Ready Player One by Ernest Cline


In he year 2044 the earth as we have known it is no more.  Now a world of mostly poverty and destruction, people find it is better to spend their time inside a virtual world called the Oasis, created by a genius named James Halliday who has a mad fondness of all thing’s 80’s (ie… arcade games, music, movies, restaurants…)  The Oasis is a large virtual world that encompasses many worlds within and to access beyond the first world, real money is used.  In the Oasis, you can create an Avatar (an icon or figure representing a particular person in computer games, Internet forums, etc.), to represent you.  An Avatar can assume any type of body and look as well as an alias name.

Wade Watts is a teenage student who spends as much time as possible in the Oasis.  Here he is more than the overweight slightly acne faced teen… in the Oasis he is Parzival, a taller, leaner, handsomer version of himself.  As Wade lives in a very impoverish state, he spends most of his time on the free parts of the Oasis.

When it is announced that the mega billionaire Halliday has passed away and left an elaborate game plan in his will with hints and clues to the ultimate prize – all of his billions of riches and the ownership of the Oasis; the world goes wild.  Thousands upon thousands of people are trying to figure out the clues that will lead them to the keys that open up more clues….

and five years go by with no one any closer to the treasure than when it was announced. 

Many of the treasure hunters – “gunters” as they are called, have fallen away believing that perhaps this was just the last craziness of a sick old man and nothing more.  And then….

Wade figures out the first clue. 

Suddenly the news is filled with the mysterious Avatar “Parzival”.  Wade’s true identity becomes even more important to keep secret as the hunt inside the Oasis is back up in full force.  Not all of those involved are part of the friendly competition. A large corporation called IOI wants the Oasis and all the treasures for themselves and they will stop at nothing to get what they want.  Now Wade, and a handful of fellow Avatars that he would like to call friends, are playing for their lives.

Ready Player One?

Yes that is a long synopsis.  Yet as I thought about this, this is how I would describe the book to a friend.  There is nothing here that gives anything away… not by a long shot. This book is so full of fun twists and turns and awesome (AWESOME!) 80’s references you will not want to stop once you are started. 

You do not need to be a gamer to love this book.  While I do love games and am an 80’s girl… I was not big into the arcade scene.  Let me say that you do need to be to appreciate the book and the dystopian feel to it. 

Did I mention that I love this book?

Long time readers of Book Journey may be scratching their head thinking they have heard me RAVE about this book before.  You would be right. In December of 2011 I listened to this book on audio and reviewed it then as well. To this day, it is still one of the best audio books I have ever listened to.  Narrator Wil Wheaton could read the back of a cereal box to me and I would be all like “Go Wil, read about the red dye #5 again!”  Yes, he is that great.  In fact – earlier today I was looking for other books narrated by him just so I could listen to him again.  I would like him to be the voice on my Garmin, the sound of my alarm…. you get the picture. 😉

Two years later, I still love this book.  I chose to listen to it again recently when I went the 3 1/3 hours to our cabin in a car alone.  I love being alone in a car for road trips so I can listen to audio.  It was just as incredible as the first time.

Seriously – I am not the only one raving about this book.  If you have read this, please rave with me. If you have not… please grab this one on audio and treat yourself to something AMAZING!

Rumors have it that the movie rights to Ready Player One have been sold. 

(And now I am going to go and read my original review which I have not allowed myself to do until I wrote this one 😉 )

*Update:  Upon reading my original review I found that I had made two predictions in that review… both have come true. 😀

Ready Player One is set in Oklahoma

26 thoughts on “Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

  1. I love this book too… only I read the print version. I am, however, ready for one of my rare re-reads and this time I intend to listen to the audio. I’m saving it for gardening … whenever that happens again!

  2. I love this book too! I listened to it on audio and I agree with you about Will Weaton’s voice.
    My kids were little in the 80’s, and they are not hard core gamers, but everything he wrote about brought back a memory of my kids playing it. I could relate in a round-about way. Great book!

  3. Guess I had better, get on the bandwagon. I have not read or listened to this one. Sheila what is your favorite way to listen to a book? Do you buy the audio version, rent from the library and play it on a CD player, purchase from or do you get lots from the publishers? Just wondering. I check out audio books from our library, but the selection is limited. I have 2 audible versions on my Kindle, but find that kind of cumbersome.

    1. I really like using and purchasing from there. That way I can listen to the audio on my phone wherever I am – with ear phones if I am out doing work in the yard and with an AUX cord in my car it will play over the radio for me 😀 I agree – our library is very limited on the audio they have as well. I get a few from the publishers – I wish I received more that way but many of them have went to downloads and I have trouble downloading them to where I can listen to them.

  4. I read the print version two years ago and LOVED it. It is such a well-written gem, weaving gaming and pop culture elements into a dystopian background.

  5. I loved this book just as much, Sheila! In fact, I think I picked it for my #1 favorite book of the year in 2012. Just sooo well done. I read the paper book, but I bet the audio is great. I had no idea that Wil Wheaton read audio books (do you know he was on Star Trek Next Generation?) – I bet he is a wonderful narrator.

    Glad you enjoyed it again – sometimes it is fun to revisit old favorites!


    Book By Book

    Book by Book is now on Facebook!

  6. Thanks for the great reviews. I had put this on my list of audiobooks to listen to after reading your review. I got it when I really needed a good one. Thanks.

Leave a Reply to Sheila (Book Journey) Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s