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Thomas

United States | Member Since 2011

2
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 2 reviews
  • 4 ratings
  • 95 titles in library
  • 12 purchased in 2014
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  • The Circle

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Dave Eggers
    • Narrated By Dion Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1059)
    Performance
    (960)
    Story
    (970)

    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.

    Darwin8u says: "A solid, just not great social network dystopia"
    "We are already 2/3rds of the way there…"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    ...a world where everything we do is shared on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, etc. etc. (albeit by choice).

    In The Circle, Dave Eggers takes this world toward near-mandatory participation and explores the positives and the perils. As Michiko Kakutani said in her New York Times review, “Mr. Eggers reminds us how digital utopianism can lead to the datafication of our daily lives, how a belief in the wisdom of the crowd can lead to mob rule, how the embrace of “the hive mind” can lead to a diminution of the individual.”

    In Mae, the protagonist “newbie” that introduces us to The Circle and serves as our guide (figuratively and, later, literally) into this supposed Utopia, Eggers has offered us a charming twenty-something whose dreams of a better life and career outside of her small hometown are met and then exceeded. As with any great character, Mae changes. Her charm and innocence vacillates as those around her are changed by The Circle. Her outlook, while in her view brightens, seems to darken and we watch, sometimes with trepidation, as she embraces what we know is going to be a poor choice. Mae even acknowledges her more frivolous poor choices from time to time, but when her poor choices are more dire, her sense of right is displaced by her sense of loyalty to this tech-conglomerate.

    The story reads like a movie adaptation, paced for short scenes, darting moments, and suspense. The movie, for which I’ve no doubt there will be one, could easily be a shot-for-shot retelling of the novel.

    Without giving away the end, I can only say that I was torn between disappointment and realization. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the book. Eggers is a superb storyteller with his ability to pull you in and whisk you along. But as the story came to an end I wanted a more powerful resolution. But I also appreciate that this ending is Eggers point…that the ending is what it will be. You’ll have to read it to fully understand.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Max Brooks
    • Narrated By Max Brooks, Alan Alda, John Turturro, and others
    Overall
    (5509)
    Performance
    (3765)
    Story
    (3774)

    The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of 30 million souls, to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet.

    Steve says: "Good but Too Short!"
    "This wanted to be a great story, but..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This wanted to be a great story... or rather, I wanted it to be a great story. Unfortunately, I was let down by the hype. The book unfolds as a history of the aftermath of a zombie plague. It's intensely political and underwhelmingly tedious. Truth be told, and this may appear unfair, I abandoned the book halfway through. I couldn't do it anymore. After some ungodly quantity of pages involving African political struggles and the advancement of very unlikable human figures I couldn't take it. Read if you love government documents and the urbane tedium of bureaucracy. Avoid if you want to engross yourself in a thrilling tale of emotionally charged relationships. I was left dissatisfied and resentful that I'd spent money on it without doing more research in advance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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