lines of, "Whattaya reading that for? They've got AD&D now."

And that was the beginning. We spent the next few years playing NES games (the older and cheesier the better), Magic: The Gathering, and, of course, role-playing games. We also watched and jeered such 'Eighties masterpieces as Commando and Freejack and ate Cap'n Crunch while the Real Ghostbusters or the original Spider-Man cartoons filled the TV screen.

Ready Player One is an imaginative, thoroughly charming reward for people just like my friend and I. If you can name at least two stars from the movie Wargames, can tell me what AD&D stands for, and know in which movie one man follows another while banging together two halves of a coconut (bonus points for knowing why), then chances are quite good that you'll not only enjoy Ready Player One, you'll love it.

In the year 2044 the world has essentially gone to hell--yes, it's one of those stories, but bear with me--and a large portion of the world's population has retreated into a virtual universe named the OASIS. The OASIS, created by the late James Halliday, is an immersive environment not unlike The Matrix, yet you enter it voluntarily and do so not to feed your robot oppressors but to conduct business, to interact with friends, or, more commonly, to escape reality. Wade is one such escapist, but he is also a Gunter, one of many hunting for Halliday's Easter egg.

See, Halliday's death activated one last message from the revered game creator. In this message, he announced that he had hidden, somewhere in the OASIS, an Easter egg (a prize or gag hidden within a game or program's code). The person who found the egg would be awarded his entire fortune and the OASIS itself. Given this, hundreds of OASIS regulars devoted their lives to finding the egg, becoming egg hunters, or "Gunters."

Wade, our hero, becomes the first to find one of the clues meant to lead Gunters to the egg and, with his discovery, begins a quest throughout the many worlds of the OASIS. The OASIS is a reflection of its creator, and its creator, Halliday, was obsessed with geek culture, especially 'Eighties geek culture. And therein lies the true fun, the true beauty of Ready Player One.

One of Halliday's puzzles involves the 2600 hertz tone. One of the characters in the novel has pasted a "Don't Panic" sticker on his crate of vinyl records. Wade's car is a flying Delorean. If you understand why all those things are cool, man, is this novel for you.

Ready Player One is always fun, often touching, and entirely satisfying. Highly recommended.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Ernest Cline's debut novel Ready Player One is an unusual, unique and utterly addicting read. Kind of like a computer game that you can't shut down until you...

It's 2045 and the Earth is in pretty bad shape. Most of the fossil fuel is gone and food and land are in short supply. To escape, most citizens check into The Oasis - a virtual world created by James Halliday. In the Oasis you can do or find anything you would ever need or want. When Halliday dies, he leaves the world with his last bequest - a baffling puzzle known as an Easter Egg is hidden somewhere in the Oasis. (Think Second Life) Solve it and you'll have all the money and power you ever dreamed of.

Young Wade Watts has spent most of his young life plugged in and joins the millions of Egg Hunters or 'gunters, as they come to be known, in the search. He spends years learning about Halliday's favourite games, televison shows and obsessions - most of them based in the 1980's.

When the first clue is found after many years, the stakes couldn't be higher for Wade and his on line friends - for Innovative Online Industries, the world's largest internet provider, want to win the prize themselves - and take over the Oasis.

Ready Player One is completely outside of my normal tastes, but I really, really enjoyed it. I was initially intrigued as it seemed to fit into my recent obsession for YA dystopian fiction. But I found myself really enjoying all the '80's references - Pac Man, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Commodore 64's, song lyrics and a whole lot more -for these are the clues used to solve the puzzle.

There's lots of adventure with epic good versus evil battles throughout. But Cline has also thrown in some thoughtful explorations of friendship, coming of age and yes, romance. Lots of fun for a variety of readers.

I can see Ready Player One easily being made into a movie. And it's jumped on to Maclean's Canadian bestseller list at #9.
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