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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 (1626 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jessie Raleigh, New Caledonia 04-11-14
    Jessie Raleigh, New Caledonia 04-11-14 Member Since 2005
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    "A thought-provoking 1984 for our era"

    I don't know that i would say i exactly *enjoyed* this book- I'm not sure it was meant to BE enjoyed. But it was definitely thought provoking, mostly well written (I have high standards for Dave Eggers), and in many ways captured the landscape and atmosphere of Google, I mean, The Circle.
    I definitely recommend it- in fact, I have mentioned it to many people in conversation and recommended that they read it, which I don't normally do.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fernando Volta Redonda, Brazil 03-26-14
    Fernando Volta Redonda, Brazil 03-26-14 Member Since 2014
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    "75% of it is great"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes, it was. The comparisson is obvious, but it felt like reading the new 1984. With a new language and modernized.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Dave Eggers? Why or why not?

    Sure, he sure knows how to tell a story.


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

    Mae's father. He cracked me up.


    Did The Circle inspire you to do anything?

    Yes, stay away from facebook


    Any additional comments?

    The book loses itself a little towards the end. It seems like the author was in a rush to finish the last pages. And I know I'm new at the audiobooks world but it was hard to get used to a man imitating a woman's voice at the beginning.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda 11-08-13
    Linda 11-08-13 Member Since 2014
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    "well......."

    Good story with lots of relevant, thought-provoking ideas about privacy, internet use, etc. The relationships in the story were somewhat stereotypical and card board cut out. Worth reading and thinking about.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ricardo Mexico 11-05-13
    Ricardo Mexico 11-05-13 Member Since 2012

    Used to hate audiobooks... Look at me now.

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    "Eggers is better when based on reality"
    What did you love best about The Circle?

    As a developer I liked the expressions used in the book such as "segue". Eggers is sharing the habits of people that live "in the valley" and at the same time making fun of them.

    Also liked how he sets the history in reality and then stretch it from there to plausible scenarios. I think in this respect The Circle is different from previous novels. IS something that could happen, very unlikely, but could.


    Would you recommend The Circle to your friends? Why or why not?

    I prefer Eggers when his stories are based on events. He is a really good story teller. But when he "makes things up" I'm not such a fan. The circle is a nice story but it sounds cartoonish and silly when compared to other Eggers work such as What is the What.


    What about Dion Graham’s performance did you like?

    He is great. He totally nails the different voices in the book.


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

    The Circle. (It really is like a movie title already, you just need to get some young actress in the poster and Sam Rockwell as one of the 3 wise men)


    Any additional comments?

    Nice listen. For me it is not Dave Eggers best.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    EM Goodkind Menlo Park, CA 11-02-13
    EM Goodkind Menlo Park, CA 11-02-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Tongue in cheek with a real life bite"

    This is an over-he-top spoof with tragic overtones, and Dion Graham's often tongue-in-cheek reading really shines. The action moves quickly and doesn't give you too much time to notice some lapses in logic and realism. But the underlying truths are spot on all the way to the reversal at the end.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PG Pug Pacific Grove California 10-14-13
    PG Pug Pacific Grove California 10-14-13 Member Since 2007

    PG Pug

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    "Awesome rip on Scientology"

    I am amazed that no one has mentioned the very obvious references in this story to Scientology. If you want a scary dystopian read with a villain that is part NSA, apple, google, amazon, Facebook and Scientology this is a fun/scary read. It does seem a bit juvenile, but I think that's part of the point - how the young and innocent can be manipulated by nefarious individuals that talk a good talk. I just hope no one at the Church of Scientology reads this - they may get ideas.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Covington 07-04-14 Member Since 2015
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    "Things that make you say "hmmm!""
    What made the experience of listening to The Circle the most enjoyable?

    I was so caught up in the drama of this story that I began to wonder, does this really exist? So much realism even though this is "supposedly" fictional. A must read/listen.


    Have you listened to any of Dion Graham’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melanie MARIANNA, AR, United States 05-27-14
    Melanie MARIANNA, AR, United States 05-27-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Thought Provoking Novel"
    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked that the book made you think about where society is headed. It presents the good and evil of progress and how far humanity may go to try to perfect itself and its systems.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, I was intrigued by the various characters and Mae's next moves.


    Any additional comments?

    I highly recommend listening to The Circle. Dion Graham continues to be one of my favorite narrators and Eggers tops the list of authors and storytellers for me. This book will definitely make you think about how you use the internet and social media and presents a view of a future that is not all that far fetched.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BookWorm620 Phoenix, AZ, United States 04-30-14
    BookWorm620 Phoenix, AZ, United States 04-30-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Good Book Great Performance"

    The narrator does a fantastic performance for all of the characters. The story is very interesting, but I must admit I felt it didn't exactly reach its full potential. But I still enjoyed it and so did a friend who is extremely not technology oriented.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. 04-18-14
    A. 04-18-14 Member Since 2014
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    "It was okay....."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    not really -- but might become the new Orwell 1984 to some


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    flat


    What does Dion Graham bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    nice voice, good reader, one of the best i've heard, actually


    Did The Circle inspire you to do anything?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    nope...

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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