Ready high quality online sale Player One: A Novel outlet sale

Ready high quality online sale Player One: A Novel outlet sale

Ready high quality online sale Player One: A Novel outlet sale
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Description

Product Description

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Now a major motion picture directed by Steven Spielberg.

“Enchanting . . . Willy Wonka meets The Matrix.”—USA Today • “As one adventure leads expertly to the next, time simply evaporates.”—Entertainment Weekly

A world at stake. A quest for the ultimate prize. Are you ready?

In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the OASIS, a vast virtual world where most of humanity spends their days.

When the eccentric creator of the OASIS dies, he leaves behind a series of fiendish puzzles, based on his obsession with the pop culture of decades past. Whoever is first to solve them will inherit his vast fortune—and control of the OASIS itself. 

Then Wade cracks the first clue. Suddenly he’s beset by rivals who’ll kill to take this prize. The race is on—and the only way to survive is to win.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Entertainment Weekly • San Francisco Chronicle • Village Voice • Chicago Sun-Times • iO9 • The AV Club

“Delightful . . . the grown-up’s Harry Potter.”HuffPost

“An addictive read . . . part intergalactic scavenger hunt, part romance, and all heart.”—CNN

“A most excellent ride . . . Cline stuffs his novel with a cornucopia of pop culture, as if to wink to the reader.”Boston Globe

“Ridiculously fun and large-hearted . . . Cline is that rare writer who can translate his own dorky enthusiasms into prose that’s both hilarious and compassionate.”—NPR

“[A] fantastic page-turner . . . starts out like a simple bit of fun and winds up feeling like a rich and plausible picture of future friendships in a world not too distant from our own.”iO9

Review

“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 

“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

“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 twentieth century. . . But it’s also a great read for anyone who likes a good book.”Wired

“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 ''frakking'' good read [featuring] incredible creative detail . . . I grinned at the sheer audacity of Cline''s imagination.”Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“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 

About the Author

Ernest Cline is a #1  New York Times bestselling novelist, screenwriter, father, and full-time geek. He is the author of the novels  Ready Player One and  Armada and co-screenwriter of the film adaptation of  Ready Player One, directed by Steven Spielberg. His books have been published in over fifty countries and have spent more than 100 weeks on   The New York Times bestsellers list. He lives in Austin, Texas, with his family, a time-traveling DeLorean, and a large collection of classic video games.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

0001

I was jolted awake by the sound of gunfire in one of the neighboring stacks. The shots were followed by a few minutes of muffled shouting and screaming, then silence.

Gunfire wasn’t uncommon in the stacks, but it still shook me up. I knew I probably wouldn’t be able to fall back asleep, so I decided to kill the remaining hours until dawn by brushing up on a few coin-op classics. Galaga, Defender, Asteroids. These games were outdated digital dinosaurs that had become museum pieces long before I was born. But I was a gunter, so I didn’t think of them as quaint low-res antiques. To me, they were hallowed artifacts. Pillars of the pantheon. When I played the classics, I did so with a determined sort of reverence.

I was curled up in an old sleeping bag in the corner of the trailer’s tiny laundry room, wedged into the gap between the wall and the dryer. I wasn’t welcome in my aunt’s room across the hall, which was fine by me. I preferred to crash in the laundry room anyway. It was warm, it afforded me a limited amount of privacy, and the wireless reception wasn’t too bad. And, as an added bonus, the room smelled like liquid detergent and fabric softener. The rest of the trailer reeked of cat piss and abject poverty.

Most of the time I slept in my hideout. But the temperature had dropped below zero the past few nights, and as much as I hated staying at my aunt’s place, it still beat freezing to death.

A total of fifteen people lived in my aunt’s trailer. She slept in the smallest of its three bedrooms. The Depperts lived in the bedroom adjacent to her, and the Millers occupied the large master bedroom at the end of the hall. There were six of them, and they paid the largest share of the rent. Our trailer wasn’t as crowded as some of the other units in the stacks. It was a double-wide. Plenty of room for everybody.

I pulled out my laptop and powered it on. It was a bulky, heavy beast, almost ten years old. I’d found it in a Dumpster behind the abandoned strip mall across the highway. I’d been able to coax it back to life by replacing its system memory and reloading the stone-age operating system. The processor was slower than a sloth by current standards, but it was fine for my needs. The laptop served as my portable research library, video arcade, and home theater system. Its hard drive was filled with old books, movies, TV show episodes, song files, and nearly every videogame made in the twentieth century.

I booted up my emulator and selected Robotron: 2084, one of my all-time favorite games. I’d always loved its frenetic pace and brutal simplicity. Robotron was all about instinct and reflexes. Playing old videogames never failed to clear my mind and set me at ease. If I was feeling depressed or frustrated about my lot in life, all I had to do was tap the Player One button, and my worries would instantly slip away as my mind focused itself on the relentless pixelated onslaught on the screen in front of me. There, inside the game’s two-dimensional universe, life was simple: It’s just you against the machine. Move with your left hand, shoot with your right, and try to stay alive as long as possible.

I spent a few hours blasting through wave after wave of Brains, Spheroids, Quarks, and Hulks in my unending battle to Save the Last Human Family! But eventually my fingers started to cramp up and I began to lose my rhythm. When that happened at this level, things deteriorated quickly. I burned through all of my extra lives in a matter of minutes, and my two least-favorite words appeared on the screen: game over.

I shut down the emulator and began to browse through my video files. Over the past five years, I’d downloaded every single movie, TV show, and cartoon mentioned in Anorak’s Almanac. I still hadn’t watched all of them yet, of course. That would probably take decades.

I selected an episode of Family Ties, an ’80s sitcom about a middle-class family living in central Ohio. I’d downloaded the show because it had been one of Halliday’s favorites, and I figured there was a chance that some clue related to the Hunt might be hidden in one of the episodes. I’d become addicted to the show immediately, and had now watched all 180 episodes, multiple times. I never seemed to get tired of them.

Sitting alone in the dark, watching the show on my laptop, I always found myself imagining that I lived in that warm, well-lit house, and that those smiling, understanding people were my family. That there was nothing so wrong in the world that we couldn’t sort it out by the end of a single half-hour episode (or maybe a two-parter, if it was something really serious).

My own home life had never even remotely resembled the one depicted in Family Ties, which was probably why I loved the show so much. I was the only child of two teenagers, both refugees who’d met in the stacks where I’d grown up. I don’t remember my father. When I was just a few months old, he was shot dead while looting a grocery store during a power blackout. The only thing I really knew about him was that he loved comic books. I’d found several old flash drives in a box of his things, containing complete runs of The Amazing Spider-Man, The X-Men, and Green Lantern. My mom once told me that my dad had given me an alliterative name, Wade Watts, because he thought it sounded like the secret identity of a superhero. Like Peter Parker or Clark Kent. Knowing that made me think he was must have been a cool guy, despite how he’d died.

My mother, Loretta, had raised me on her own. We’d lived in a small RV in another part of the stacks. She had two full-time OASIS jobs, one as a telemarketer, the other as an escort in an online brothel. She used to make me wear earplugs at night so I wouldn’t hear her in the next room, talking dirty to tricks in other time zones. But the earplugs didn’t work very well, so I would watch old movies instead, with the volume turned way up.

I was introduced to the OASIS at an early age, because my mother used it as a virtual babysitter. As soon as I was old enough to wear a visor and a pair of haptic gloves, my mom helped me create my first OASIS avatar. Then she stuck me in a corner and went back to work, leaving me to explore an entirely new world, very different from the one I’d known up until then.

From that moment on, I was more or less raised by the OASIS’s interactive educational programs, which any kid could access for free. I spent a big chunk of my childhood hanging out in a virtual-reality simulation of Sesame Street, singing songs with friendly Muppets and playing interactive games that taught me how to walk, talk, add, subtract, read, write, and share. Once I’d mastered those skills, it didn’t take me long to discover that the OASIS was also the world’s biggest public library, where even a penniless kid like me had access to every book ever written, every song ever recorded, and every movie, television show, videogame, and piece of artwork ever created. The collected knowledge, art, and amusements of all human civilization were there, waiting for me. But gaining access to all of that information turned out to be something of a mixed blessing. Because that was when I found out the truth.

...

I don’t know, maybe your experience differed from mine. For me, growing up as a human being on the planet Earth in the twenty-first century was a real kick in the teeth. Existentially speaking.

The worst thing about being a kid was that no one told me the truth about my situation. In fact, they did the exact opposite. And, of course, I believed them, because I was just a kid and I didn’t know any better. I mean, Christ, my brain hadn’t even grown to full size yet, so how could I be expected to know when the adults were bullshitting me?

So I swallowed all of the dark ages nonsense they fed me. Some time passed. I grew up a little, and I gradually began to figure out that pretty much everyone had been lying to me about pretty much everything since the moment I emerged from my mother’s womb.

This was an alarming revelation.

It gave me trust issues later in life.

I started to figure out the ugly truth as soon as I began to explore the free OASIS libraries. The facts were right there waiting for me, hidden in old books written by people who weren’t afraid to be honest. Artists and scientists and philosophers and poets, many of them long dead. As I read the words they’d left behind, I finally began to get a grip on the situation. My situation. Our situation. What most people referred to as “the human condition.”

It was not good news.

I wish someone had just told me the truth right up front, as soon as I was old enough to understand it. I wish someone had just said:

“Here’s the deal, Wade. You’re something called a ‘human being.’ That’s a really smart kind of animal. Like every other animal on this planet, we’re descended from a single-celled organism that lived millions of years ago. This happened by a process called evolution, and you’ll learn more about it later. But trust me, that’s really how we all got here. There’s proof of it everywhere, buried in the rocks. That story you heard? About how we were all created by a super-powerful dude named God who lives up in the sky? Total bullshit. The whole God thing is actually an ancient fairy tale that people have been telling to one another for thousands of years. We made it all up. Like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

“Oh, and by the way . . .​ there’s no Santa Claus or Easter Bunny. Also bullshit. Sorry, kid. Deal with it.

“You’re probably wondering what happened before you got here. An awful lot of stuff, actually. Once we evolved into humans, things got pretty interesting. We figured out how to grow food and domesticate animals so we didn’t have to spend all of our time hunting. Our tribes got much bigger, and we spread across the entire planet like an unstoppable virus. Then, after fighting a bunch of wars with each other over land, resources, and our made-up gods, we eventually got all of our tribes organized into a ‘global civilization.’ But, honestly, it wasn’t all that organized, or civilized, and we continued to fight a lot of wars with each other. But we also figured out how to do science, which helped us develop technology. For a bunch of hairless apes, we’ve actually managed to invent some pretty incredible things. Computers. Medicine. Lasers. Microwave ovens. Artificial hearts. Atomic bombs. We even sent a few guys to the moon and brought them back. We also created a global communications network that lets us all talk to each other, all around the world, all the time. Pretty impressive, right?

“But that’s where the bad news comes in. Our global civilization came at a huge cost. We needed a whole bunch of energy to build it, and we got that energy by burning fossil fuels, which came from dead plants and animals buried deep in the ground. We used up most of this fuel before you got here, and now it’s pretty much all gone. This means that we no longer have enough energy to keep our civilization running like it was before. So we’ve had to cut back. Big-time. We call this the Global Energy Crisis, and it’s been going on for a while now.

“Also, it turns out that burning all of those fossil fuels had some nasty side effects, like raising the temperature of our planet and screwing up the environment. So now the polar ice caps are melting, sea levels are rising, and the weather is all messed up. Plants and animals are dying off in record numbers, and lots of people are starving and homeless. And we’re still fighting wars with each other, mostly over the few resources we have left.

“Basically, kid, what this all means is that life is a lot tougher than it used to be, in the Good Old Days, back before you were born. Things used to be awesome, but now they’re kinda terrifying. To be honest, the future doesn’t look too bright. You were born at a pretty crappy time in history. And it looks like things are only gonna get worse from here on out. Human civilization is in ‘decline.’ Some people even say it’s ‘collapsing.’

“You’re probably wondering what’s going to happen to you. That’s easy. The same thing is going to happen to you that has happened to every other human being who has ever lived. You’re going to die. We all die. That’s just how it is.

“What happens when you die? Well, we’re not completely sure. But the evidence seems to suggest that nothing happens. You’re just dead, your brain stops working, and then you’re not around to ask annoying questions anymore. Those stories you heard? About going to a wonderful place called ‘heaven’ where there is no more pain or death and you live forever in a state of perpetual happiness? Also total bullshit. Just like all that God stuff. There’s no evidence of a heaven and there never was. We made that up too. Wishful thinking. So now you have to live the rest of your life knowing you’re going to die someday and disappear forever.

“Sorry.”

...

OK, on second thought, maybe honesty isn’t the best policy after all. Maybe it isn’t a good idea to tell a newly arrived human being that he’s been born into a world of chaos, pain, and poverty just in time to watch everything fall to pieces. I discovered all of that gradually over several years, and it still made me feel like jumping off a bridge.

Luckily, I had access to the OASIS, which was like having an escape hatch into a better reality. The OASIS kept me sane. It was my playground and my preschool, a magical place where anything was possible.

The OASIS is the setting of all my happiest childhood memories. When my mom didn’t have to work, we would log in at the same time and play games or go on interactive storybook adventures together. She used to have to force me to log out every night, because I never wanted to return to the real world. Because the real world sucked.

I never blamed my mom for the way things were. She was a victim of fate and cruel circumstance, like everyone else. Her generation had it the hardest. She’d been born into a world of plenty, then had to watch it all slowly vanish. More than anything, I remember feeling sorry for her. She was depressed all the time, and taking drugs seemed to be the only thing she truly enjoyed. Of course, they were what eventually killed her. When I was eleven years old, she shot a bad batch of something into her arm and died on our ratty fold-out sofa bed while listening to music on an old mp3 player I’d repaired and given to her the previous Christmas.

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4.7 out of 54.7 out of 5
40,032 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Paul Weber
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Really bad
Reviewed in the United States on June 21, 2019
Excruciating. I don''t understand how there appeared to be no one who edited this book. Some issues: 1. The first 17% of the book (kindle says how far along you are) is pure exposition of the world. That''s one sixth of the book where nothing happens except our hero... See more
Excruciating. I don''t understand how there appeared to be no one who edited this book. Some issues:
1. The first 17% of the book (kindle says how far along you are) is pure exposition of the world. That''s one sixth of the book where nothing happens except our hero attends two classes in his nonsensical virtual high school.
2. There is a chapter where the characters sit around and tell each other what''s already happened in the book. Why?!! I''ve already read it, why are the characters explaining it to each other.
3. The insanely over explained pop culture stuff. Example "oh wow that looks like Rivendell!" "Yes it does! Rivendell, from the Lord of the Rings movies!" I''m surprised the author doesn''t break the fourth wall and just scream "GET IT?!"
4. The swearing. The multi page treatise on the virtues of masturbation (Lord I wish I were kidding.) I''m not a prude and am all for profanity when it is natural and adds to the emotion of the story. Here it just feels like a 13 year old who just learned to swear and does it to feel grown up.

I skimmed the entire second half and am much happier for it. The only joy I got from this book is reading the one star reviews so I could agree with all of them.
145 people found this helpful
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Tony R.L.
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Love/Hate This
Reviewed in the United States on September 21, 2018
I got this after seeing the movie and hearing from a few friends about how different the book is. My two main points after reading this book in 3 days: 1. Love the 80''s pop culture references integrated into the story. No book I''ve ever read has ever gone this... See more
I got this after seeing the movie and hearing from a few friends about how different the book is. My two main points after reading this book in 3 days:

1. Love the 80''s pop culture references integrated into the story. No book I''ve ever read has ever gone this deep into 80''s game, movie, TV, music references. The writer is obviously a true 80''s fanatic and geek. No doubt about that, this guy has lived it and did his homework.

2. The main character is completely unlikable. He never arcs or changes, even at the end (finding ''love'' is not a character change). Honestly, I''ve never read a book where the main character is just a complete and utter unlikeable character even to the end. You never really want this jerk to succeed. His inner workings and thoughts are as just about as bad as the main villain.

Conclusion-
Steven Spielberg did a brilliant job taking the meat of this story and actually making the primarily character LIKEABLE because the writer was just down right horrible at it. If the filmmakers had followed the book, no doubt it wouldn''t have been successful. I did enjoy the 80''s references, but too bad the main character was unlikable.
162 people found this helpful
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Evan
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Reads like it was written by a high-school student
Reviewed in the United States on April 14, 2018
Reads like it was written by a high-school student. And to the people that think that''s because it''s POV: ALL of his writing is like that. Everything that the protagonist needs to happen, happens fine and everything works out because he is the chosen one of some rich... See more
Reads like it was written by a high-school student. And to the people that think that''s because it''s POV: ALL of his writing is like that. Everything that the protagonist needs to happen, happens fine and everything works out because he is the chosen one of some rich nerd''s world. It''s the worst kind of wish fulfillment. I hate the term Mary-Sue but that''s what this book is about.
113 people found this helpful
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JB
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Slow, agonizing... and trite
Reviewed in the United States on June 23, 2018
I can hardly understand the allure of this novel. Or how it managed to gain such popularity. Feels like its written for a fourteen year old, which is in such contrast to the age group who would either understand or have experienced anything that happens in this book...... See more
I can hardly understand the allure of this novel. Or how it managed to gain such popularity. Feels like its written for a fourteen year old, which is in such contrast to the age group who would either understand or have experienced anything that happens in this book... those of us in our late thirties, early forties. It read like a list of games and game explanations, with zero character development. I never finished... because I really didn''t care about any of the characters in the book or what the outcome would be. I often found myself nodding off, chapter after chapter. It''s a poor write... and a poorer read.
142 people found this helpful
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Robert Cole
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Wonderful Story Line With Way Too Much Exposition
Reviewed in the United States on September 14, 2018
I really like the story line and the idea. I had to read through to find out how the characters figure it all out. I have a soft spot for virtual worlds - I met my wife online the virtual world called Second Life. I enjoyed how the virtual world is described and all of the... See more
I really like the story line and the idea. I had to read through to find out how the characters figure it all out. I have a soft spot for virtual worlds - I met my wife online the virtual world called Second Life. I enjoyed how the virtual world is described and all of the technology in this book is within reach (except maybe the huge bandwidth to feed the world to that many people - but it will come with time).

So why only three stars? Ernest Cline writes really well, with one issue - the incredible amount of exposition. At least once every chapter, I found myself saying, "Enough already, get on with it." Sure some of it is from my growing up in the eighties and EC explaining parts of the decade *in detail*, but not all. There is a lot of explanation of the main character''s life and how he got where he is. You don''t find out things a little at a time - there are multi-page explanations. The book could easily have been half the length - or could include more from the virtual world. I did enjoy the imagination of the author in the building of the worlds (after seeing the amazing variety of user created content in existing virtual worlds).

So, I would have to say - very good book to read, but you can skip a lot of the exposition (or skim it so you don''t miss something).
49 people found this helpful
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Ben
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
This book is awful
Reviewed in the United States on December 20, 2017
It''s nothing but an attempt to pass every single 80''s nerd reference there is through the digestive tract of a cow, and fling the resultant mess at your brain. There''s no character development, no sensitivity - nothing to make you think. It''s just a non-stop breathless race... See more
It''s nothing but an attempt to pass every single 80''s nerd reference there is through the digestive tract of a cow, and fling the resultant mess at your brain. There''s no character development, no sensitivity - nothing to make you think. It''s just a non-stop breathless race to cram in as much nostalgia as possible.

Look, I get it - I''m a nerd - I really am. I''m the kid that always wanted to grow up to be a Systems Analyst. I grew up on many of the references in this book. But being a nerd doesn''t have to mean you give up an appreciation for good writing. You want clever, entertaining future dystopia? Go read Snow Crash.
109 people found this helpful
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Two Bears
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Bought Kindle Version and returned it.
Reviewed in the United States on May 2, 2019
This books sucks and blows! I had high hopes this would be like SnowCrash Neal Stephenson, or Daemon or Freedom by Daniel Suarez it’s ANYTHING BUT! Hits you with the following before the story starts Evolution Climate change No... See more
This books sucks and blows!

I had high hopes this would be like SnowCrash Neal Stephenson, or Daemon or Freedom by Daniel Suarez it’s ANYTHING BUT!

Hits you with the following before the story starts

Evolution
Climate change
No God
Barely get food to eat but fast internet for RPG
Trailers set on top of each other in stacks
Set in Oklahoma (Tornado Alley)

Story may be ok but can’t suspend that much disbelief.
34 people found this helpful
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SJJM
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
It’s a feast of the author’s imagination that explores the world of virtual reality and all that comes with it.
Reviewed in the United States on August 3, 2018
Ready Player One has been one of the most hyped movies lately. The book had been on my TBR list for quite a while and I decided to read it before seeing the movie. The world has evolved into a society filled with even more inequality than we have now. Most people... See more
Ready Player One has been one of the most hyped movies lately. The book had been on my TBR list for quite a while and I decided to read it before seeing the movie.

The world has evolved into a society filled with even more inequality than we have now. Most people live a hard life in trailer stacks (a form of housing where trailers/containers are haphazardly stacked on top of each other – see book cover) and endure a world that’s challenging and unforgiving. Imagine growing up in that environment, but then imagine having an escape that you could retreat to whenever you feel the need.

The OASIS is that escape. It’s an incredible free virtual world where people (regardless of where or how they live) can be whatever they want and live exciting lives and explore incredible worlds. Just strap on a virtual headset and leave your troubles behind. This is how, Wade (Parzival), has grown up. He learned everything he knows online – he knows no different (Like my kids who have grown up with Apple keyboards, which are frustratingly different to the normal keyboards that I grew up with – they find standard keyboards alien!). And so there is the fundamental problem. Everyone is so poor and tormented by the real world that the escape from reality has become a natural daily obsession for most. The virtual world has overtaken the real world. No one wants reality – they just want virtuality.

Add to that a chance to become the sole owner and controller of the OASIS (worth $500b) and you have a recipe that drives the world’s virtual obsession to an incredible new level. The underlying story centers around hidden eggs within the virtual world that need to be found. The one who finds the final egg first becomes the winner of the OASIS. The creator’s intention to pass on his legacy to a deserving player is challenged when a company hellbent on total control and profit comes into the mix. It’s a recipe for conflict and challenge worthy of the most complicated online games.

I was engrossed in this book from the start. Hooked from the get-go. The settings are extreme and varied, changing from one page to the next but never becoming confused. The virtual world has the power to do that, so it makes sense when it does. One core fact that this book portrays so well is how easily we can be drawn into things that aren’t real. It shows us the extreme and of how best friends, connections, and relationships form even though players have never met in reality. It shows the power of the virtual world in masking the identity of players who have created a ‘life’ that is everything they want but don’t really have. It also explores the power of data and of how it can be used against us.

Although it’s extreme, I believe it’s a very real scenario. And as AI starts to explode in the years to come, it’s not an unimaginable outcome. We are already obsessed with our phones and online interaction is already overtaking face to face. It’s just a matter of time before we retreat further into our own virtual worlds. I hope we don’t lock ourselves away in our homes like they do in this book. I believe this story is a warning – one to remind us to stay grounded in the real world. But with all of the terrible things that hit the real headlines each day, it’s easy to see why we would want to retreat and hide from it all.

Another cool aspect of this story was the nostalgia. Pop culture from the 80s was a core component of a story with never-ending references to everything from songs to games to places to people. I loved this as it added so much detail to which readers could relate. I won’t go into detail but there is a section of the book that includes a Monty Python classic – I chuckled out loud as the coconuts clopped.

A lot of my reading is done on my commute to and from my day job in the city. The whole virtual reality thing took on another level as the movie was being heavily promoted around me while I read. Many times, as I stood reading the book on the train platform, the trailer for Ready Player One looped on the big screens around the station. It was moments like that where I felt like I was in the game, reading the story in a virtual background of the sounds, the music, and the vision of the story.

In A Nutshell - It’s a feast of the author’s imagination that explores the world of virtual reality and all that comes with it. Due to its core content, this book is rich with settings that span time, space, games, movies, memories, and places. The huge mix of material has been put together so well. This is my best read of 2018 so far and I think it will be a hard one to top. Highly recommended.
24 people found this helpful
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Ally A
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
I loved this book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 27, 2016
I loved this book! As a woman in her 40s, I''m definitely not the target market for this. It’s a young adult book, and scifi, both of which I don’t usually read. However, as a bit of a gamer geek and an 80s nut, this was recommended to me by friends, and I’m so glad I read...See more
I loved this book! As a woman in her 40s, I''m definitely not the target market for this. It’s a young adult book, and scifi, both of which I don’t usually read. However, as a bit of a gamer geek and an 80s nut, this was recommended to me by friends, and I’m so glad I read it – it was just brilliant! It’s set in a dystopian future in 2044 – oil has run out, the climate is a wreck, and most people escape reality by spending their lives inside an immense virtual reality video game called the OASIS (similar to Second Life, if you’ve ever played it). It has its own currency, and kids even go to school inside the game. The creator of the game, James Halliday, died years earlier, without an heir to his immense empire, but left a video will with clues/easter eggs to be tracked in the game. Whoever solves these will inherit the OASIS, and the immense wealth that goes with it, and it’s an international obsession. Halliday was a teenager in the 80s and remained fixated with the era, so this means that everyone who is trying to solve the puzzle is just as fanatical, leading to some wonderful references. Wade Watts, our protagonist, is one of the millions trying to crack this. He’s a teenager, stony broke, living with his aunt, and at the bottom of the OASIS food chain. Through a combination of luck and skill with 80s arcade games, Wade somehow manages to be the first solve the first clue, and that’s when everything changes. I’m not going to give you any spoilers, but I can’t recommend this highly enough. Great characters, very nasty baddies, loaded with 80s references, and actually worryingly possible – it’s definitely worth a read. Oh, and Steven Spielberg bought the film rights – the movie will be released in 2018. I hope he does it justice.
72 people found this helpful
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John D. Payne
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Good but not great
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 23, 2018
The concept of this book is much more exciting than the writing of it, unfortunately, which is probably what Spielberg saw in it when he made the movie (which bears only a passing resemblance to its source material). I think the main problem is that the author knows more...See more
The concept of this book is much more exciting than the writing of it, unfortunately, which is probably what Spielberg saw in it when he made the movie (which bears only a passing resemblance to its source material). I think the main problem is that the author knows more about playing video games than crafting a good story. I got bored of his descriptions of the main character Wade playing games in the OAsIs. I''m a casual gamer myself, but I''m not sure there''s any way of describing the playing of Pac-Man that doesn''t make people want to skip a few paragraphs ahead. The story of the treasure hunt is mildly amusing, but the fact that it''s all told in past tense doesn''t really do it any favours. I would''ve liked to have seen more of the outside world as well which he briefly described earlier on. In fact, nearer the end we do get to see more of it, and this was my favourite part of the story. I thought that maybe things would improve as the stakes were raised, but it all becomes a bit too safe again. In the movie, there''s a great scene in which Wade is in the OAsIs whilst also in the back of a moving van. This makes for great tension and juxtaposition, but in the book (SLiGHT SPOILER) he''s safely tucked away in a secure house. There are some exciting moments in there somewhere, but they don''t seem to have any great effect on the main character, he just carries on with the hunt. The authors knowledge of eighties movies and video games is admirable to a point, but it doesn''t really make for a great read, although I did make it to the end, so maybe I saw a smidgen of potential in the debut author''s scribblings. Good luck to him.
11 people found this helpful
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Sci-Fi Kingdom
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
I wouldn’t waste your time on this book.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 16, 2019
The premise seemed interesting and I really wanted to like this, but it was just so dull, boring, extremely long-winded and a bit hard to believe. There’s no way a teenager or someone in their early 20s could watch every 80s TV show, film, and animation, as well as read...See more
The premise seemed interesting and I really wanted to like this, but it was just so dull, boring, extremely long-winded and a bit hard to believe. There’s no way a teenager or someone in their early 20s could watch every 80s TV show, film, and animation, as well as read practically every book in existence – multiple times – and remember every single tiny minute detail of them all. While also repeatedly playing every 80s videogame ever created, and having the lyrics to loads of 80s songs memorised. I know this is fiction, but it still needs to be believable. I wouldn’t waste your time on this book. Basically a textbook full of pointless 80s entertainment references.
9 people found this helpful
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Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Slick mix of Virtual Reality and 80''s pop culture!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 25, 2017
Started this yesterday and it immediately sucked me in. I loved the premise - billionaire computer games developer dies and leaves a fortune to the first person to find an Easter egg hidden in the virtual world he created. As we meet the principal protagonist we find that...See more
Started this yesterday and it immediately sucked me in. I loved the premise - billionaire computer games developer dies and leaves a fortune to the first person to find an Easter egg hidden in the virtual world he created. As we meet the principal protagonist we find that the world of the 2040s is in bad shape. The planet is beset with rampant global warming, economic collapse and the majority of its inhabitants living on government subsidies. So far, so, standard dystopian future! However the thing that moves this from a standard YA dystopia and into the realm of a bestseller are three key features; the hero Wade Watts, the world building and the massive amount of 80’s pop culture references. Wade has real problems to struggle against; no mother or father, living on his own, no friends his own age and only the quest for the easter egg to keep him focused. A fat kid from the wrong side of town living on his wits and natural intelligence. With no friends or family he has to constantly fight for everything he possess. The world building is excellent with the reader immediately able to visualise the world of deprivation, global warming and the end of oil. A world so terrible that most of the population has moved into the virtual world to get away from the grim reality of everyday life. The mechanics of the virtual world are also well detailed and thought out. As I was reading the book I kept thinking of a fully immersive version of Warcraft. The book is written from a first person perspective. The reader effectively lives inside Wade''s head, which helps a lot with Wade being able to explain a lot of the 80''s cultural references. About half way through we meet the evil corporation trying to thwart our heroes plans. These "bad guys" are simple, one dimensional, greedy corporate goons. Having worked in the financial services sector for many years I recognised, their motivations and methods immediately. The bad guys are cheap and cheesy and a stark contrast with the heroes who are street punks living in a virtual world. The evil corporations motivation is greed and the heroes are motivated by fun, friendship, glory and the pursuit of the prize. Who you gonna root for — come on? The final third of the book works well with our heroes facing bigger and more complex challenges. The finally is also well done and fun. All in all an excellent, fun yarn. The book is well written, great entertainment with a blistering pace. If you are looking for a deeper meaning, or insight into nerd culture, this is probably not the book for you.
16 people found this helpful
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Steve Gardiner
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Ready... Steady... Go!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 18, 2017
I surprised myself by really loving this - I''m not really one of the target audience - I was in my thirties in the 1980s, and though I got a lot of the references, quite a few went right over my head. But that didn''t really matter; Ernest Cline''s enthusiasm for the decade...See more
I surprised myself by really loving this - I''m not really one of the target audience - I was in my thirties in the 1980s, and though I got a lot of the references, quite a few went right over my head. But that didn''t really matter; Ernest Cline''s enthusiasm for the decade shines through, and the plot is a real rollercoaster. You can see why Spielberg is directing and co-producing the film; it feeds into his inner child and fit well with his SF canon. Having read some of the critical reviews of the book, I think they''re missing the point - they compare it (often very unfavourably) with other, more highbrow authors'' works. This isn''t a highbrow book, it''s simply a highly entertaining and imaginative romp, and on those terms it succeeds fully. I''m looking forward to further books by Cline. I''m waiting for his announced sequel Ready Player Two, and I''ve already downloaded Armada.
13 people found this helpful
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From the Amazon Book Review: "A Heck of a Lot of Fun": Ernest Cline on the Film

In 2011, Ernest Cline's Ready Player One riveted readers to the page as unlikely hero Wade Watts used his gaming skills and his knowledge of 1980s pop-culture trivia to find clues left by billionaire James Halliday. Clues that would lead to control of the Oasis, the online virtual reality platform within which everyone in 21st-century Earth lives the better part of their lives.

We asked Cline for his thoughts.

Adrian Liang: Several years ago, when you and I first spoke about Ready Player One being made into a movie, you were over the moon because Steven Spielberg would be directing it. For a sci-fi author—or really any author—that's hitting the director jackpot. What was the actual experience of seeing Ready Player One taken from the page and put on the screen by Spielberg?

Ernest Cline: It's been one of the most exciting, educational, and creatively fulfilling experiences of my life. Steven is a huge fan of the book, and he was incredibly invested in making an adaptation that stayed true to the spirit of my story, so he allowed me to collaborate with him throughout the entire process. Every novelist who has their work made into a film should be so lucky.

How was the experience of writing a highly anticipated feature film screenplay different from writing a novel? What did you learn from the process?

It was incredibly challenging, but also a heck of a lot of fun. The process of adapting my own novel into a feature film helped me understand why it's almost always necessary to make considerable changes to the source material in order to tell the story in a more cinematic way. Books and films are two completely different storytelling mediums, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Things that work really well in a novel might not work in a movie at all, and vice versa. The best adaptations manage to capture the spirit of the story and the characters, and Steven Spielberg's adaptation of Ready Player One definitely does that, in the best way possible.

Your book Ready Player One hit shelves in 2011. What are your thoughts about the immersiveness and escapism of the Oasis and whether it has real-life parallels to social media?

When I was writing the novel, I always envisioned the Oasis as an allegory for the modern Internet. Right now, in 2018, billions of us carry small hand-held computers that keep us connected to the Internet every second of every day. We already have virtual conversations and relationships with people we've never met. And we communicate through our social media profiles, which are just like Oasis avatars—idealized versions of ourselves that are often more representative of who we would like to be, rather than who we truly are. So yes, I always had those parallels in mind when I created the Oasis, and they only seemed to have deepened in the years since the book was first published.

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