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
“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)
I typically don't write full reviews, but felt compelled to as a result of this narrator. He is amazing! He somehow makes subtle changes to his voice for each of the different voices required. During a part where a conversation exists between a character who is trembling with fear and panic and another character who is calm and comforting her, he seamlessly switches between these two voices he has created for them, while perfectly conveying each of their vastly different emotions, without ever skipping a beat. I've never realized how much easier a good narrator makes it to follow the storyline. He was excellent and I will specifically seek out more books he narrates, if there are any. The story was also good. :)
This prophetic satire is really chilling. Eggers takes a look into the near future and writes a not too far fetched story about the perils of Socially intrusive media taking away all of our privacy under the false premise that transparency is the cure for most of our ills. This relatively simple to digest story has unsettling implications regarding our collective future. A not so much fun "read".
This is that book that people will recognize thirty years from now as the cautionary tale that was so ahead of its time. The Circle may be too near to the real world event horizon it depicted in its narrative to be fully appreciated until it's too late.
If you don't recognize yourself somewhere in here, you are not paying attention. Fast paced and entertaining, but also a chilling "what if" that may cause you to turn off the Find Friends feature on your smart phone. I did. Do yourself a favor and read this fabulous book.
The Circle is at first is a happy go lucky story about a company that has great programs, benefits, and technologies for its employees and the world at large. As the story goes on you can feel how the Circlers have less and less privacy. Their lives have become so transparent, with cameras everywhere and having to post or zing about every encounter or feeling they have. Very few people in society seem to be able to opt out to this fast paced and interconnected lifestyle. Mae the story's main character ends up having her life recorded and on live feed every second; showing the life she had no matter how dull she thought it was becomes no longer her own. Dion Graham's voice is melodic and a joy to listen to.
Very relevant to our life today, and a visible journey that is taking place. Mae's quest for acknowledgement mirrors almost all of us on Social media. Annie's demise shows the pitfalls of knowing too much.
everyone should listen or read this book! i enjoyed it from beginning to end & made me question a lot of my own social media usage & its effect on me & others
This is the creepiest book since 1984 and 2001 A Space Odyssey. It hits a little too close to home in 2016 and lies on the edge of the uncanny valley and 5 years from now.
Escaping the real world in a book.
Probably not, but I would recommend others to do so. My favorite quotes are; "knowledge is power" and "knowing is only half the battle". This book exemplifies these statements well. We know Newton's Third law; for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Society must realize that we are responsible for our actions and that there are consequences for every action and choice we make.
This story is reminiscent in my opinion to John Henry and the Steam Drill, the battle between man and machine. we are analog beings creating a digital world and if we're not careful we may create ourselves out of usefulness. The sad reality of social media is the removal of the human element. Just as Kim Kardashian stood on the stage with Prince during a concert tweeting about the experience instead of enjoying the experience. Would her actions have been different if she knew it would be the last time ever? We only get one chance at some of life great joys, is it better to document those experiences or live them?
This was my first and it was an excellent interpretation of the characters and provided life to the story.
No, I did not listen in one siting, however I completed it rather quickly.
I listened to this book primarily due to the upcoming movie release. I enjoyed the story, but honestly I hope the screenplay focuses on the loss of privacy and introduces a bit more drama and the impending loss of humanity as a societal norm. The irony is that as much as I dislike social media, this review is another variant of it, the difference I suppose is that i'm sharing my experience afterwards not during the experience. Live life like it's your last chance.
I loved how they spoke about the need for technology and all the wonderful things that having technology will allow us to do. The more they kept explaining the other things that technology could do became very scary. Very well written and the author carries the reader just fast enough where you can process these things actually happening. Great book!
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