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The Circle by Dave Eggers
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The Circle (original 2013; edition 2014)

by Dave Eggers (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,8183152,019 (3.4)10 / 198
Member:aurgail
Title:The Circle
Authors:Dave Eggers (Author)
Info:Vintage Books (2014), Edition: 1st, 497 pages
Collections:2018, Prose
Rating:
Tags:None

Work details

The Circle by Dave Eggers (Author) (2013)

  1. 70
    1984 by George Orwell (sparemethecensor)
    sparemethecensor: The Circle could easily have ended with the line, "Mae loved Big Brother."
  2. 51
    Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: Die totale Überwachung: einmal unfreiwillig, das andere Mal völlig freiwillig
  3. 21
    Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan (conceptDawg)
    conceptDawg: Similar content and themes
  4. 10
    Feed by M. T. Anderson (vwinsloe)
    vwinsloe: The insidiousness of the internet, corporations and being constantly online.
  5. 10
    The Language of the Third Reich: LTI -- Lingua Tertii Imperii: A Philologist's Notebook by Victor Klemperer (Jozefus)
    Jozefus: Voor de opmerkelijke overeenkomst tussen de kretologie van de IT-wereld en de retoriek van het Derde Rijk
  6. 10
    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot by David Shafer (BeckyJG)
  7. 00
    Blind Faith by Ben Elton (isabelx)
    isabelx: both are set in societies where privacy is becoming a thing of the past
  8. 11
    The Dinner by Herman Koch (akblanchard)
    akblanchard: Both of these are novels of ideas.
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English (300)  Dutch (9)  German (6)  French (3)  Italian (3)  Swedish (1)  Croatian (1)  All languages (323)
Showing 1-5 of 300 (next | show all)
Mae isn't very likeable, she's self absorbed, always worried about what others think of her, leading her to be easily manipulated. The employees at The Circle all drink the same kool-aid. Pressure everywhere to share everything. Lots of allusions to Facebook activity and the dangers of this culture of sharing everything, how it seems so good for everyone but there's an ugly side. A mysterious man urges Mae to not allow the Circle to complete. The book was okay but none of the characters were very likeable, making it a hard read for me.
( )
  wyldheartreads | Jun 20, 2019 |
Highly relevant in today's society, The Circle is reminiscent of Feed by M. T. Anderson. Feed, however, was set in a more distant future, and The Circle is clearly a possibility in the near future. This would make a great springboard to discussion about privacy issues. ( )
  PeggyDean | Jun 15, 2019 |
I have been waiting to read this since it first came out. The concept was so intriguing to me. I am glad that I finally read it. I started reading on a Saturday and finished the next day, something I do only when I really enjoy a book.

I liked the main character, Mae, although sometimes she seemed a little too naive for me. But I kept reminding myself that she is young. The reader could see the slippery slope that she was going down, but unfortunately Mae could not. I liked her friend Annie, and was sad to see Annie decline as Mae rose. The character of Kalden was a necessary counterpoint to Mae, and a little to easy to figure out his motive and actions.

As I was reading this I thought I would go crazy if I had to respond to 1000 emails, tweets, zingers a day. And how valid are the opinions of people who spend all day online, rather than gaining first had experience of life? I thought this was a very interesting book. ( )
  readingover50 | Jun 11, 2019 |
A smoothly terrifying dystopian piece. I sympathize with the desire to write about the now/near-future though this book does not extend past its premise. Eggers seems to me to be lowering his ambitions on the sentence and paragraph level, which seems to be working. Enjoyable in a creepy sort of way. ( )
  Eoin | Jun 3, 2019 |
Fascinating read that delves into 'What If's' of the disintegration of privacy and a Google type company's evolution into something darker. I liked the story and the issues it raised and I found the book compelling and read it in two sittings. However I found the main character, Mae underdeveloped and unbelievable. It took away from the story, for me. ( )
  Jandrew74 | May 26, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 300 (next | show all)
Van alle romans die ik dit jaar las, is De Cirkel van Dave Eggers het meest blijven na-ijlen. Niet omdat het literair het beste boek is, maar vanwege de verontrustende beelden die het oproept, beelden die na de laatste bladzijde niet langzaam wegebben, maar hinderlijk blijven doorspoken. De Cirkel is het 1984 van het internettijdperk genoemd, maar beschrijft een werkelijkheid die veel nabijer lijkt en daardoor dreigender voelt dan Orwells tijdloze boek.
added by sneuper | editde Volkskrant, Hans Bouman (Dec 18, 2013)
 
Even as satire, The Circle is disappointing as a novel: the plot is too easy, the prose simple, the characters flat and undistinguishable. Due to these same qualities, however, The Circle succeeds as commentary on the era of big data and transparency. The scary part is that the Silicon Valley of The Circle barely seems like a caricature. The easiest comparison of the Circle is to Google — whose Mountain View campus keeps its employees fed, fit, massaged, and, well, kept. The Circle’s mottos and mantras are the same buzzwords already posted on billboards and batted around in cafes and bars.
 
Some will call The Circle a “dystopia,” but there’s no sadistic slave-whipping tyranny on view in this imaginary America: indeed, much energy is expended on world betterment by its earnest denizens. Plagues are not raging, nor is the planet blowing up or even warming noticeably. Instead we are in the green and pleasant land of a satirical utopia for our times, where recycling and organics abound, people keep saying how much they like each another, and the brave new world of virtual sharing and caring breeds monsters.
 
Het onrecht dat in The Circle bestreden wordt, is de expansiedrift van Silicon Valley, zoveel is vanaf de eerste pagina duidelijk. En Eggers gebruikt daarvoor de meest absurde metaforen: drones uitgerust met camera’s die mensen zonder Circle-account achtervolgen en ‘ik wil gewoon vrienden worden’ scanderen, of een transparante haai die een heel aquarium leegeet. Het punt is gemaakt, Dave Eggers.
Toch verdient Eggers een like. Zijn versie van de wereld is bewust extreem: hoe het wordt als we allemaal zulke schapen worden als Mae Holland, die kritiekloos Silicon Valley achternalopen. Hij verzint een wereld die – veel maar net niet helemaal – op de onze lijkt, waarin mensen hun vrijheid inleveren, betoverd door quasifilosofische toespraken, moderne bedrijfsvoering en onbeperkt aandacht van een miljoenenpubliek. Eggers vraagt zich niet af welke wereld er is, maar welke kan komen. En zoals in The Circle heeft hij het duidelijk liever niet.
added by sneuper | editVN, Tim de Gier (Nov 5, 2013)
 
This potential dystopia should sound familiar. Books and tweets and blogs are already debating the issues Eggers raises: the tyranny of transparency, personhood defined as perpetual presence in social networks, our strange drive to display ourselves, the voracious information appetites of Google and Facebook, our lives under the constant surveillance of our own government.

“The Circle” adds little of substance to the debate. Eggers reframes the discussion as a fable, a tale meant to be instructive. His instructors include a Gang of 40, a Transparent Man, a shadowy figure who may be a hero or a villain, a Wise Man with a secret chamber and a smiling legion of true-believing company employees. The novel has the flavor of a comic book: light, entertaining, undemanding.
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Eggers, DaveAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baardman, GerdaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Biekmann, LidwienTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Graham, DionNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hische, JessicaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mantovani, VincenzoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mudde, BrendaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tukker, EllesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
There wasn't any limit, no boundary at all, to the future. And it would be so a man wouldn't have room to store his happiness.
John Steinbeck
East of Eden
Dedication
First words
My God, Mae thought. It's heaven.
Quotations
Overnight, all comment boards became civil, all posters held accountable. The trolls, who had more or less overtaken the internet, were driven back into the darkness.
Outside the walls of the Circle, all was noise and struggle, failure and filth. But here, all had been perfected. The best people had made the best systems and the best systems had reaped funds, unlimited funds, that made possible this, the best place to work. And it was natural that it was so, Mae thought. Who else but utopians could make utopia?
"We will become all-seeing, all-knowing." The audience was standing now. The applause thundered through the room. Mae rested her head on Annie's shoulder. "All that happens will be known," Annie whispered.
Having a matrix of preferences presented as your essence, the whole you? Maybe that was it. It was some kind of mirror, but it was incomplete, distorted.
"You're always looking at me through a hundred other people's eyes."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385351399, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:14 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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