The Circle by Dave EggersThe Circle by Dave Eggers

The Circle

byDave Eggers

Hardcover | October 17, 2016

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LONGLISTED 2015  – International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

The Circle is the exhilarating new novel from Dave Eggers, bestselling author of A Hologram for the King, a finalist for the National Book Award.

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 the world—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.

Dave Eggers grew up near Chicago and graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the founder of McSweeney’s, an independent publishing house in San Francisco that produces books, a quarterly journal of new writing (McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern), and a monthly magazine, The Believer. McSweeney’s publishes Voice...
Title:The CircleFormat:HardcoverDimensions:504 pages, 8.79 × 6.45 × 1.53 inPublished:October 17, 2016Publisher:Knopf CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0345808584

ISBN - 13:9780345808585

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Rated 3 out of 5 by from Disquieting Prescient and well written, and with a fun little twist. A good read even if it does belabour its message.
Date published: 2017-04-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Thought provoking read Really made me think about exactly how much technology impacts our lives. Kinda scary in some ways! I'll be really interested how the movie portrays this book!
Date published: 2017-04-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A quick read. Great read for this electronically focused age in time.
Date published: 2017-04-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Liked it This is a well written novel with lots of disturbing food for thought as we continue into the 21 st century and the ever pervading interference of technologies into our lives.
Date published: 2017-02-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It was good... It was good up until the end, the ending kind of sucked.
Date published: 2017-02-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Of all the things this book made me feel, it was.. uncomfortable. Of all things this book made me feel, it was uncomfortable. Mae is the and troubled main character we don't get very often in dystopian novels. She craves attention, she craves validity, and she craves praise. She's honestly quite frustrating to read about because she is so naive and not a very in depth character but I think that's a great aspect about this novel. We can't always get those incredible protagonists and for this novel I think Mae is perfect. We never get a description on what she looks like and who she is, she's just another person trying their best in a difficult world, but she gets lucky with this incredible job offer. The premise really, is that Mae could be any of us. The Circle is so relevant to today's society and modern technology. It touches on the weaknesses of a digital society, how fragile an online presence can be when a user doesn't get immediate recognition. How terribly addicting social media is and how powerful people can take advantage of these qualities. And that's exactly what The Circle does. Though slow at some points, still a good read for anyone wanting to a glimpse into a completely digital and connected life because let's hope it never happens in our world. SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT I feel like dystopian novels never end the way you want them to. Hunger Games, Divergent, The 5th Wave, it's definitely a recurring trend... The scene I thought was the real turning point of the book was when Mae goes kayaking after a fight with Mercer at her parents house, only for her manager and human resources team at The Circle to meet with her the next day and freak out over the fact that she had gone kayaking and not told anyone. The dialogue of how Jared starts to hyperventilate over the anonymity of Mae's weekend weirded me out so incredibly. I started to think how I would react in a situation like it, where employers become too curious about my life outside of work, again, I made me feel so incredibly uncomfortable. I was super disappointed when Mae starts to change because of this meeting, she has this revelation that she should pay more attention to her online presence and give back to the community by being involved and social, I was so upset by this turn of events. It was good to see those glimmers of hope in the recurring trend that people don't care about their online and public identities until something inappropriate is linked to it. Mae tries several times to get things deleted from the cloud only to be declined because "At the Circle we don't delete". It was at those times that we can think, maybe, just maybe, our main character will come to her senses about The Circle and what they're trying to do. I find it so great that I started off rooting for Mae to do well at The Circle only for me to hope and wish that she realize how terrible the company goals were. How strange it is that they want to monitor her every motion and know every aspect of her life. I hated Mercer, but in the end I really couldn't help but agree with his notions, though he went about it in a much more dramatic way. I honestly thought she went crazy for The Circle at the end with Ty and might've killed him, but it's good to see she only tattle-taled.
Date published: 2017-01-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from If 1984 was written for our times.. Set in the near future, Mae wants something better than being an I.T. worker at a utility company in her small town. With the help of her friend from college, she lands a job at the Circle, a cutting edge Internet company. Will she realize that her world is literally plugged in and the consequences to those actions are dire? Um wow. This book was crazy. Crazy and realistic! If 1984 was set in our times, it would have this world.. Our world. The Circle is a company that is at the forefront of every technological advancement in the world. They have combined all accounts that anyone will ever need into one and in doing so have eliminated the need to remember accounts and passwords. That is one of the major projects they do. And it’s not even the scariest. The premise in this book could be alternative future, where one company has amassed to become a monopoly even higher than governments. And being masked as a Utopian is really a totalitarianism government. I am legit scared.. Some projects and services are just so real. Like the Go Pro video camera service that we have in real life? There’s one in this book. And the combination of raising your social media presence is also apparent in here. Except it’s part of her job. The book barely has a plot. Unless you really want to find out who Kalen really is. That was my biggest downfall with this. Lack of story-line and character development. Because this is all about showing and telling. Showing how wrapped up she is in their world and how she loses her independent thought. It was like watching a cult form around her and I was pretty much horrified at what happens in the end. Predictable but still horrified. There was also no mention of her family by the end of the book which I was looking towards a conclusion. The parallels and the ultimate need to know everything and document everything in the history of humankind is kind of a crazy endeavour. And how exactly would anyone accept the transparency of the entire government? Obviously those are absurd, but this is Eggers fictional world and not real life. The Circle will make you question how you use social media, and what companies really do with the information they amass about your shopping and interests. In a connected and plugged in world, it feels like our reality isn’t so far off.
Date published: 2015-02-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Big Brother is (always) watching This was a great thriller for our times, especially if you've ever felt overwhelmed by the breakneck speed of technology or had concerns about how your privacy is used in the online world. Admittedly, it's a bit hard to suspend your disbelief for some of the story beats (Mae repeatedly completes a seemingly impossible amount of surveys, for example) but the suspense and excitement kept me hooked. You might never look at Google the same way.
Date published: 2014-11-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Modern-day 1984 The Circle was a thoughtful and enjoyable extrapolation of what might happen if Orwell's 1984 were set slightly in the future, to a time when a web-based Google-esque superconglomorate was trying to demolish privacy for the people's own good (slogans akin to "War is Peace" abound, such as "Privacy is Theft"). Mae is likeable, if a little flat, and I had a growing sense of dread as I realized how far Mae and the Circle would go to complete their goals. A great book to make you think about how you portray yourself on the internet, and instill a little paranoia.
Date published: 2014-11-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good read Really liked it
Date published: 2014-09-08
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Dumbed down view of a techno-corporate dictatorship on the rise. If I HAD to recommend this book for anyone, it would have to be young teenagers, and then only to make them think about social media. As an adult reader, the writing was so poor and juvenile I wanted to rip the book apart. The concept is great: A large internet corporation wants to rule the world, and uses social media propaganda to get there. The story telling however is awful. The characters make unrealistic decisions throughout the book. For example; Mae (our heroine) learns that she's been filmed doing a sexual act without her permission. The guy who filmed it refuses to erase it, and when Mae takes it up with her friend, who is also a big wig in the company, her friend suggests she drop the issue, which she does. So: a girl gets sexually violated, on company property, and everyone just lets it slide? Then Mae dates the same fellow again later in the book. Totally unrealistic. Another shame is how predictable the story is: You can see each event in the story happen at least 3 chapters ahead of time. The writing couldn't be more simple. My Little Pony has more complicated dialogue. Give this book a pass. There are so many better choices out there.
Date published: 2014-06-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Circle This book really made me think. This book changed how I looked at life, or at least one aspect of it; I think differently about social media and internet privacy now. The Circle is a social media corporation—think Google, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube all rolled into one. The company uses its financial power and social connections to create a Utopian "campus" for the staff. "Outside the walls of the Circle, all was noise and struggle, failure and filth. But here, all had been perfected. The best people had made the best systems and the best systems had reaped funds, unlimited funds, that made possible this, the best place to work, Mae thought. Who else but utopians could made utopia?" The main character, Mae, lands her dream job at the Circle. Soon the dark side of Utopia becomes apparent to the reader, but not to Mae. She enjoys the free daily entertainment, and she submits to company pressure to stay on campus as much as possible. She eats free food and drinks free wine, and she buys into their "stay connected at all times" philosophy. She makes more money than ever, and she lives in front of a screen, minute by minute: eighteen minutes to eat lunch and three to pee. Her new lifestyle affects her family, her friendships and relationships. Her ex-boyfriend, Mercer, says: ". . . you're not doing anything interesting anymore. You're not seeing anything, saying anything. The weird paradox is that you think you're at the center of things, and that makes your opinions more valuable, but you yourself are becoming less vibrant. The executives at the head of the Circle strive for total "transparency." No hiding and no lies. Public officials begin to wear cameras all day, every day, so their every transaction can be viewed and recorded. Soon Mae adopts "transparency" and a 24-hour camera, too. The paradox is that her so-called real life immediately becomes staged and rehearsed. Like our Reality TV, when people know they are on camera, they adjust their behaviour, so it's not real at all. Even though Mae begins to realize that she and a close friend "hadn't had a natural interaction in months," she presses on. "It was important, Mae had been told, that the entire event seem natural . . ." Eggers touches on themes we already see in our social media world: how we develop an artificial sense of accomplishing change when we "like" someone's post, how we live or die by the number of followers we have, how our self-esteem takes a dive if even a small percentage of people don't like what we're doing on-line, and how unsustainable a "transparent" life is. Eggers captures the rapture and the anxiety of life on the Circle campus effectively. Even as we readers are salivating at the idea of free food and wine, we're worrying about whether Mae will get back to her desk on time. Eggers' prose phrasings simulate the relentless rhythm and pressure of Mae's minute by minute statistic-led life. He makes us cringe at the creepy level of surveillance. He builds tension around private lives made public, without permission. How does this story end? Will Mae shake off the yoke? Will she begin to see the value of individual privacy? You'll have to read and find out. How will our social media and internet privacy story end? I don't know, but Eggers' book has made me think about it.
Date published: 2014-04-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good read I find the story to be a little weak, however it was still interesting to read because the topic is relevant to current times. So I am actually a little on the fence trying to decide if I like it or not.
Date published: 2014-02-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Social networking and personal tech gets creepy A new graduate get's a job in a tech company that resembles Google, Apple, and Facebook combined. Things get creepy as the Circle works towards drastically changing lives by making them technologically transparent to everyone. This book is less about the company and more about how corporate culture can become culty and overbearing for those who buy in. It speaks to the trend of always being connected and work / life merging together. Reading this book will make you examine how you use social media and question your relation to technology.
Date published: 2014-01-14
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Meh. Had potential, but ended up being kind of dumb.
Date published: 2013-12-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Meh. Just finished reading "The Circle". It presents a world in the near future that should give us all pause for thought While I was not born a Digital Native I have always been comfortable regarding myself as a Digital Immigrant. Until today... Egger's book rings very true to the warnings described in Orwell's 1984. I believe that technology can improve our world and enhance our lives but this cannot be at the price of our individuality or freedom of choice.
Date published: 2013-10-19