The Circle

By Dave Eggers

8/10
(8/10)

497 pages

What’s it about?
Mae is a few years out of college and hates her boring job with a utility company.  She finally asks her best friend Annie to help her get on with the big tech firm that she had started with right after college.  With Annie’s help and support Mae finds herself in a new fabulous world where all her needs are met and she is truly a part of a community.  But when does “community” go too far?

What did it make me think about?
This book was so timely for me!  Like many of us I struggle with the role of social media in my life. Although this was a dystopian novel and takes many issues to an extreme, it certainly had a point to make.  Keep in mind I am saying this as I prepare to post this review online!  At what point do we lose our individuality to the opinions of the masses?  Do we really need to share everything?  What is the role of privacy in our actual relationships versus our online relationships?  How real are all our crafted online identities?  So much to think about here!

Should I read it?
I recommend this novel!  I had read about this book when it first came out but some of the reviews (and Dave Eggers reputation as a literary heavyweight) made me put it off.  At the advice of a friend I picked it up and started it on a plane flight (the easiest way for me to get into a difficult book).  What a surprise!  This book just flew by for me.  Although Mae could have been a stronger more vivid character (most people have a little more backbone-right?) her story still kept my interest.  I think that with a stronger main character and more editing this book would have been a masterpiece.  But as is- it is still a very good read.   As I mentioned before the book is a dystopian novel, but I must say  it was different in that the world had not been destroyed- yet….  I certainly can not think of a book that would create as much conversation as this novel would generate.  Book clubs take notice!

Quote-
“The flash opened up into something larger, an even more blasphemous notion that her brain contained too much.  That the volume of information, of data, of judgements, of measurements, was too much, and there were too many people, and too many desires of too many people, and too many opinions of too many people, and too much pain from too many people, and all of it constantly collated, collected, added and aggregated, and presented to her as if that all made it tidier and more manageable- it was too much.”

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