The Circle by Dave Eggers

PRIVACY IS THEFT

SECRETS ARE LIES

SHARING IS CARING

Summary

Mae Holland an ordinary girl from a small town is hired by the biggest tech corporate, The Circle. Her life is completely transformed as she fully embraces her new lifestyle and even becomes a spokesperson for the company’s policies. What makes the Circle so different? It permeates every aspect of people’s lives, like Facebook in 20 years with an obsession with transparency. However Mae is approached by a mysterious figure who warns her about the dangers of this and insists that the circle needs to be stopped.

summary from Goodreads:

“When Mae Holland 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. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users’ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company’s modernity and activity. There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO. Mae can’t believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in America–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. What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge.”


Review

Oh my freaking god. I thought the Hunger Games were terrifying, this is ten times worse because it’s an Orwellian version of the Hunger Games, one so realistic it’s terrifying. Heck it makes Orwell’s 1984 seem like a sane world and not so dystopian.

The concept is so realistic and I keep saying this but it’s terrifying, to quote Johnny Nash, “I’m horrified, mortified, petrified by [The Circle].” So damn scary. Eggers masterfully lets you side with the bad guys only when you’re deep in the shit you realize how deep in the shit you are. His slogans are creepy beyond creepiness and his characters are so alive, they’re like someone out of your neighborhood or school. Sure he has some stock characters that are disposed of unceremoniously and  that was frustrating. In terms of his writing style, it’s meh, not so special, it’s okay; I guess the brilliance of the story makes up for it. The plot twists are where the whole effing thing goes crazy.

Score:

Plot: 5/5

Writing 2.5/5

Overall: 4/5

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