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)
Used to hate audiobooks... Look at me now.
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.
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.
He is great. He totally nails the different voices in the book.
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)
Nice listen. For me it is not Dave Eggers best.
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.
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.
Say something about yourself!
"The Circle" is quite a topical novel for anyone who lives in the 21st century, which is probably most of us. It studies our society's hunger for permanence and self-validation in an age where the value of privacy seems merely quaint. What does it mean to lose one's self in the sea of public information? Dave Eggers wants to show us.
The serious topic of "The Circle" does not mean it is a dry read (or listen). On the contrary, it reads like a thriller -- or a horror story -- in disguise. And while the novel is one-sided in its analysis, that doesn't to me take away from its value of surveying the topic. And while, I don't think I'll cancel all my social media accounts as some I have read have done, it does make me pause before I post and ask myself ... why?
If nothing else, pick up this book for when the topic of privacy and the Internet comes up at your next office party -- unless your office parties are much more fun than mine.
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.
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.
Yes, I was intrigued by the various characters and Mae's next moves.
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.
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.
not really -- but might become the new Orwell 1984 to some
nice voice, good reader, one of the best i've heard, actually
I really listened to this almost non-stop, though I was annoyed by the reader, who read too fast, and there was no way to slow it down without distorting the voice. It is scary to think that young college graduates like the 'heroine' of this novel can acquire millions of followers through messaging, and photographing everything. In this modern world of cameras on city-streets and at every traffic light, smartphones that are everywhere, the Google-glasses, Insta-grams, Twitter, and everything we do online ourselves with Facebook and Amazon, and the fact that what we do on these internet connected sites is being watched, it is a credible step to The Circle.
How fast one single young woman is persuaded that she was important to the world scheme of her bosses, and how she was an important entity in connecting the world through a Google-like private company. Lots of people already believe that positioning of cameras is essential to preventing crimes, or at least apprehending criminals already. Is transparency a good thing, or not?
I was caught up in it, and for the first time couldn't stop listening, though I found the speed of the narrator a shade fast for my old ears. Just a shade too fast, as I understand the need to move it along.
That name is good enough. I am not clever enough to think of another.
I will not reveal any of the most important, dramatic happenings. You will have to read it yourself to see how the story evolves, or devolves.
A dystopian novel set in the now where current events and habits are taken to a whole new scary level. All of it seems feasible which makes it all the more compelling. There are some stretches with deep sea life living in un-pressurized tanks at the surface but not wanting to give spoilers just sit back and pretend it is possible, it is a fiction novel and in my eyes lets not let reality get in the way of a good story. It has the feel of George Orwell's 1984 with the protagonists from Ayn Rand's Fountainhead. Loved it! One book Ill come back to to read again.
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