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The Circle

A Novel
Eggers, Dave (Book - 2013 )
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Circle
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Item Details

"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 the world--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"--
Authors: Eggers, Dave
Statement of Responsibility: Dave Eggers
Title: The circle
a novel
Characteristics: 491 pages ; 23 cm
Content Type: text
Media Type: unmediated
Carrier Type: volume
Summary: "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 the world--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"--
Subject Headings: FICTION / Literary. bisacsh FICTION / Technological. bisacsh
Topical Term: FICTION Literary
FICTION Technological
LCCN: 2013032894
ISBN: 9780385351393
0385351399
Branch Call Number: FIC E
Research Call Number: JFD 14-1227
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From the critics


Library Staff

Comment by: NYPLRecommends Jul 11, 2014

NYPL Staff Pick
Chillingly plausible vision of a near-future scenario in which social media/quantified self trends go monopolistic.
- Ben Vershbow, NYPL Digital Library and Labs


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NYPL Staff Pick
Chillingly plausible vision of a near-future scenario in which social media/quantified self trends go monopolistic.
- Ben Vershbow, NYPL Digital Library and Labs

Jun 29, 2014
  • SLoMotion rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

The Circle is an interesting book that I will never reread. As I started this book, I thought the ideas and storyline were hilarious, but what initially appeared to be comical and over-the-top soon became ridiculous and unbelievable. Early on, I thought I could relate to the protagonist; boy was I wrong!

Jun 15, 2014
  • Polaris rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

A cautionary, and somewhat creepy, dystopian look at what happens in a corporate-driven society with complete linkages between individuals, Mix any controlling religion with Google, Facebook and the Nitwitterverse and you have The Circle.

Jun 12, 2014
  • Mpollock rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

Interesting ideas, but a little too on the nose for my tastes. The main character was flat, vapid, and completely obnoxious.

May 07, 2014
  • geezr_rdr rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

An interesting foray into the possible misuse of personal tracking in pursuit of the greater good and what happens when people drink the Kool-aid en masse and therein lies the value of reading this. The ending is believable, but the story is weakened by the final path chosen to arrive at it.

Apr 30, 2014
  • lukasevansherman rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

"But my point is, what if we all behaved as if we were being watched?"
For a while, I really despised Eggers, mostly because I couldn't stand his narcissistic classic "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius" (it pains me just to type that title). Perhaps aware of his hubris, he sought out to do good. He founded the micro-empire McSweeney's, he started a non-profit and his recent fiction and non-fiction has taken on serious subjects like Katrina, the Middle East and, now, the internet and the nature of privacy. This is definitely his most zeitgeist-y book, set at a Google/Facebook-like internet behemoth that benignly proclaims Orwellian sayings like "Privacy is Theft" and offers services that allow people to document every aspect of their life. Timely, no? It's not exactly sci-fi, it's not exactly satire (because satire is supposed to be funny) and it's not exactly good. His targets are obvious, his insights dull and his attempts at relevancy (Assange! Tahrir! Drones!) clumsy. Also, it's nearly 500 pages, which makes for a long, unrewarding read. This fails on nearly every level. You'd be better off watching "Silicon Valley."

Apr 28, 2014
  • Mothercat rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This book is scary! :) Easy to see how people can be sucked into thinking control such as that proposed by The Circle in the name of safety and security is acceptable, when really it's not. Really enjoyed reading this, even though it did make me feel uncomfortable at how close some of it was to what's actually happening today.

Big Brother is watching you, as well a billion or so others! The Circle is a chilling vision of a not-too distant future when transparency and sharing take on new meaning. This a quite a long book, but it's gripping and entertaining from start to finish and not a difficult read. Great book for discussion and a book that I think would appeal to male readers out there, too. Highly recommend!

Apr 08, 2014
  • VPLlen rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I like Dave Eggers writing and I did enjoy this book even though I'm not usually a big fan of sci-fi/fantasy. Then again maybe this story isn't too far fetched. It's similar to 1984, Brave New World and other dystopian novels where people live under oppressive totalitarian regimes and individual rights are lost. This story seems set in the present time when technology has become both seductive and addictive and no one can escape becoming a part of it.

Apr 02, 2014
  • mntsnowrider rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This is a thought provoking story of an internet company collecting peoples search info, personal info, and video taping people's every move. It really questions whether society can "choose" to not give out their information. It also poses the questions about future generations' acclimation to the world of technology being so readily available - is it really a good thing? And also is it already happening and it's too late to change it? Definitely worth reading and thinking about. The relationship between Annie and Mae is also interesting. It makes you wonder what really happens when someone "smiles" you.

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