- Publisher: Penguin (2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 024114650X
- ISBN-13: 978-0241146507
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.1 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3,783 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,231,181 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
+ Free Shipping
+ Free Shipping
The Circle (Penguin Essentials) Paperback – 2012
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors' picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
When Mae is hired to work for the Circle, the world's most powerful internet company, she feels she's been given the opportunity of a lifetime. Run out of a sprawling California campus, the Circle links users' personal emails, social media, and finances with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of transparency. Mae can't believe her great fortune to work for them - even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public ... 'Tremendous. Inventive, big hearted and very funny. Prepare to be addicted' Daily Mail 'Prescient, important and enjoyable . . . a deft modern synthesis of Swiftian wit with Orwellian prognostication' Guardian 'A gripping and highly unsettling read' Sunday Times Dave Eggers is the founder and editor of McSweeney's, an independent publishing house based in San Francisco. He is the author of seven previous books, including A Hologram for the King (finalist for the National Book Award 2012), Zeitoun (winner of the American Book Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize) and What is the What, which was a finalist for the 2006 National Book Critics Circle Award and won France's Prix M?dicis.
Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features:
3,783 customer reviews
Review this product
Showing 1-8 of 3,783 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
“The Circle” makes some important points about timely issues such as the end of privacy (already upon us), totalitarianism/monopolies, the power of “groupthink” and delusion, and the weaknesses of governments that are incestuously linked to private corporations. However, I found myself skimming through parts where it got bogged down. On one hand, Eggers’ attention to detail is impressive and extremely conscientious. For instance, he details the Circle’s elaborate system of success metrics (a combination of performance and social media rankings) that eerily parallels today’s times. But he also spent a lot of time describing the mechanics of Mae’s job as a customer service rep, and I’m not sure there was a point to having to digest all those specifics. I think a talented editor could have honed this manuscript down to 300 pages instead of 500, while still making the main points.
I also found it odd that Mae (the protagonist) did not undergo a major character transformation, since most novels follow that formula. Mae is sort of a “flat character” with little emotional depth. I kept hoping Mae would see the error of the Circle’s philosophy and her acceptance of it. But maybe the point is that good people can find themselves embroiled in ultimately bad things due to a lack of awareness and insight. Mae is, after all, only in her 20s. Perhaps she just lacks the wisdom and empathy that come with age and experience. Yet Mae’s character flaws – megalomania and self-delusion – seem deeply ingrained in her psyche (e.g., her refusal to admit to herself how her behavior resulted in the death of someone close to her).
As Mae and the other Circlers approach “completion,” ironically, the people in Mae’s inner circle – her parents, her best friend, her ex-boyfriend – begin dropping out of her life. It serves as a cautionary tale about how obsession and delusion can lead to the destruction of what’s most important to us.
In this new age of transparency, Mae is excited to see what else The Circle comes up with…until she has a strange interaction with a coworker who talks of the problems the lack of privacy can cause. The Circle is a book full of technological innovations, suspense, and moral questions, and I couldn’t get enough of it.
I really had a hard time putting The Circle down. I was immediately engaged with the story and completely fascinated by the inventions the company had created – many of which would be convenient to have today.
Part of what I loved about the book is how much it made me question the stance on privacy and anonymity. There were so many inventions and programs that The Circle wanted to implement that I could see as being both helpful but also a total removal of privacy, and I often questioned if the pros outweighed the cons.
I had a really hard time rating the book because while I loved the writing and learning more about the goals of The Circle including the inventions they wanted to make, I kept expecting something crazy to happen – some big event, similar to the way the story went with Divergent. That was not the case with The Circle, and I went back and forth on whether or not I felt it was missing something. Ultimately, I landed at 4.5 stars, and rounded up to 5 stars, specifically because I couldn’t put the book down and when I wasn’t reading it, I was definitely thinking about it.
I’ve read other reviews that said that they hated the ending. I actually liked it. By the end of the book, I had no doubts as to how it would end, and I liked that. I think the ending was absolutely what would happen in real life, regardless of whether or not I liked it, so I appreciated that it wasn’t necessarily a “happily ever after” ending with all loose ends tied up.
I liked Mae as the main character as much as I wanted to shake her sometimes! She definitely made some bad choices and occasionally struggled with her self worth. She tied a lot of what she felt about herself into what others thought of her. As much as it’s hard to read that, Mae is 24 and I don’t know many 24 year olds who don’t care at all what their peers think of them – I know I didn’t when I was 24. Hell, as much as I hate to admit it, I still struggle with not caring with what people thought of me, so honestly, that felt realistic to me.
All in all, I really enjoyed the book, and it made me think a lot about the world we live in today. Many of The Circle’s innovations felt like things I could actually see happening in real life, which made the book all the more creepy. This is definitely one I’d recommend for fans of the dystopian genre and anyone interested in the extremes the “selfie culture” could take. While this wasn’t a traditional “hard core” dystopian where the world is completely different than the one we live in, I think it still falls in this category. When all is said and done, this is still a book that’s on my mind as I fall asleep at night.