Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Almost ready.

Listened October 2012
Recommended for fans of the 80s
★    ★   ★    –audio version

Interesting. As a child of the 80s, part of Ready Player One speaks to me. Then there’s the part that loves a great story. The book spoke to that part too, but it mostly said, “go away, loser.”

My review is heavily influenced by the experience of the audio book, read by Wil Wheaton (of Star Trek: The Next Generation Fame, for those of you who should probably not be reading this). The story had a disjointed narrative. Like numerous ‘coming-of-age’ stories, this one has a period where we suddenly go from relatively little skill to relatively great skill. Not that I mind, because in this case, it has a parallel to video game levels. But it was worth noting.

The audio:

One of my first audio books while not engaged in cross-country driving. I have to say I’ve been enjoying Wil Wheaton’s reading–he imparts a lot of emotion to general descriptive text, and modifies his voice nicely when reading dialogue. He does a nice job with the ironic tone, too.

Writing doesn’t best correspond with audio–but perhaps it would be worse listening. There’s several sections with lists, including 80s movies and tv shows, and the top 10 scorers and their scores that is somewhat unsatisfying when read aloud. The text chat between the main character and Artemis was awkward as well, though I could tell Wil was doing his best: “Artemis: blah-blah,” “Percival: blah, blah.” Again, somewhat unsatisfying, and which makes me think about inexperienced writers.


I’ve discovered a couple problems in my listening, and I welcome advice. One, while I can listen while I do things around the house (cook, clean) or physical but not strenuous (walk dogs, rake, bike), after about a hour, my mind starts to wander, and I realize I didn’t hear or process anything that was just said. I think I tend to turn it into “background music” after enough time passes.

About thebookgator

avid reader and Goodreads reviewer looking for a home.
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11 Responses to Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Almost ready.

  1. I liked it, the written version. Not so much for the story but for the 80s references. In my 59s now there was plenty of nostalgia for me.

  2. Mikhail S. Rekun says:

    I suspect I’m a bit too young to really appreciate 80s nostalgia (born in 88). I hear a LOT about this book (and the movie), but most of the reviews (including this one) suggest that this is not a book I’d be much interested in.

  3. alicegristle says:

    Everything I’ve read about this book makes me want to steer well clear. Still, thanks for reviewing it! 🙂

    As for your mind starting to wander, well, I wish I had an answer! My mind does that sometimes when reading, too. Maybe if we had a piece of tech that jolted us back into attention every time our minds start to wander…? Nothing like a little electric shock to wake you up (or send you into cardiac arrest). 😀

  4. M. says:

    I can’t listen to audios for more than an hour at a time either, so I don’t have any useful tips to offer, but someone I used to work with said knitting or crocheting helped her a lot. As long as her hands were moving, she could concentrate on listening to the story. I don’t knit or crochet, so can’t confirm or deny, but just thought you might find this tip useful.

    • thebookgator says:

      Thank you for sharing your tip, M.! Come to think of it, an hour might be my max too–except for road trips. I understand the hands concept, but I don’t do anything with my hands that doesn’t require Brain to be involved, except the dusting. And walking the dog, although that does require Attention.

      • M. says:

        Yeah, there’s not a lot of things you can do while listening to audiobooks. My “favorite” activity while audiobooking is laundry (and ironing). A good narrator can make those hours fly by.

  5. Ray says:

    I also listened to the audiobook, which was excellently made! I do find the novel problematic in a lot of ways, overly nostalgic without being truly deep, but can’t deny it’s a fun story.

    Also, one hour a day of listening to an audiobook is plenty…

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