- Paperback: 512 pages
- Publisher: Penguin; 01 edition (24 April 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 024114650X
- ISBN-13: 978-0241146507
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.8 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (435 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 893 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Circle Paperback – 24 Apr 2014
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Publisher's description. Fast, thrilling and compulsively addictive, The Circle is Dave Eggers' bestselling novel about our obsession with the internet and where it may lead. When Mae Holland lands her dream job at the world's most powerful internet company, she has no idea what awaits behind the doors of The Circle... (Penguin)
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)
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 author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, You Shall Know Our Velocity, The Unforbidden is Compulsory, How We Are Hungry, Short Short Stories, Teachers Have It Easy, Surviving Justice, What is the What, How the Water Feels to the Fishes, The Wild Things, Zeitoun, A Hologram for the King, The Circle, Your Fathers, Where Are They? And The Prophets, Do They Live Forever? and Heroes of the Frontier. A Hologram for the King and The Circle are both currently in production for major film adaptations.
Dave Eggers is the founder of McSweeney's independent publishing house, the 826 National network, and the nonprofit organisation ScholarMatch. He lives in Northern California with his family.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
I think the author had a great idea here. The premise of this book is certainly interesting. Eggers exploits the creepiness associated with Google's and Facebook's disregard for personal privacy and turns it into a dystopian thriller. Post-Edward Snowden, this book really hits the target.
As a story, however, it fails. Its vacuous and shockingly naive main protagonist, Mae Holland, blindly and unquestioningly accepts all the bizarre requests her company demands of her. Not once does she put up an ounce of resistance when she is being told to share even the most personal and private details of her life. What motivates Mae's lack of resistance remains infuriatingly unclear throughout the story.
I kept on wondering at which point she would explode and tell her employers to stick their requests where the sun doesn't shine. I kept expecting her to at least say "enough is enough" and storm out. Alas, no. All she does is apologise profusely and sacrifice more of her personal dignity. It made me want to grab her by the shoulders and scream at her. Towards the end of the book I even loathed her so much I was actively hoping for some suitably nasty end to her pathetic existence.
Most of the other characters are extremely peripheral and not fleshed out in much detail. There's a couple of love interests here and there, but those aren't explored very much. Then there's the ex boyfriend who acts as the moral conscience of the story. He's the only one who's remotely likeable.
Still though, despite all these criticisms this book did make me sit back and think.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
The Circle is an internet service provider that joins people's records together.
We follow new recruit, Mae Holland, as she starts work in the futuristic offices of The Circle, somewhere in the greater San Francisco area. The offices have every amenity an employee could want; free food, free drink, free clothes, free accommodation. There's really no reason to leave. And the emphasis is on community, on fun and participation. Being a Circler is not just a job, it is a way of life. In return for all the free stuff, Circlers are expected to "zing" every second thought that pops into their heads; to respond to surveys; to go to parties; and to join networks.
Mae finds herself drawn into the power centre of the organisation, piloting new technologies and "transparency". She feels fierce loyalty to the organisation, partly because she feels indebted to her personal friend Annie, one of the senior managers who got her the job, and partly because of the support that The Circle has offered to her in her personal life. But she also has to deal with the lack of enthusiasm of her parents and her former partner Mercer. And then there's the mysterious Kalden, a wraith like man who pops out of the office shadows to plant seeds of doubt into Mae's mind.
The Circle's objective is to remove all privacy, open all secrets. Secrets are lies. The goal is to record everything anyone does, from cradle to grave. Of course, if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to be afraid of.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great thriller of modern times and fears. Although at times a little overly descriptive this book had me cringing, smiling, worrying, laughing and just keeping on reading. Read morePublished 13 hours ago by George
Reasonably enjoyable throughout, but in the end the story really leaves you feeling like no significant plot arch was achieved. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Mr. A. Lawson
I did enjoy this book, it was an interesting story and I was kept wondering how it would end; however the end felt a bit rushedPublished 12 days ago by deborah Graddon
The ideas presented in the book are thought provoking and interesting when we consider the leaps and bounds technology has made in recent years. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Ms. R. Amin
This is the book that convinced me to permanently delete my facebook account once and for all. It also inspired me to go through mild kayaking obsession for about a year! Read morePublished 19 days ago by @MrBookChief