Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (BEST Of The Year)

It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.

One family to a home is unheard of.  In fact, even homes are rare as most people have apartments.  Most people live in vertical trailer parks or “Stacks”, where old trailer homes have been stacked on top of one another.  Wade Watts lives with his aunt who does not want him there and lets him know it every chance she gets.  Like most of humanity, Wade escapes into a virtual world called the Oasis every chance he gets.  In this sprawling 10 world utopia Wade can be his avatar Parzival, with other virtual friends where you can live and play and even… fall in love.

The oasis was created by James Halliday, a big time gamer and lover of all things 80’s.  Halliday made billions creating the Oasis and having never married or had children – he left his billions and full control of the Oasis to one lucky person… the one who could crack the clues he left in his will and within the worlds of the Oasis find Hallidays last gift to the world… his hidden “Easter Egg”.

Halliday admits himself that he may have made the clues a little too hard, but from his death-bed, it’s a little late to make changes now.  And it is true, that in this starving world with millions of people looking for Hallidays treasure… five years go by and no one has cracked the first clue.

All of Hallidays riddles are hidden within the pop culture he loved – 80’s movies such as War Games, Ferris Buelers Day Off, Monty Python, Better Off Dead, Indiana Jones, Star Wars… and thats just the movies, lets not forget the games such as Joust, Miss Pac Man, Burger Time…

And when you are a kid who finds the real world almost unbearable… you sink all your time into the Oasis… rewatching the 80’s movies until you can recite them almost by heart, playing the video games to the point you know them inside and out including manufacturer dates, glitches int he games, recalls and more… you become almost one with the Oasis… racking up points…. practicing battles….

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  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.
Ready Player One?

First of all to those of you said I must must MUST (little Max Headroom there…) listen to this one audio.  I thank you, this was the best audio I have listened to this year.

For those of you who read me often, you may be aware that I usually am listening to three audio at one time (one in my bedroom for when I get ready in the mornings, one in the kitchen for cooking and cleaning time, and one in my car for every time I am on the go).  RARELY will an audio engross me to the point that it earns the sole right to follow me from bedroom, to kitchen, to car…

however…Ready Player One did.

Where to begin?

Well… I think I will start with Narrator Will Wheaton.  How do you know that name?  Will starred in the 80’s film Stand By Me,  on Star Trek he was the Romulan voice.  And even more fun, Will is actually mentioned within this book/audio.  Will… has the perfect voice for the audio and I knew within the first minute I was in for something special.  Will even does Max Headroom’s voice (as seen above) and that is no easy feat!  (Believe, me I tried to do the Max Headroom voice here at home… lets just say it wasn’t pretty).

Of course, while a great narrator on audio is important… it does not make the book complete if the book is not also amazing.  No worries… I am sure you can already tell by this early gushing that it is…. FANTASTIC.

Being a die-hard 80’s chick I absolutely adored the constant 80’s references to great movies

80's move: War Games

such as Back To The Future, War Games, Real Genius, Better Off Dead, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Monty Python… and that’s not even mentioning the great arcade references:  Miss Pacman, Joust, Burger Time…

and the beauty of the combination in the Oasis was the mixture of the two… you could watch the 80’s movies and play the games in the Oasis.  In fact as our protagonist says, many of the movies he has watched hundreds of times.  (And you will learn – thank goodness for that!)

I think what really sucked me into this read *80’s flashbacks aside) is that the story is good…. real good… It also is a little scary as I thought about Social media today and how fast it has grown in my lifetime, and found Ernest Cline’s stony not unbelievable.  I can imagine a time when the world may be such a mess that people would rather stick themselves into an alternate reality (shoot it’s already happening!) then deal with the emotional drain of reality. 

Dont worry – the story never bogs down with doomsday like themes.   In fact I am quite sure two things will happen here:  1.  I will at some point listen to this audio again and 2.  I will own the book to add to my favorites collection.

I also never found being inside the game world boring… instead, I was fascinated… it was as real feeling to me as my own life.  I also enjoyed being reminded of movies I once loved and insight to games I had once played (like a glitch in Miss Pacman arcade where you can hide for up to 15 minutes without being attacked)

Treat yourself with this one soon… you will not be sorry.  While I have heard the book is just as incredible, I am going to recommend if you listen to audio – this is the way to go. 

Warner Brothers bought the rights to the movie almost a year before this book was released to the public.

Amazon Rating

Goodreads Review

I purchased this on audio from

35 thoughts on “Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (BEST Of The Year)

  1. I’ve actually been toying with listening to this one – despite the fact I never ever listen to audios. Everyone’s been so positively raved about the audio version though!

  2. I swore I wouldn’t read this one at first. It just is not my typical fare. All the reviews I have read have changed my mind though and now I can’t wait to read it! I bet my husband would enjoy it too.

  3. I LOVED the ’80s references in this book and actually did well with the video game portion of it as well even though I am not a gamer at all. Glad you liked this one so much!

  4. I loved this one too. I wish I’d listened to it on audio though! And I love that Wil Wheaton narrated it … and is featured in it! Must have been a kick for him!

  5. You forgot that he was Wesley Crusher on Star Trek Next Gen! LOL (I just revealed my inner nerd.) I loved this on audio, too – definitely one of the best of the year. Maybe THE best – I need to go through my list. Can’t believe it’s already time for best-of lists!

  6. I loved what you had to say about this one…going over to my library site right now to see if they have audio…..BRB….nope, but they do have a hard copy so I might end up having to read it. I’m not a audio book person but you’ve convinced me that I need to lighten up on that!!!

  7. Interesting, I just discussed this book with someone who didn’t like it (at all). She actually hated it. I only mention this because I think it’s go interesting to read/talk about different reactions to books.

    I will pass on this book since I don’t like this genre but, I’m so happy for you that you named this a favorite of the year! Amazing, I love it when I read a look that gets this reaction since it doesn’t happen often. A rare gift!

  8. I read the book before I knew that Wil Wheaton was the audio narrator. I have heard so many good things about the audio I’m going to have to listen to it. And I loved the book btw.

  9. Wow I wouldn’t have picked this one as a “fantastic” read but you make it sound so …. and I am an 80’s chick too so it’s going on my wishlist 🙂

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