Pub Writes

About the publishing Industry, editorials, and reviews

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Posted by Caitie F on May 30, 2012

Title: Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline
Hardcover: 372 pages
Pub Date: August 2011
Publisher: Crown
Rating: +++++

Summary from goodreads:

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.

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.


I don’t think I have ever read a book that was just this much fun! I was born in the late eighties, but still grew up with the decade thanks to awesome parents and friends. This was one big look back at the fun of the time period: movies, music, television, and of course, video games.

The OASIS is like a character in itself. It sounds like the most fun thing ever. It is the virtual reality that we have been promised for decades but have never gotten. It is WoW mixed with Facebook mixed with ever video game made – because most seem to be in it somewhere.

The hunt for the Egg is awesome with twists and turns along the way. The Sixers (the corporation trying to win the contest so they can made it a for-profit entity that the poor can’t use) are the ultimate enemy. Get in their way and you may end up dead…and not just in the game.

Wade is such a cool character. He is smart beyond belief, which makes watching what he does and why all the most interesting. He may be socially inept in the real world, but he is able to make friends and me an awesome guy in OASIS, and watching him change in his real life is great character development.

The only complaint is that sometimes it gets a little rambling at times, but the ramblings are so descriptive and fun, that I didn’t really mind it like I usually would.

It is such a fun book that I highly recommend. Just be ready to want to play Pacman, watch The Breakfast Club, and listen to awesome 80s music when you are done!

I hear the audiobook is amazing also -it is narrated by Will Wheaton (who is mentioned in the book).

DId you read or listen to this? What did you think?


6 Responses to “Ready Player One by Ernest Cline”

  1. I think I’m way over the age of the target audience for this one but I loved it!!

    • Caitie F said

      I don’t think there is a target age though – if you appreciate pop culture, it is a book for you! I remember seeing that you liked it and it made me want to read it even more!

  2. Linda said

    I listened to this one last month and loved it. Hubby is currently reading it. I might read it when he’s done. Although I did love listening to Will Wheaton read it.

  3. Laurie C said

    Yes! Loved it! I haven’t reviewed yet, and may never get to it, but I thought this was a great audiobook! I’m sure I missed many of the references, but the author really created a story with them, so it’s not essential to have every 80s song, movie, and videogame memorized the way the main character does to enjoy the book! Urged my husband and son to read it immediately, but so far they haven’t believed me that they are really going to like this book for some reason.

  4. […] Ernest Cline who wrote Ready Player One […]

  5. I have so much geek love for this book! I listened to it on audio in my car (Ah, Wheaton–what a cool bonus!), and felt like driving in circles just so I could hear more. I ❤ 80s culture and am a retro gamer, so you can imagine how much fun I had with RPO's references. I heard they are making this into a movie, and I'm interested to see how they tackle a lot of the content. Should be fun. 🙂

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