Audiobook Review: Ready Player One

Posted October 1, 2017 by Kathy in 5 stars, Audiobook Review, Book Review / 6 Comments

Audiobook Review: Ready Player OneReady Player One by Ernest Cline
Narrator: Wil Wheaton
Published by Random House Audio on August 16, 2011
Genres: Young Adult Science Fiction
Length: 15 hours and 46 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Borrowed
Buy on AmazonBarnes & Noble

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines—puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.

But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win—and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.

"Ready Player One is the ultimate lottery ticket." (New York Daily News)

“An exuberantly realized, exciting, and sweet-natured cyber-quest. Cline’s imaginative and rollicking coming-of-age geek saga has a smash-hit vibe.” (Booklist)

"This adrenaline shot of uncut geekdom, a quest through a virtual world, is loaded with enough 1980s nostalgia to please even the most devoted John Hughes fans… sweet, self-deprecating Wade, whose universe is an odd mix of the real past and the virtual present, is the perfect lovable/unlikely hero.” (Publishers Weekly)


Ready Player One is an exciting adventure. I loved this book and I didn’t want this to end!

It’s the year 2044 and Earth is a big mess. Most of humanity “live” in a virtual world, called the OASIS, where they can go to school, play and fall in love on any of the ten thousand planets.  The OASIS creator James Halliday was a teen of the 1980’s so his virtual worlds paid homage to his favorite 80’s pop culture. At the time of his death Halliday leaves his fortune and the rights to the OASIS to the winner of a quest, the ultimate virtual hunt for his Easter egg. Wade Watts is a “gunter” (a virtual gamer) teenager living in a trailer park (called the stacks). Wade has spent years learning about Halliday, not just for the quest but because he is a devoted fan. His devotion pays off when he becomes the first gamer to solve the first puzzle, beginning his exciting and dangerous quest to win the ultimate prize.

I loved everything about this book. The characters, storyline, and twists kept me glued to this book. This is an entertaining trip into the future. Wade Watts (online known as Parzival) is your normal teenager, going through the motions of surviving day by day. The OASIS is his escape from the poverty he lives in and he meets other gunters Aech, Art3mis, Daito and Shoto. They are his competition for his quest but as time passes they develop a friendship because of their love for everything Halliday and how they are each a social outcast.  The OASIS is a place where people can hide behind an avatar and be anyone they want. But in reality they struggle with insecurities. This book focuses mostly on the quest but we do get a small glimpse of each character. I would have liked a little more time on developing the characters but it was enough for me to feel that I didn’t want to say goodbye to them. The 80’s references were a fun trip down memory lane.  I was a teenager of the 80’s so I was giddy and geeking out at all my favorite TV shows, music, video games and movies. Throughout the story there is a lot of information given, which I felt a mix of too much but interesting, so I hope this doesn’t discourage you to read this book.  All the information is necessary to understand the mind of Halliday and you don’t want to miss how it all connects!

I was on my library’s waiting list for 2 months for this audiobook, and it was worth the wait. Now I need to buy the paperback and audiobook edition. I know I will be listening/reading this book over and over again. Wil Wheaton was amazing as the narrator and the perfect fit for this book.  He himself is an 80’s icon (Stand by Me, Star Trek: The Next Generation) and I felt his and the characters honest passion of that decade through his performance. I wore a smile the moment I pressed play for this audiobook.

I highly recommend this book to everyone looking for a fun and exciting adventure. I can’t wait to see the movie in March 2018!


In case you are wondering why I was in 80’s heaven while reading this book, here are some of the 80’s pop culture that what was mentioned in the book:

TV – Family Ties, School House Rock, Voltron, Ultraman

Movies – Say Anything, Ladyhawke, The Last Starfighter, Blade Runner, Wargames

Video Games – Joust, Pacman, Tempest


Rating Report
Audiobook Performance
Overall: five-stars

About Ernest Cline

ERNEST CLINE is a novelist, screenwriter, father, and full-time geek. His first novel, Ready Player One, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller, appeared on numerous “best of the year” lists, and is set to be adapted into a motion picture by Warner Bros. and director Steven Spielberg. His second novel, ARMADA, debuted at #4 on the NYT Bestseller list and is being made into a film by Universal Pictures. Ernie lives in Austin, Texas, with his family, a time-traveling DeLorean, and a large collection of classic video games.

About Wil Wheaton

Wil Wheaton began acting in commercials at the age of seven, and by the age of ten had appeared in numerous television and film roles. In 1986, his critically acclaimed role in Rob Reiner’s Stand By Me put him in the public spotlight, where he remains to this day. In 1987, Wil was cast as Wesley Crusher in the hit television series Star Trek: The Next Generation. Recently, Wil has held recurring roles on TNT’s Leverage and SyFy’s Eureka; he currently recurs on CBS’s The Big Bang Theory. He played Axis of Anarchy leader Fawkes in Felicia Day’s webseries The Guild, and hosted The Wil Wheaton Project. Off-camera, he is the creator, producer, and host of the wildly successful webseries Tabletop, which is currently in its fourth season.

But Wil is much more than just an actor; he’s an author, podcaster, and award-winning audiobook narrator.

As a voice actor, Wil has been featured in video games such as Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Brütal Legend, DC Universe Online, Fallout: New Vegas, There Came An Echo, and Broken Age. He has lent his voice talents to animated series including Family Guy, Miles from Tomorrowland, Stretch Armstrong, Guardians of the Galaxy, Legion of Superheroes, Ben 10: Alien Force, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and Teen Titans.

As an author, he’s published many acclaimed books, among them: Just A Geek, Dancing Barefoot, Memories of the Future Volume 1, and The Happiest Days of Our Lives. Wil has also contributed columns to, The AV Club, LA Weekly, Playboy, The Washington Post, and the Suicide Girls Newswire.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Audiobook Challenge


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6 responses to “Audiobook Review: Ready Player One

    • Kathy

      I’m a little worried about the movie too. It’s going to be a lot of CGI so I hope it’s done right and also they don’t change too much of the storyline. Thanks Rebecca!

  1. This has bene on my TBR for a while now. I really need to try it. I’ve not listened to Will Wheaton narrate anything, though I’m a fan of his other work.

    • Kathy

      I had heard of this book on a 80’s podcast and when I saw Wil Wheaton narrate it I knew I had to listen to this. I love his podcasts so it was fun listening to him. I hope you enjoy this Melanie!