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The Circle by Dave Eggers
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The Circle (2013)

by Dave Eggers

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,6883012,073 (3.4)10 / 195
  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. 20
    The Dinner by Herman Koch (akblanchard)
    akblanchard: Both of these are novels of ideas.
  4. 21
    Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan (conceptDawg)
    conceptDawg: Similar content and themes
  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
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English (286)  Dutch (9)  German (6)  French (3)  Italian (2)  Swedish (1)  Croatian (1)  All languages (308)
Showing 1-5 of 286 (next | show all)
Like his other books, totally enjoyable and a tinge disturbing. The last couple pages are very "1984" and I almost wish it wasn't. Worth the wait list at the library. ( )
  Katie_Roscher | Jan 18, 2019 |
Inquietante. Bello, ma inquietante. Mostra un futuro che potrebbe anche realizzarsi (Cambridge Analitycs docet).
Da leggere assolutamente, specie se siete social networks addicted

( )
  cecca | Jan 17, 2019 |
Could alternatively be titled Google: A Horror Story. Well, I definitely ripped through this 500-ish page book in record time, and I could uncomfortably relate to certain things... the book is unsettling from the get-go and Eggers ramps up the horror throughout. It wasn't perfect- some aspects are exaggerated/a little unbelievable, but it was also darkly addictive to see smart technology and surveillance taken to absolute, horrifying extremes. ( )
  cavernism | Jan 11, 2019 |
This took a little while to gain traction, but once I got into it I couldn’t put it down. A chilling vision of the type of future that probably awaits us, in which beautiful people sit around on a hi-tech campus in the California sunshine and invade everyone’s privacy via social media, with the cooperation of the majority of the world’s population. It’s the most accessible I’ve read yet by Dave Eggers - lacking the dense descriptive passages of “What is the What” or the full-on wackiness of “You shall know our velocity”, and the spaced out text lent it a welcome airiness too. How seductive the vision of the internet of the future with its lack of trolling etc; only once you are in over your head do you realise the downsides. Impressive. ( )
  jayne_charles | Dec 27, 2018 |
I'll get it out of the way now: I was really disappointed in this book.

I went into The Circle pretty cold. I honestly didn't even know the basic premise until I happened to see the movie trailer, which is what prompted me to finally get my hands on the novel. I borrowed my roommate's copy and dove in with only the cinematic preview and the written blurb from the paperback as my references. It really seemed to be my thing: contemporary fiction with some sci-fi and thriller vibes thrown in? I was so down.


If you're like me and have apparently been living under a rock, here's the general premise: A young woman, Mae, is hired at a successful tech company in California (basically Super Google) thanks to a powerful connection--her college friend Annie, who is a higher-up employee of some kind. This company, the Circle, seems to do everything. It controls essentially all social media and is responsible for a great deal of new technological growth.


At first this all seems great! Mae finally has a job that makes her feel important, technology has evolved in such a way that crime may soon be close to wiped out, and it is easier than ever before to connect to others. It quickly becomes apparent, though, that things are more complex than they first appear. The story gets a little predictable--technology gets out of hand and the reader is really forced to confront their morals. At what point does surveillance become too much? At what point is our right to privacy breached?


I really did enjoy the book at first. It sucked me right in and I was really intrigued to see how the culture of the Circle would be developed and what specific problems would arise. I really related to Mae--her willingness to please and to learn, her insecurities, her desperation to mean something to the world. I think we can all relate to this to an extent.


I would say referring to this story as a "heart-racing novel of suspense" (as the blurb on my copy does) is really a stretch. I hit a wall with it about halfway through and had to push myself to finish. Everything started to feel really mechanical and scripted to me. The characters felt two-dimensional, I didn't really have any stake in whether or not they succeeded, and some of the ideas seemed incomplete to me. I felt like we were kind of speeding through everything and a lot of things got lost in the shuffle.


For instance, Mae's relationship with Francis confounded me. After their initial speedbump, I didn't really understand his purpose in reappearing. Her passion for kayaking was dropped without a backward glance, and I almost forgot about it entirely. She abruptly started talking about some "tear" inside her, which was never elaborated on or resolved.


Honestly, the more I think about this book, the less I like it. Sure, it had a great deal of potential and we really should consider the moral conundrums unique to the modern digital age. Had the story itself been more fleshed out, I would have absolutely liked it more. As is, it is more of a poorly concealed word of warning than a well-written piece of literature. This may be one of the only time the movie trumps the book for me--but I'll have to go see it before I decide that.

My final say is: Read The Circle if you're already interested, but if you're on the fence don't go out of your way to read it. ( )
  samesfoley | Dec 26, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 286 (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)

» see all 7 descriptions

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