Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Weekly Reads: The Circle

The Circle is the newest novel by one of my favorite authors, Dave Eggers. His book, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, is one of my all time favorites so I immediately put in a purchase request at my library for this book when its publication date was announced.

The story is based in the probably not to distant future where The Circle, an online social media entity is paramount in everything we do as humans. Imagine google+facebook+amazon and roughly all the other major internet companies as one giant mega company. The story itself is a bit slow in that Eggers takes a solid 120 pages just explaining the complexities of The Circle's work environment, but I was in no way bored, as I typically am with stories that reveal themselves in this nature. The story itself was somewhat predictable, in that I figured out a major plot point very early on, but had an entirely surprising ending. I think Eggers is heeding caution to us as digital consumers in this "utopic" tale.

My rating: A strong enough 3.5 that I bumped it up to a 4.

Summary from goodreads:

The Circle is the exhilarating new novel from Dave Eggers, best-selling 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 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.

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