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The Circle [Kindle Edition]

Dave Eggers
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (222 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Fast, thrilling, compulsively addictive - The Circle is Dave Eggers's timely novel about our obsession with the internet.

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 Medicis.

Product Description


A stunning work of terrifying plausability ... a worthy and entertaining read (Publisher's Weekly)

Eggers has set his style and pace to technothriller: the writing is brisk, spare and efficient ... it works (Time)

Prescient, important and enjoyable ... a deft modern synthesis of Swiftian wit with Orwellian prognostication' (Guardian)

The Circle is 'Brave New World' for our brave new world ... fast, witty and troubling (Washington Post)

An elegantly told, compulsively readable parable for the 21st Century (Vanity Fair)

Immensley readable and very timely (Metro)

A gripping and highly unsettling read (Sunday Times)

Unputdownable (Times)

Eggers's writing is so fluent, his ventriloquism of tech-world dialect so light, his denouement so enjoyably inevitable (Observer)

Tremendous novel ... inventive, big hearted and very funny. Prepare to be addicted (Daily Mail)

Compelling and deeply contemporary (L.A Times)

Eggers brilliantly depicts the Internet binges, torrents of information and endless loops of feedback that increasingly characterize modern life (Booklist)

About the Author

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 Médicis.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 856 KB
  • Print Length: 494 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (10 Oct. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 024114650X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241146507
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (222 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,822 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Dave Eggers is the author of six previous books, including "Zeitoun," a nonfiction account a Syrian-American immigrant and his extraordinary experience during Hurricane Katrina and "What Is the What," a finalist for the 2006 National Book Critics Circle Award. That book, about Valentino Achak Deng, a survivor of the civil war in southern Sudan, gave birth to the Valentino Achak Deng Foundation, run by Mr. Deng and dedicated to building secondary schools in southern Sudan. Eggers is the founder and editor of McSweeney's, an independent publishing house based in San Francisco that produces a quarterly journal, a monthly magazine ("The Believer"), and "Wholphin," a quarterly DVD of short films and documentaries. In 2002, with Nínive Calegari he co-founded 826 Valencia, a nonprofit writing and tutoring center for youth in the Mission District of San Francisco. Local communities have since opened sister 826 centers in Chicago, Los Angeles, Brooklyn, Ann Arbor, Seattle, and Boston. In 2004, Eggers taught at the University of California-Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, and there, with Dr. Lola Vollen, he co-founded Voice of Witness, a series of books using oral history to illuminate human rights crises around the world. A native of Chicago, Eggers graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in journalism. He now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and two children.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking 30 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book has so much potential and I enjoyed reading it but it only half realises its ideas. There is a delicious irony that when you finish it you are guided to Twitter, Facebook and other websites. For those who don't know the book is a dystopia which explores the ramifications of our social media information obsession so it's a bit strange to be now conforming to The Circle by rating the book on Amazon.

Strengths: the book has a good idea as all good dystopia fiction should and it poses some important questions about what would happen to our notion of truth, privacy and community especially if one company owned Apple, Facebook, Google, Twitter and every other social media site and app.

Weaknesses: the main character and the story. Mae is irritating. She's an anti-hero who is just too dumb. Also these stories require conflict - section 1 is all exposition much of which is repeated as if we didn't pick up the mantra about privacy and truth in the first conversation between the same two characters. Then, shockingly and I'll try to avoid spoilers, the most important moment of the book isn't there! Also Eggers just seems to get bored with characters like Annie and Mae's parents.

Had this been edited properly and developed it would have rightfully taken its place beside other great dystopias that have challenged the way we think about society and control. A thought-provoking novel that has certainly affected the way and how often I've used technology today alone.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars May I have a word with you in private? 12 Jan. 2015
By Rough Diamond TOP 500 REVIEWER
Well, no, not for much longer, if the scenario Dave Eggers imagines in 'The Circle' is to be believed. Set in the near future, The Circle has become the daddy of all internet companies, and has subsumed Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and all the rest to become a completely dominant and all-pervasive presence in people's online lives. The 10,000 or so employees working on The Circle's California campus have no doubt that their technology is making the world a better, safer, wiser place. But the implications of The Circle's omnipresence in terms of civil liberties, privacy and personal independence become more and more disturbing as The Circle's management pushes the company's capabilties towards their ultimate conclusion - which they refer to rather ominously as 'completing the circle'.

Eggers here is doing what satirists and science fiction writers have done for generations: take an existing modern trend and push it to its extremes. He is spot on in targeting the way in which our addiction to social media is allowing us to sleepwalk into a surveillance society, and he's also entertainingly paranoid in imagining a world in which there is no opt-out from public participation - a world where, in one of the book's many memorable taglines, Privacy is Theft. As well as raising the alarm on the threat of an online panopticon, the book is perhaps even more than this a satire on the corrosive effects of unrestrained capitalism, by imagining a world in which users' very selves can effectively be privatised and monetised by social media. All of which places a salutary question mark over today's internet giants and their anodyine internal injunctions of 'Don't Do Evil' and suchlike.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly Realistic 21 Oct. 2013
By Jonny
The Circle is one of the most intriguing books I've ever read. Set in the idealistic surroundings of Northern California, the Circle is a company like no other. Think Google meets Facebook meets Twitter. The book's main character, Mae Holland leaves behind a dead-end job in small town America, and finds herself a job at The Circle. What she encounters may as well be light years away from the life she once knew. Mae's life changes beyond recognition.

The description of The Circle's headquarters reminded me a lot of the Google HQ - an idealistic environment where the technology is state of the art, the buildings are beyond belief and the people are almost too friendly. This made the book feel very realistic.

This novel reminded me a lot of 1984. Through the promotion of its social networking tools, The Circle and its founders are on a campaign against all forms privacy. Although their methods seem innocent enough, you feel as though The Circle is on hell bent mission to rule the planet.

The book makes you question how much of your own information is on the Internet. It makes you think about who is watching you and why. It makes you think twice about what you post on Twitter, and the advertisements that show up on your Facebook page after you've purchased an item from Amazon.

The Circle has made me somewhat paranoid, but in a good way. It has also made me think about how technology has had an impact on the personal relationships I have with my family and friends. Although I believe social networks, emails and Skype are wonderful ways of connecting with your loved ones, I realise that the Earth is becoming a smaller and smaller place, and privacy is something Mankind needs to hold on to in this ever changing world.

Buy this book. You won't put it down!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The Circle starts off in an intriguing fashion but then, like an narcissistic Dot-com billionaire gradually loses the plot. Mae starts her role, as anyone would in a global corporation, keen, enthusiastic and trying to fit in to the corporate "family". From this beginning, with a few appropriately creepy touches, the story then accelerates in to a barely comprehensible parallel universe where everyone exists only on-line, huge global corporations control surveillance cameras everywhere and even control the electoral process. Mae just accepts this: we get no internal conflict, at least not in any depth, despite The Circle being involved in murder, extortion and probably tax-dodging too. Despite losing touch with her family and friends and being warned about the dangers to the future of humanity Mae just goes on pedalling the corporate line. Given the amount of uproar about the sharing of data by FB, Google and Twitter and the Snowdon/Wikileaks disclosures it seems bizarre that anyone would go from zero to zealot that quickly. To echo the vastly superior 1984 by the end Mae has learnt to love Big Brother.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 5 days ago by phil ashman
4.0 out of 5 stars I dont think this is too far off from our future...
Enjoyable, thought-provoking and funny. One of those books i couldn't wait to get stuck into each day. Read more
Published 8 days ago by rhythm nation
4.0 out of 5 stars A good holiday read for techies
I read this on our recent Barbados holiday and really got into it. The story is a bit weird at times but it does feel like a plausible tale of how the world might go if a powerful... Read more
Published 9 days ago by Eric Baker
4.0 out of 5 stars thought provoking
Not a future I would be happy in. Watch out big brother is watching you. A modern take on 1984, except no room 101.
Published 12 days ago by ready steady
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 15 days ago by Peter W.
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read
For all those who wonder what Orwell's 1984 could be like in the 21st century, here it is. Scarily well written.
Published 17 days ago by I. Pannell
1.0 out of 5 stars A waste of words
I hate the book! I'm reading it for book club, otherwise I wouldn't bother finishing it. The writing is clunky and the subject matter boring. Read more
Published 19 days ago by Georgia L. Shawer
1.0 out of 5 stars Teen Fiction at best?
Really badly written. Reads like teenage angst with some really fumbling premature sex. The whole world rolls over like a little puppy. Read more
Published 21 days ago by delg
3.0 out of 5 stars The Idea is Better than the Execution
I rate Eggers as a writer. I really enjoyed AHWSG and YSKOV, also his short stories in HWAH. (I've yet to read Zeitoun or AHFTK). I read some of WITW? Read more
Published 22 days ago by Mr M.
5.0 out of 5 stars It does of course reprise events in history of ideas which seemed good...
It is a very thought provoking book. It does of course reprise events in history of ideas which seemed good at the time rapidly getting out of control and becoming an end in... Read more
Published 26 days ago by G A ALDER
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