Author: Dave Eggers
Genres: Science Fiction, Dystopia
Released: October 8th 2013
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 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.
Since this is a mini review, I’ll jump right in. The only reason I even remotely wanted to read this book was because I saw its adaptation trailer on YouTube and Emma Watson is the lead so I was immediately intrigued. The first thing you’ll notice about this book is that the writing is simple, straight to the point and the author is so direct about a lot of things that the book becomes simultaneously refreshing and cringe-inducing.
I was going to give this book a solid three stars because thought it was entertaining, a lot of the times the plot felt stalled and a lot of the times I felt some scenes were completely unnecessary or repetitive. Why then did I add a star? Well the ending of the book was amazing! Completely not what I expecting. If this book has a sequel, I want it now!
The one thing I’m in awe of is how the author managed to convincingly capture what the effects of a company like The Circle would be on not just the main character but the entire world. Overall, I’ll admit that this is a pretty amazing book, I learnt a lot from it and it gave me a very interesting perspective on the internet and social media as a whole so I definitely recommend it.
If you’re still skeptical, a lot of people have been comparing this book to a modern day Animal Farm/1984 and I kinda agree, not 100% but this book definitely has some of the underlying philosophies that are so distinctly George Orwell. So if you like his work, you’ll definitely love this.
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