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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
This is my first Eggers book and I'm glad I stumbled on him. This book will make you think and it hits home to many Googlers that are giving it the 1 star reviews. Read morePublished 23 hours ago by Mike D
The book felt like it was just starting the entire time. There were plot points I thought would have and should have come back but didn't. Read morePublished 23 hours ago by C. Czerniak
My daughter had read this book and thought I might enjoy it during a flight home. I did enjoy it; it was thought-provoking and Eggers created a fascinating dot com company that... Read morePublished 1 day ago by imawake
Incredibly well written. Captivating from the very start! An interesting, creepy read.Published 2 days ago by braids
Goes along well with Ex Machina. The electronic revolution takes over!Published 2 days ago by Kathleen A. Lange
While billed as the future, most of it is applicable to the here and now.Published 4 days ago by Amazon Customer