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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 author writes well -- which cannot be said of all the hasty, modern wordprocessing artists. In this story he simply takes current technologies (internet profiling, video... Read morePublished 1 day ago by adi
Very interesting story about the somewhat inevitable loss of privacy through the ever-expanding Internet and social media age.Published 1 day ago by Felicia Haskins
The premise of this novel can be applied to most digital media that the majority of the planet participates in. So intrusive and almost always misleading in some way... Read morePublished 2 days ago by Laurie Traverse
Thin. The characters are cardboard and the plot moves by the ideological numbers with zero surprises. You have to agree with Dave Eggers completely to get anything out of it. Read morePublished 2 days ago by KazingAML
A timely premise with some interesting ideas. However, character development is lacking and there isn't much to like about any of the characters. Read morePublished 3 days ago by E. Frausto
Holy frack, that was scary.
In the not too distant future, the Circle has replaced Google, Facebook, and Amazon to become the dominant information technology of the... Read more