To kick off this little shindig I’m going to talk about The Circle by Dave Eggers. My brother in law is way cool and loves Eggers, so when I saw this book on sale I had to try it. And oh am I glad I did.
Our protagonist Mae Holland gets a job at the world’s leading tech company, The Circle, and it soon changes not only her life but everyone else’s as well. In an attempt to describe The Circle, imagine combining Google and Apple and then multiplying that by 100. Throughout the novel, The Circle increasingly monitor everyone’s lives under the guise that knowledge is a right and privacy is a harm. We meet some people who agree and some people who disagree. Eventually we’re given an alarming possibility of what happens when technological advances go unchecked. The only thing I can think to equate it to is Orwell’s 1984 but even that isn’t a strong enough indicator of this book’s magnitude.
But it’s not just a fascinating plot; the writing was a perfect conveyance of the story. Eggers is some how able to give thorough yet subtle descriptions; without being bored I’m able to visualize the Circle campus. I could also empathize with the characters easily; when Mae sees things start to fall apart I could feel the fear that she describes as a tear inside her.
Even the descriptions were a part of it. Sometimes I felt there was an overwhelming onslaught of endless information, like some of the employees did. It wasn’t enough to lose me but was enough for me to sense the momentous scope of the company.
As for the ending, read it and then get back to me. I don’t want to give the specifics away.
As for my initial gut reaction, I was torn about this book. The bleakness of the ending was disappointing but I did appreciate the great story and writing. I understand that it isn’t an author’s job to solve all of civilization’s issues. But! It seems unfair to present a hopeless situation then end with “good luck bye.”
Granted, the book wouldn’t have had the same impact if it wrapped up perfectly but surely there is some sort of medium. Other then that, I loved the book and would totally recommend it. In fact, I’ve already bought another copy as a gift for my best friend (hi Emily) so go get one.
After you’ve read it, let me know what you thought! Or if you have a recommendation for my next book, shoot me a suggestion!