The Circle

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The Circle

by Dave Eggers
Read by Dion Graham

Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group | October 22, 2013 | Audio Book (CD)

The Circle is rated 3.5 out of 5 by 4.
The Circle is the exhilarating new novel from Dave Eggers, best-selling 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.

Format: Audio Book (CD)

Dimensions: 5.9 × 5.09 × 1.15 in

Published: October 22, 2013

Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0804191166

ISBN - 13: 9780804191166

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

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 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 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

– More About This Product –

The Circle

The Circle

by Dave Eggers
Read by Dion Graham

Format: Audio Book (CD)

Dimensions: 5.9 × 5.09 × 1.15 in

Published: October 22, 2013

Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0804191166

ISBN - 13: 9780804191166

Read from the Book

My god, Mae thought. It’s heaven.The campus was vast and rambling, wild with Pacific color, and yet the smallest detail had been carefully considered, shaped by the most eloquent hands. On land that had once been a shipyard, then a ­drive-­in movie theater, then a flea market, then blight, there were now soft green hills and a Calatrava fountain. And a picnic area, with tables arranged in concentric circles. And tennis courts, clay and grass. And a volleyball court, where tiny children from the company’s daycare center were running, squealing, weaving like water. Amid all this was a workplace, too, four hundred acres of brushed steel and glass on the headquarters of the most influential company in the world. The sky above was spotless and blue.Mae was making her way through all of this, walking from the parking lot to the main hall, trying to look as if she belonged. The walkway wound around lemon and orange trees and its quiet red cobblestones were replaced, occasionally, by tiles with imploring messages of inspiration. “Dream,” one said, the word ­laser-­cut into the red stone. “Participate,” said another. There were dozens: “Find Community.” “Innovate.” “Imagine.” She just missed stepping on the hand of a young man in a grey jumpsuit; he was installing a new stone that said “Breathe.”On a sunny Monday in June, Mae stopped in front of the main door, standing below the logo etched into the glass above. Though the company was less than six years old, its name and ­logo—­a cir
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From the Publisher

The Circle is the exhilarating new novel from Dave Eggers, best-selling 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.

About the Author

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 of Witness, a nonprofit book series that uses oral history to illuminate human rights crises around the world. In 2002, he cofounded 826 Valencia, a nonprofit youth writing and tutoring center in San Francisco’s Mission District. Sister centers have since opened in seven other American cities under the umbrella of 826 National, and like-minded centers have opened in Dublin, London, Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Birmingham, Alabama, among other locations. His work has been nominated for the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize, and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and has won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, France’s Prix Médicis, Germany’s Albatross Prize, the National Magazine Award, and the American Book Award. Eggers lives in Northern California with his family.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for The Circle “A vivid, roaring dissent to the companies that have coaxed us to disgorge every thought and action onto the Web . . . Carries the potential to change how the world views its addicted, compliant thrall to all things digital. If you work in Silicon Valley, or just care about what goes on there, you need to pay attention.” —Dennis K. Berman, The Wall Street Journal“Fascinating . . . Eggers appears to run on pure adrenaline, and has as many ideas pouring out of him as the entrepreneurs pitching their inventions in The Circle . . . [A] novel of ideas . . . about the social construction and deconstruction of privacy, and about the increasing corporate ownership of privacy, and about the effects such ownership may have on the nature of Western democracy . . . Like Melville’s Pequod and Stephen King’s Overlook Hotel, the Circle is a combination of physical container, financial system, spiritual state, and dramatis personae, intended to represent America, or at least a powerful segment of it . . . The Circlers’ social etiquette is as finely calibrated as anything in Jane Austen . . . Eggers treats his material with admirable inventiveness and gusto . . . the language ripples and morphs . . . It’s an entertainment, but a challenging one.”  —Margaret Atwood, The New York Review of Books“A parable about the perils of life in a digital age in which our personal data is increasingly collected, sifted and monetized, an age of surveillance and Big Data, in which privac
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