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Synopsis

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.




From the Hardcover edition.

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The Circle
Average rating
3.5 / 5
Big Brother is (always) watching
November 13th, 2014
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.
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1 review
Modern-day 1984
November 5th, 2014
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.
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1 review
February 2nd, 2014
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.
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1 review
Meh.
December 16th, 2013
Had potential, but ended up being kind of dumb.
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1 review
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend.
October 19th, 2013
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.
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