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The Circle Hardcover – Big Book, October 8, 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
Eggers wraps his criticism of this phenomenon around a company called The Circle, a thinly disguised version of Google. We experience the inner workings of The Circle through our protagonist Mae who has landed her dream job of being a “Circler,” one of the most coveted and hippest jobs that a young 20-something could hope for.
The Circle is, from the outset, a creepy sort of insulated company in which every possible need of the Circlers (almost all of whom are under 30) is provided for: on site parties headlined by notable performers, clothing stores stocking the latest products, residences and more. Circlers need never leave the campus (and why would they want to? Surely there could be no more exciting place in the world to be). Oh, one catch: make sure to always be participating in the company’s social media at all times; a failure to participate might indicate that you’re not a team player or worse....you might be antisocial. One thing the Circle cannot abide is a lack of complete participation at all times.
Mae quickly adapts to the ways of the Circle, easily embracing each new layer of required transparency and tracking. As a young person with nothing to hide, she can’t see any inherent difficulties in this prospect. Why wouldn’t you want to share as much as possible with everyone? Sharing--in the words of one of the Circle’s founders--is caring. Keeping information to yourself is actually an act of theft.Read more ›
2. People often willingly give up their privacy for convenience, societal benefit, or a needy and self-centered desire for affirmation.
If these premises seem facile to you, you might not enjoy Dave Egger's new novel, the Circle.
The writing is straight, mainstream, third-person limited narration. You won't find any of the layered themes, complex metaphor, formal experimentalism, stylistic prose or psychological lyricism common in modern literary fiction. Whether you'll consider this a bug or a feature is mainly a matter of taste; but it's worth mentioning, given Eggers' McSweeney's pedigree (this is the first book I've read by Eggers, so I wasn't sure what to expect).
The protagonist is Mae Holland, an enthusiastic, naive and downright submissive young woman (surprise) who gets a job in customer service at the Circle, a company which, having subsumed Google, Facebook and Twitter, is on the brink of achieving the complete monopoly mentioned above. Mae does not think deeply or critically about anything that happens to her, and her motivations are often inexplicable. These are qualities that serve Eggers' narrative goals more effectively than they do the reader's enjoyment.
Eggers' goals seem to ride directly on the surface of the narrative. Almost every scene reads like a mini-lesson on the deceptive utopianism of the huge dot-coms, the superficiality and false emotional appeal of online "sharing", or the creepiness of voluntary corporate surveillance.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book was somewhat unrealistic but the story kept my interest. Transparency and the thought of it being prevalent in the world was very compellingPublished 2 hours ago by Steph
Great book about the evolving nature of our society under the influence of social media and increasingly powerful digital media companies.Published 19 hours ago by Adal Bermann
I kept waiting for something BIG to happen, and it never really did. I did however, continue reading it through to the end. It just did not offer much excitement and/or intrigue.Published 1 day ago by Ginny Tiburzi
I wanted to like this book, but the writing was laughably bad. If it were a TV show, the characters would seem so ridiculous that I doubt it would last a whole season. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Victor Hall
Very interesting concept. Tedious reading...could be cut in half without sacrificePublished 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
I really enjoyed this book, even though many parts of it scared me!!Published 3 days ago by Jill Lenden
Characters lacked depth, especially Mae. The story was engaging though with a few unexpected twists and turns at the end.Published 4 days ago by emilie j lavin
Okay, so I'll keep this simple.
All stories have to have a conflict. Something for the protagonist to push against. Some resistance or obstacle to overcome. Read more