Ready Player One by Ernest Cline | Audiobook + Movie Thoughts

Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio
Release Date: August 16, 2011
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: Ready Player One #1
Story Rating:

Audiobook Rating:

Movie Rating:

Synopsis
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. 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.



I wanted to read the book before watching the Ready Player One movie, and I'm so glad I was able to do that because I would've missed out on how BIG the story really is if I just saw the movie on its own. I'm also very glad that I made the decision to listen to the audiobook because it personally made the novel easier to consume. Wil Wheaton's narration was really good--my only issue was that he sounded too old to be Wade. But, this is minor and didn't take away from my overall enjoyment.

As for the story or the novel itself, most of the 80s references went over my head--I recognized maybe 30%. If I was reading the book on my own, I don't know if I would've kept going. Most of the stuff Wade geeked (especially ALL the video games trivia) over I found uninteresting. However, how the author incorporated all the 80s stuff into the world/scavenger hunt was pretty impressive.

My least favorite thing (besides the big chunks of boring video game stuff) was the romance. Wade and Artemis had ZERO chemistry. The whole thing felt so forced and unnecessary. That part where Wade and Artemis were chatting for the LONGEST time was even more boring than the boring video game stuff. The romance felt like filler because the plot would've still worked without it. And then Wade just had to say a premature 'I love you' and then he kept saying it! UGH! Yeah, I absolutely HATED the romance.

Everything else I liked a lot. The Oasis and the tech sounded so cool! Halliday's game/puzzles and Halliday himself were interesting, the bad guy(s) were ones you just love to hate, and the commentary on the positive and negative of aspects online culture was predictable but I liked how the author presented it sort of in a tongue-in-cheek way.

Overall, I thought Ready Player One, thanks to the audiobook edition, was entertaining. Eighties pop culture fans will especially find it a one HUGE nerdgasm.

***

As for the Ready Player One movie, it was so underwhelming. Maybe I would've liked it more if I hadn't read the novel prior to seeing it, but most of the stuff I enjoyed the most in the book was missing from the movie and the romance between Wade and Artemis that I hated was one of the big plots in the movie and it was even more cringe-y in the movie than it was in the movie, which is saying a lot.

The only reason I gave the movie two stars was because I liked the visuals. Seeing the Stacks, The Oasis, and the final big battle scenes (my favorite part of the movie) were great. The special effects were VERY well-done.

I know it would've been impossible to take everything from the novel and adapt it into the movie, but the movie was stripped of almost everything that made Wade's hunt for Halliday's Easter Egg an epic scavenger hunt. The whole hunt for the Easter Egg part of the movie were so meh. There was absolutely nothing thrilling about finding and putting together the clues in the movie.

And then there's the romance between Wade and Artemis, which was a HUGE part of the movie, much to my dismay. I hated it in the book, but I hated it even more in the movie. The actors who played Wade and Artemis in the movie had zero chemistry, which dialed up the cringe-y-ness and insta-love all the more.

The Ready Player One movie was a HUGE letdown.

In conclusion, skip the movie and listen to the Ready Player One audiobook instead.

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