The Circle- by Dave Eggers
Mae Holland has just landed her dream job! She’s going to be part of the Circle, the most powerful internet company in history: the first company to let you control social media, banking, emails and anything else you can do online in one place. Their Californian campus is sprawling and decadent, with everything you could ever need available free to employees. Why would they ever want to work anywhere else? In fact, why would they want to leave the campus?
Mae soon realises that there’s more to the Circle than work. They want to know what you do on days off, where you go, what hobbies you have, what movies you watch, which doctors you see, what your friends are like, what they watch, where they go, and so on. It’s all about inclusion, openness, everyone being a part of something bigger. Mae sees nothing wrong with that. We could all stand to be a little more open, a little more transparent, right?
But as Mae’s role in the Circle becomes more public – more transparent – than she could ever have anticipated, we’re left to wonder how far this world will go in the pursuit of bringing everyone into the Circle.
Okay, okay. Really vague overview – but that’s necessary! Too much and it’ll all be spoiled.
There are two ways in which I can best describe this novel:
1) It’s the theme song from Jaws in book form. It embodies that creeping feeling of dread you have during every (good) horror film, when you can just tell that something’s wrong, but your protagonist can’t.
2) It’s the ideological prequel to George Orwell’s 1984. This is a world heading somewhere very dark, and very scary, under the guise of enlightenment. Actually, it’s a perfect forerunner to a lot of YA dystopia, like Ally Condie’s Matched, too!
The Circle was really approachable. Mae’s a fantastic main character – especially for someone like me, who’s recently landed a job she LOVES. Mae’s excited, passionate, determined not to let anyone down or be left behind – all things we love to see in our protagonists. It’s a sign of exceptional writing that I worried so much about Mae as she navigated further and further down the rabbit hole of the Circle.
Let’s just say that I’m nervous about this blog right now – it links to Facebook, and Goodreads, and Twitter. How much internet presence is too much? How much of your life should be publicly accessible? Should I be afraid?!
I’m going to buy a typewriter.
If you’re not asking these questions after reading this book, I can only assume you’re working for THEM!
The Circle was fantastic, timely and one of those books I devoured in about two days, because I couldn’t concentrate until I knew what was going to happen. I absolutely recommend it!