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The Circle | [Dave Eggers]

The Circle

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.
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Publisher's Summary

The Circle is the exhilarating new audiobook from Dave Eggers, bestselling 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.

©2013 Dave Eggers (P)2013 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

“Eggers's novel begins with an almost giddy tone, re-created perfectly by narrator Dion Graham. Pulling every tool from his kit, Graham describes the inner workings of the world's largest Internet company as it develops a new identity operating system that will allow even easier access by users across different platforms…But--as the listener hears in Graham's increasingly horrified tone--this Google-like utopia quickly becomes a dystopia when Mae realizes what the Circle really has in mind. Listeners will be reminded of Orwell's 1984." (AudioFile)

“A vivid, roaring dissent to the companies that have coaxed us to disgorge every thought and action onto the Web . . . Carries the potential to change how the world views its addicted, compliant thrall to all things digital. If you work in Silicon Valley, or just care about what goes on there, you need to pay attention.” (The Wall Street Journal)

“Page-turning. . . . The social message of the novel is clear, but Eggers expertly weaves it into an elegantly told, compulsively readable parable for the 21st century. . . . What may be the most haunting discovery about The Circle, however, is readers’ recognition that they share the same technology-driven mentality that brings the novel’s characters to the brink of dysfunction. We too want to know everything by watching, monitoring, commenting, and interacting, and the force of Eggers’s richly allusive prose lies in his ability to expose the potential hazards of that impulse.” (Vanity Fair)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (1510 )
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  •  
    kdjkmiller Salt Springs, FL, United States 02-18-15
    kdjkmiller Salt Springs, FL, United States 02-18-15

    I am a parent that likes to know what my kids are reading!! Simply don't have the time to read and have a 2 hour commute everyday.

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    "Phenomenal storyline!"

    I love when a writer thinks totally outside the box. Good story, likable characters. The end left some questions. Thanks

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laurie V 02-17-15
    Laurie V 02-17-15
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    "Shallow"

    Interesting idea but the characters were so poorly developed that everything seemed very superficial. Read it for z book group otherwise would have abandoned it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karyn 02-07-15
    Karyn 02-07-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Worth reading"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I'd recommend "The Circle" b/c it's a good, timely listen and it's an engrossing story. Especially in Silicon Valley, where I live, it has great relevance. The parallels to Google and Facebook are worth considering. Every time I open the newspaper and read a story about yet another new innovation on the Google or Facebook campuses, I realize just how prescient this novel was. (And yes, I still read the paper version of "the paper." So indeed, I do "open the newspaper.")


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin Sykora San Francisco, CA 02-01-15
    Kevin Sykora San Francisco, CA 02-01-15 Member Since 2014

    Books, especially audiobooks, are my escape during my commute to and from work.

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    "Interesting story of a believable future"
    What did you love best about The Circle?

    The thing I love best about The Circle is how it presents a possible future of social media that is both believable and scary.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked how the story showed the evolution of the main character, Mae Holland, evolved from being hesitant about social media to being completely enveloped by it. That said there were some moments where the story felt predicable.


    Which character – as performed by Dion Graham – was your favorite?

    Mae Holland, the performer (Dion Graham) did an excellent job of conveying the emotions of the main character.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Privacy is theft


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eli New York 01-27-15
    Eli New York 01-27-15 Member Since 2001
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    Story
    "Disturbing"

    Unlike Brave New World and 1984, this feels obviously closer and more relevant to our society. Chillingly close to reality.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marc Wilhelm New England 01-12-15
    Marc Wilhelm New England 01-12-15 Member Since 2014

    Professional Game Designer | Professor | Creative | I alternate between reading for knowledge and pleasure.

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    "Good, creepy & closer to now each day."

    The idea that a massive cult-like technology corporation could sustain itself by perpetuating a set of self serving values is not exactly an outlandish work of fiction.

    This book presents a good series of points to ponder about how we use technology and social media to share and live our private lives. Where does the line get drawn between authenticity, disclosure, privacy and publicity. How can the double edged blade of rapidly advancing technology cut off our values and most human moments before we can stop it. I'm no Luddite, quite the contrary- and this story does a good job of making me question my affinity for new and online tech and services. Where does it all lead? Complete the Circle?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Waldon 01-11-15
    R. Waldon 01-11-15 Member Since 2009
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    "Too close to our reality for comfort…"

    This book offers a most enlightening perspective into a least one possible future of our Connected World of the present. There is no Utopia without a dystopia…

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phillip Brown Charlottesville, VA 01-10-15
    Phillip Brown Charlottesville, VA 01-10-15 Member Since 2011
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    "A Horror Story"

    I've liked other stuff by Eggers, but I think this is his magnum opus to this point in his career. It's not a dystopian story... it's a dystopia's origin story. It takes it's main character, and the reader, from a near future that is completely believable, step by reasonable, logical step into a horror story. To me that makes this an incredibly valuable book to have out there in the world - paranoid government states like that of 1984 or obviously horrifying, but I at least have always been able to discount them by saying, 'well, that would never really happen.' I'm not sure I can say that after listening to this book.

    I think this is the sort of novel that's perfect for an audiobook, as well - the narrator is great, and he compensates for dialogue that reader-reviews have noted as repetitive and obvious. Reader reviews have also noted that the characters seem one-dimensional, but I didn't get that feeling at all - a good reader brings the characters to life and adds dimensions through subtle reading choices. The symbolism is maybe a little obvious, too, which might have seemed condescending in print but I think in audio format you need them to be obvious enough to pick up on them on first listen, at speed.

    All in all, I think this is a great, important book. How well it ages probably depends on what actually happens in the future, though.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kevin 01-03-15
    kevin 01-03-15
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    "A weird twist on a dystopian novel"

    The main character is a pain but the rest of the book is pretty great.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 01-02-15
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 01-02-15 Member Since 2010
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    "is this where the web is headed?"

    This story was an aspirational account of where a leading tech company wants to take the world.....to a place of total transparency. Great performance by the narration team.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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