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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
Did not like it, seemed like I was reading the same thing over and over. I hated this book and would not recommend it to anyone. Read morePublished 16 hours ago by ERICA J BROWN
Very interesting, big brother is watching type of story. I started to see weird little things in real life that mimicked the book, and it freaked me out.Published 2 days ago by rcunningham
Such an intriguing book...so reflective of our world today, and therefore a bit scary!Published 2 days ago by Susan D.
The book will make you think about technology and how everything is connected (like communication and Social Media) and how it can be used in not so good ways if it gets in the... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Rena King
Eggers creates a world dominated by a company like Google+Facebook+Apple. "Brave New World" was scary, but you can see "The Circle" unfolding on your IPhone.Published 4 days ago by L. Entrekin
This is a masterful sendup of our current social-media driven world and the company or companies that seek to dominate in that arena. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Brooke Frederick
This is a predictable book if you're someone who works in tech. If you have a basic understanding of data privacy, data collection and tech 'monopoly,' you'll probably read this... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Ryan Mease