Review of Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

October 3, 2011
Filed under: Reviews 

SFFaudio Review

Ready Player OneReady Player One
By Ernest Cline; Read by Wil Wheaton
15 hours 46 minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Random House Audio
Published: 2011
ISBN: 0307913147
Themes: / Gaming / Virtual Reality / 1980s nostalgia / Dystopia / Near-Future /

Sample |MP3|

It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place. Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, and like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune—and remarkable power—to whoever can unlock them.  

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle…

If you are a pop culture junkie, or a gamer, or a virtual world inhabitant, this is the book for you.   It was such great fun that I found myself making up reasons to listen to the audio book.  Wil Wheaton has become one of my favorite readers, especially at 1.5 speed.  His casual tone is perfect here.

Don’t be turned away by people who claim that this book is pure nostalgia.  While not heavy-handed, and arguably YA in tone, I found it to be thoughtful on issues of identity in an increasingly virtual world.  And just try imagining the new cities of stacked mobile homes without smiling!

Other fun things – author Ernest Cline has a vibrant blog for the book, including a RP1 Game.  He even posted a Spotify playlist featuring most of the music mentioned in the book.  If that can’t get you in the mood for a little nostalgic romp, you are dead on the inside. Dead!

Posted by Jenny Colvin

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