The Circle by Dave Eggers
Rating:★★★.5 // can’t stop reading, but kind of want to…
Favorite Line: “What had been intriguing on Monday and Tuesday was approaching annoying by Wednesday and exasperating by Thursday.”
Oh hey, 1984, you look a little different…did you get an upgrade?
Description 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.
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.
I went back and forth on whether I liked this book. It was very captivating, and the subject matter is disturbing realistic…I really see aspects of this book coming true in the all to near future. The power of The Circle is seriously disturbing, but the way they come into power makes you realize how quickly it could be a reality. There is logic behind their success and under the guise of public safety they force people to give up their freedoms…it’s really not that big of a stretch.
“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,”
The whole time reading it I got flashes of 1984, especially when they started incorporating the mottos: All that Happens Must Be Known, Secrets are Lies, Sharing is Caring, Privacy is Theft.
“War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.”
-George Orwell, 1984
There were also other similarities, like the all controlling government, in this case it was The Circle that were all controlling, but same concept. They also have the invasion of privacy theme, and the inside person who is really an outside person thing is also in both books.
I have to admit, all the similarities were a little distracting to me because I kept comparing the two without even thinking of comparing them, and I think it took a little bit away from the book for me.
Ultimately, the plot kept this book going for me. It was very well written in the sense that it kept me hooked and wanting more. I really wanted to see where Mae went with the company and how far down the rabbit’s hole she fell. I also wanted to see how far The Circle would take their company. It was so intriguing.
“Under the guise of having every voice heard, you create mob rule, a filterless society where secrets are crimes.”
My main problem with this book was the characters. I don’t think there was one character who I really liked. I actually thought about putting the book down when I was about 30 percent in because the characters annoyed me so much. I’m glad I stuck with it, and the book as a whole improves as it goes on, but the characters were a big miss for me.
I’m really interested to see how closely the movie follows the book. The preview already looks like they changed a few things, perhaps merging a few characters together, and I’m curious to see if they change anything major.
Overall, I would recommend this book if you want a captivating weekend read. Not the best book of the year, by any means, but an interesting topic for discussion for sure.