Ready Player One Hardcover – Aug 16 2011
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“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. A-”—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
“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.”—NPR.org
“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
“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
"READY PLAYER ONE is the ultimate lottery ticket."—New York Daily News
"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.”—Wired.com
“Gorgeously geeky, superbly entertaining, this really is a spectacularly successful debut.”—Daily Mail (UK)
“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 detail…I 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, io9.com
"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.See all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
Now, granted, this is no ordinary video game. In the 2020's, immersive virtual reality finally takes off in the form of the OASIS. The OASIS is like a usual RPG, with avatars, quests, magic, monsters, and all that, but is also so much more—it has quickly become the world's dominant platform for economics, education, and leisure time. So many users spend so much time logged into the OASIS, for such a wide variety of reasons, that "real-world" economics, education, and leisure have nearly disappeared.
Before the eccentric creator of the OASIS died, he coded into the OASIS an elaborate and fiendishly difficult Easter egg hunt, with the top prize being full control of his multi-billion dollar company. For years, the leaderboards sat empty, until a high-school kid and egg hunter (or "gunter" for short) named Wade (avatar Parzival) finally cracks the first clue. Overnight, Parzival is an OASIS-wide celebrity, attracting interest from fellow gunters as well as the IOI, a multinational corporation dead-set on winning control of and exploiting the OASIS, even if it means murder.
Ready Player One has a unique style—following the theme of video game Easter eggs, the novel is packed with references to nerd culture of the 80's (which is itself the theme of the hunt). Maybe I'm just 20 years too young, but the rapidity with which Cline fires off these references grows quite tiresome. I understand most of the references, but I just can't appreciate them with any sense of nostalgia. Cline often seems to over-indulge in obscure trivia, like the fact that the iconic line "My God, it's full of stars" was not from the original 2001: A Space Odyssey, but from its lesser-known sequel (okay, I did appreciate that one, but you get what I mean).
Another complaint is that the bad guys are so obviously bad—IOI is a stereotypical giant evil fascist corporate empire corrupt enough to cheat and even murder in order to monetize the OASIS; its employees' avatars are all hulking male drones distinguishable only by their employee number, and so on. It's just too simple to be interesting in and of itself.
One thing I picked up on is that while Cline obviously has the 80s nerd cred, he doesn't really seem to understand computers. It costs OASIS users money to transfer to a new world but people can just copy and paste source code to build a school for free. Somehow that doesn't add up. Moreover, Cline repeatedly describes OASIS as open source, but apparently nobody thought to comb through the source code to find the Easter eggs.
Some of the prose is terribly bad, especially when Wade waxes on about how much smarter he is than all his teachers. This aside, I do have to give Cline credit for my favourite scene in the novel, where a virtual negotiation between Wade and IOI rapidly turns into a tense hostage situation in physical space.
All in all, I'm not particularly surprised with the quality of Ready Player One. For a book about video games, it does indeed read like a video game in print. In that way, it's fun, but doesn't have many other redeeming qualities. Three stars.
.......alright, alright, of course I'm joking. That was the coolest book I've ever read. It was like I hopped into Mr. Peabody's Way-Back machine and ended up back in my teens again. I couldn't help but get nostalgic through most of this story. I think anyone my age would (No jokes about being old!!). You wrote about things I forgot about a decade or so ago. We were the coolest generation, weren't we? Big hair, crazy music and fun video games....we rocked!!
Oh yeah, this was supposed to be a serious review. OK, here goes....It's an awesome book. It's lots of fun and you won't be able to put it down. It's a dystopian, sci-fi, futuristic, historic, adventure, fantasy romance. That pretty much covers everyone's favourites....no wonder it's a best-seller!!
Its a quick and very entertaining read, if you are looking for a deep story or advanced reading experience you won't find it here, but you might enjoy yourself along the way.