February 2, 2018

Audio Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Title: Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline
Narrator: Wil Wheaton

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, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. 

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. 

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday's riddles are based in the pop culture he loved--that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday's icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes's oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig. 

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 very real 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. 
Are you ready?

My 16 year old son read this book awhile ago, and he kept telling me I needed to read it - especially because of all the 1980's references.  I grew up in the 80's you see.  Well when I saw the movie trailer I knew it was time to read the book so I could see the movie after.  I decided to get the audio book and listen to it.  I was NOT disapointed in any way!  The story is fantastic.  I loved Wade and seeing the world (both real and virtual) through his eyes.  I loved all the 80's references (seriously he watches Family Ties!!! - and War Games! and LadyHawk!).  Those references just put icing on the cake for a book I really enjoyed.  The battle to find the Easter Egg hidden in the OASIS was so well done.  It had tension and some mystery, and it wasn't easy to figure out.  I would've been very disappointed if I could figure things out before him.  Ok I admit I did figure one thing out before him, but it more just made me proud to figure it out first instead of annoyed.  See - it got into the hunt for the egg as well.  

I will admit the lines between the real world and the virtual world in the book blurred a lot.  I had to keep reminding myself when Wade (or Parzival in the OASIS) was in the real world and when he was in the virtual world.  It was easy to get them confused.  And honestly I think that was true for the characters in the book as well.  They lived so much in the OASIS that they often forgot the real living breathing world.  At first that bothered me, but in the end I felt it was addressed - the need for real human contact - so I was satisfied. 

The ending was great.  Loved how it played out.  Now I hear he is writing a sequel.  I'm curious about it, but in the same breath I don't need it! 

Thoughts on the audio book: Wil Wheaton did a fantastic job narrating this book.  I loved how he read it.  The voices were clearly defined.  He added the right amount of dramatics.  And honeslty when he read a line about Wil Wheaton being part of the OASIS I giggled.  I would listen to other books read by Wil Wheaton for sure! 

1 comment:

  1. One of mt favorite books!! Everytime I talk another person into reading it, I go back and read my favorite parts again. Just the best!!