Hear It First: Get Ready, Player One!


Steven Spielberg’s latest adventure, Ready Player One is hitting the big screen on March 29, but why wait until then? Enjoy the story now, as Trekkie Wil Wheaton, Wesley Crusher himself, narrates the Ready Player One audiobook.

Wait, what’s it about?

The year is 2044. Energy crises and a 30 year recession have reduced populations to poverty. Many people live in stacked trailer homes, and spend the majority of their time inside them, because the world outside is violent, polluted and depraved. The mental escape of choice is OASIS, a digital paradise comprised of thousands of virtual worlds. It’s a Comic Con explosion, where players can dive into vast environments with themes like Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Harry Potter and as many 80’s movie and music references as they could possibly stuff in.

Who am I rooting for?

Teenager Wade Watts (known in game as Parzival) attends his virtual high school via OASIS, along with his best friend known as Aech (prounounced H, you’re welcome). Aech, Parzival and his crush known as Artemis go on an epic adventure when OASIS creator, James Halliday dies, and launches a $140B in-game treasure hunt. The search offers more than just an escape to a fictional world, but it offers real-life actual hope. And of course, epic battles must ensue, as the trio find themselves up against a giant corporation seeking fortune and world domination.

How does the book stack up to the movie?

Get your smug “the book was so much better” watercooler ready – here’s everything you need to know about comparing them. First off, the movie rights were purchased before the book was even published, so there are bound to be differences, since the film got such an early start with development. The trailer also clearly features some movie tropes, like a requisite car chase, and scenes in the real world which did not occur in the book.

Upon starting the project, Spielberg quickly announced that he was removing all references to his movies from the film version. So the book is the only place to enjoy references like Jaws, The Goonies and Indiana Jones. There are also character differences like having to remove Ultraman due to legal issues, the creation of the character i-Rok, and a new take on the villain, Nolan Sorrento. Actor Ben Mendelsohn, who plays Sorrento in the film, stated “I’m not trying to be faithful to the book Sorrento at all,”.

Cool, how many thumbs up?

Since the book launched in 2011, Ready Player One was a NY Times best seller, has won an Alex Award, Prometheus Award, and has had reviewers from Entertainment Weekly, NPR and USA Today gushing about it. The book was very well received, especially considering this is the debut novel for author Ernest Cline.

If you’re sitting on the edge of your seat anxiously awaiting this new movie like we are, lean back and first enjoy the audiobook on Otto Radio.