INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER • A bestselling dystopian novel that tackles surveillance, privacy and the frightening intrusions of technology in our lives—a “compulsively readable parable for the 21st century” (Vanity Fair).
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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
It isn’t just Big Brother that’s watching in this unnervingly prescient cautionary tale—it’s everyone. Dave Eggers’ gripping fable imagines a society obsessed with social media, where privacy is as outdated as MySpace and shares, likes, and emojis are the ultimate currency. The Circle’s soulless near-future is painted so vividly and plausibly that it almost makes us want to go offline for good.
The latest offering from McSweeney's founder Eggers (A Hologram for the King) is a stunning work of terrifying plausibility, a cautionary tale of subversive power in the digital age suavely packaged as a Silicon Valley social satire. Set in the near future, it examines the inner workings of the Circle, an internet company that is both spiritual and literal successor to Facebook, Google, Twitter and more, as seen through the eyes of Mae Holland, a new hire who starts in customer service. As Mae is absorbed into the Circle's increasingly demanding multi- and social media experience, she plays an ever more pivotal role in the company's plans, which include preventing child abductions through microchips, reducing crime through omnipresent surveillance, and eliminating political corruption through transparency courtesy of personal cameras. Soon, she's not alone in asking what it will mean to "complete the Circle" as its ultimate goal comes into view; even her closest friends and family suspect the Circle is going too far in its desire to make the world a better, safer, more honest place. Eggers presents a Swiftian scenario so absurd in its logic and compelling in its motives that the worst thing possible will be for people to miss the joke. The plot moves at a casual, yet inexorable pace, sneaking up on the reader before delivering its warnings of the future, a worthy and entertaining read despite its slow burn.
Interesting speculation on a scary future
The Circle describes a world where privacy is steadily diminished by the constantly expanding, well intentioned, increases in use of technlogy for increasing social interaction.
As literature, it's weak on characters and the plotting is leaden, but it's a fascinating excursion into a technologically plausible future.
So the book is kind of slow, characters are shallow and you can pretty much predict everything that is going to happen. Normally I would give a book like this 3 stars. However, what I loved about this book is how it made me think of social media. It's pretty scary to think that we are nearly at the point of what this book is suggesting. Makes me think twice before I post anything anymore.