Ready Player One

Ready Player One

[a Novel]

Book - 2011
Average Rating:
Rate this:

The bestselling cult classic--soon to be a major motion picture directed by Steven Spielberg.

At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, READY PLAYER ONE is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut--part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner , and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

It's the year 2045, 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?

Publisher: New York : Crown Publishers : Broadway Books, ©2011.
ISBN: 9781524763282
Branch Call Number: FICTION CLI
Characteristics: 374 p. ; 25 cm.


From Library Staff

List - The Movie or the Book?
Liesel_C Jan 08, 2018

This debut science fiction novel is set in a virtual reality video game. This book is a must read for children of the 1980s, filled with references to pop culture, science fiction and video games. The film adaptation, directed by Steven Spielberg, is to premiere in March 2018.

A fun, fast paced treasure hunt thrill-ride, with lots of eighties pop-culture references.

This novel, set thirty years in the future, blurs the lines between the real world and virtual reality. It has become a big hit with mainstream fiction readers and genre readers alike...Maybe all any of us want is a good story.

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Feb 15, 2018

Ok, before I say anything, I feel like I need to clear the air. I probably have a pretty large bias for this book. It's like Ernest Cline wrote this book for me. I instantly connected with it. I probably won't be able to express everything I feel right here, but I'm going to try my best:

Ready Player One takes the reader on a journey to the future and the past at the same time. Earth has become obsessed with a Virtual Reality gaming platform called The Oasis. Almost all of the book takes place within its digital realm. The story focuses on Wade Watts, a poor high school senior who attends classes within The Oasis. Wade is a Gunter - a treasure hunter on the search for James Halliday's hidden Easter Egg. Halliday was the co-creator of The Oasis, and at the end of his life, he sent The Oasis a message. Within the video, Halliday informs all Oasis users that he's hidden an "Easter Egg" - a surprise somewhere within the game. The player who deciphers all of the clues will be awarded keys, which unlock gates, which lead to the ultimate prize - ownership and sole heir to The Oasis.

Wade, also known as Parzival, happens to find the first of three keys, which catapults his character to the top of a scoreboard. He is followed closely by Art3mis, Aech, Daito, and Shoto. But after all of these players find the key, an evil corporation IOI starts shoving their own avatars through to gain the Easter Egg for themselves.

What follows is a story filled with TONS of 80's games, movies, TV, and general pop culture references alongside a well paced race to the finish line.

What might get lost along the way is the message of Virtual Reality and true real life. It's a message that we can easily apply to our own modern days. It's a message that has pulled me out of a period of depression. Twice.

I owe a lot to this book.

Honestly, this is easily in my top 5 "all time" books. Perhaps top 3...

Feb 15, 2018

Really fun read! A little predictable but lots of fun.

Feb 12, 2018

Exciting. Suspenseful. Outstanding.

I know that many people who love this book are those who grew up in the 80s; It's an endless waterfall of 80s references, anyways. Well I'm going to admit that 90% of them flew over my head, me growing up in the time of ebooks and iPhones, but that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy this book. It's now one of my favorites, too.

Cline wrote Ready Player One so miraculously. The society is something you'd exprect from an episode of Black Mirror: a world where this virtual reality is practically real life for most people. The story is like a mix of House of Secrets by Chris Columbus and Ned Vizzini and Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein, but for young and older adults. The main character, Wade, is funny and relatable, even while being down to earth about this messed up society. This odd combination of characteristics makes the novel fun to read and enjoy.

I'd recommend Ready Player One to anyone who hasn't read it

Feb 07, 2018

Do you like the 1980's? Are you into classic video games? John Hughes movies? How about geeky science fiction novels? If you do, then you might enjoy this book. If not, then I don't know what you will get out of it.

I must admit, I grew up in the 1980's and the writer, Ernest Cline definitely has his 1980's nostalgia down. He's not a casual, he's really hardcore. I found myself chuckling along to many of the references. I played many of the video games, listened to the same music, and obsessed over the same movies that appeared in this book. So, yeah, I liked it, because it was a nice trip down memory lane. I also liked how he avoided comic book geekdom, which I find mind-numbingly dull and utterly degenerate.

Anyways..... the writing is very pedestrian and the plot was very predictable. The characters were not really fleshed out and the main character was, I admit, a Mary Sue. By all standard metrics, this was a mediocre book that barely rises above the level of a fan-fic.

Still, I enjoyed it because I'm a child of the 80's. Your mileage may vary.

Jan 29, 2018

I haven't been this excited to keep returning to a book in a while. It's just a genuinely fun read and immersive experience. I kept feeling grateful to be along for the ride. The most effortlessly cool embedded references I've seen in a book since Theodore Roszak's Flicker.

Jan 25, 2018

Ready Player One is a standard adventure/quest story with a lot of 80s and gamer references in it. For someone who is familiar with gaming and the 80s, there is so much info-dumping and world building in the first 20% of the novel that it is spectacularly boring to read to via audiobook. After this first 20%, however, the novel turns more into the plot, and that's where the action picks up. I enjoyed 80% of the book thoroughly once it stopped being overly expository and focused on the plot. Worth the read before the movie comes out, but do yourself a favor and get a hard copy so you can skim the info-dumps.

Jan 22, 2018

In the year 2040 people will be obsessed by the 1980s. Here, in this preposterous fantasy, half the world is. The protagonists are a multinational, multicultural, multisexual stew who are out to solve a virtual reality (VR) game for a whole lot of money and control of the VR itself. But we’re out of oil, climate change is rocking the planet, and a worldwide depression of 30 years is gripping the earth. Naturally, these heroes, as poor as dirt, spend all their days locked inside the VR boning up on 1980s trivia and playing video games. That’s how the problems of the future get solved. They call themselves “geeks” and “nerds,” but I think better names for them are “doofuses” and “ne’er-do-wells.” Somehow, this turkey is going to be made into a movie directed by Steven Spielberg – but I’ll bet it won’t fly. This is no literary work, the prose is pedestrian bordering on ambling. Easily digestible and forgotten.

Jan 18, 2018

This is an excellent book. If you're really into science fiction, are an avid gamer, or are really int 80s pop culture you'll enjoy this book.

Jan 18, 2018

I love love love this book! Just finished it, and want to read it again!
I would love so much for everything in this book to be real. To be able to escape into a
VR experience like that would be amazing.
The book is well written and keeps you entertained the whole way. With a few OMG moments, a romance and lots of laughs it will keep you turning pages and be sad when it's done.
I hope the movie is just as good!

Jan 12, 2018

You don't have to be a gamer or obsessed with the 80's to become engrossed in Ready Player One. While Austin Cline depends heavily on the 80's to create the atmosphere of the OASIS, it's what happens in the real world and how the OASIS interacts with it that breathes some life into this dystopia. When the only world you and everyone else wants to be in is virtual, how we go about living our lives is drastically altered. What is the value of love, friendship, and even your life?
While I've heard from others that Ready Player One is just a rip-off book about the 80's, I disagree with those people. Ready Player One is about how one person's obsession can be shared with others, that nothing is outdated if you choose to place some value onto it whether it be monetarily, aesthetically, or to sustain your very life.

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

Jan 25, 2018

fallacyx2 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

blue_hummingbird_329 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Mar 22, 2017

microlost thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Feb 03, 2017

Sarah1up thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Jul 03, 2016

Bookcat18 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Jul 02, 2016

blue_hawk_1180 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 1 and 4

Jun 19, 2016

blue_cat_ thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Jun 16, 2016

KeenaL thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Jun 08, 2016

WesleyZeng thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Feb 14, 2016

goldbean thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

View All Ages


Add a Summary

Jun 16, 2016

This kid is very poor and very alone. Being in this virtual world allows him to escape. He grows up in this society that is falling apart and only wants to find fortune. He stumbles upon his first clue into a puzzle everyone else has given up on. It leads into the most adventurous roller coaster of a lifetime, with plenty of retro 80's to go along with it.

Apr 09, 2013

An entertaining read about the 1980's "tech" looking back from 40 years in the future. Pacman, Atari 2600, and Journey are part of a quest through a completely virtual, all-encompassing universe.


Add a Quote

Dec 30, 2016

“You know you've totally screwed up your life when your whole world turns to sh*t and the only person you have to talk to is your system agent software.”

Aug 13, 2016

No one in the world gets what they want and that is beautiful.


Add Notices

Feb 04, 2016

Coarse Language: The usual swearing when frustrated, nothing out of the ordinary.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at CPL

To Top