Today I am reviewing “The Circle” by *Dave Eggers*.
Date Started: 15th November 2017
Date Finished: 16th November 2017
Purchase Links: Amazon UK
When Mae 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. Run out of a sprawling California campus, the Circle links users’ personal emails, social media, and finances with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of transparency. Mae can’t believe her great fortune to work for them – 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.
About the Author:
Dave Eggers is the author of ten books, including most recently Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever?, The Circle and A Hologram for the King, which was a finalist for the 2012 National Book Award. He is the founder of McSweeney’s, an independent publishing company based in San Francisco that produces books, a quarterly journal of new writing (McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern), and a monthly magazine, The Believer. McSweeney’s also publishes Voice of Witness, a nonprofit book series that uses oral history to illuminate human rights crises around the world. Eggers is the co-founder of 826 National, a network of eight tutoring centers around the country and ScholarMatch, a nonprofit organization designed to connect students with resources, schools and donors to make college possible. He lives in Northern California with his family.
WOW. I’m not totally sure where to start with this one which I guess is why it has taken me a while to write this review! I read the book for my Book Club.- it was our first book and recommended by one of our members who warned us it would make us think. She wasn’t wrong!
It scared me, made me cringe and outraged me .. but all in a ‘good’ way, as in not because the book itself was badly written, quite the opposite in fact. Dave has a way of making you feel like you are sitting on Mae’s shoulder and going through everything with her. She is a mostly likable character, until things get really hairy towards the end maybe, but in all honestly, I think it affected me so much as I know that I would have been like her and done what she did throughout most of the book.
I spent a lot of time reading with my jaw on the floor, saying “bloody hell” in my head and reading excerpts out to my family, but the reality is that we are not all that far from what goes on in this book at all. There are times when this level of scrutiny might be useful but in general it fills me with dread. I have a horrid general FOMO anyway so I hope I am gone before this level of interactivity comes along!
I decided to watch the Netflix Film adaptation afterwards and was quite shocked at the changes they made – I totally understand that you can’t ever get everything in and that some artistic license has to be taken, but there were a couple of key story points that were reversed, specifically the ending, It will be interesting to see if the roamed sequel comes along as I am not sure how they would make a film of it work!
Overall I did like the book and as I read it really quickly (it’s that kind of ‘can’t stop reading’ book) I would quite like to go back and re-read it (or perhaps listen to the audio book) again and see if my opinions change or I notice new things, especially after the discussions at book club.