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The Circle Audiobook

The Circle

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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 (6305 )
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  •  
    Laura McNamara Edgewood, NM USA 11-15-13
    Laura McNamara Edgewood, NM USA 11-15-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Whoa!"

    It's a combination of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" with "1984" set in a sunny high-tech campus where everyone is happily contributing to the betterment of the world. Alternately hilarious and frightening, this is one of the best stories I've encountered this year. The performance is excellent; Dion Graham has the vocal talent to convey the complex personality changes that occur as each of Eggers' characters come to grips with the new reality of The Circle. I've been off Facebook since I finished this book and I can't bring myself to look at Twitter. In fact, as I write this, I'm realizing the irony of writing an online rave review for a satirical tale about the dark potential of our bright, shiny, hyperconnected society… Gotta go, time to live in the real world, bye!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    matthew 11-01-13
    matthew 11-01-13 Listener Since 2008

    I am an English teacher in China and can now read and write some Chinese.I have been to 13 countries on 4 continents.I am an avid audiophile

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    "Visit the near future and its possible implicatio"

    I had already listened to The Facebook Effect, Steve Jobs bio and Always On recently. This one really grabbed me, since it was billed as a modern day 1984. That it is. In the book there is a lot of talk about transparency and even the floors of this future empirical company, The Circle, are made of glass. The heroine, Mae, is a recent college graduate whose friend helps her get a job at the latest internet company that is kind of the future Facebook with its convergence of internet platforms. She is hooked up to a headset which speaks to her in her own voice;asking her opinions and preferences on various products. She need only to nod up and down or left and right to answer as she multi-tasked with her various Ipad like devices starting out in what they called customer experience. She soon moves up and becomes what they call clear. She wears a camera, known as a see change camera, and due to her extraordinary social ability gains a huge following. She has several love interest throughout the book and it all culminates in a viewing of a vast fish tank where a shark, an octopus and some sea horses are placed. I don't want to give away the ending, if that was what it was, but it made me want to go back and try to understand the symbolism the author had in mind. It was so chillingly close to our modern mobile society that I would love to find somewhere on the internet where we could discuss the impact this book could have on how we interact with the internet.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheimon New York, NY USA 01-10-14
    Cheimon New York, NY USA 01-10-14 Member Since 2007
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    "Terrifying picture of Now."

    If you've ever taken a picture without immediately thinking about the caption you'll post it with, if you've ever taken a step back from Facebook and thought "haven't I seen this post before?", if you've ever decided not to tweet something wonderful that has happened to you - read this book. It's scary, but you'll also feel refreshingly understood and empowered.

    In literary terms, this is no 1984 or Brave New World. As a story, this is passable - the protagonist a bit annoying, her choices a bit predictable.

    BUT as a statement on social media, The Circle is as poignant as it is terrifying. There will be a lot of "OMG!" moments when you realize, this is not the future. This is a slightly exaggerated version of Now. At its core lies the creeping, painfully positive social pressure to give more and more of yourself to a system that, in the end, feeds on itself alone. It is obviously not quite where we are today - but it's close enough for this commentary to hit a nerve.

    Plus, it's incredibly well narrated. The story is told from a female narrator's perspective, but the voice of Dion Graham delivers beautifully. He captures the perfect nuances of naive, annoying, outrageous and vulnerable in this 20-something girl - not an easy feat.

    An important book to have read (and an excellent conversation starter).

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Jackson Roanoke, VA 01-06-14
    John Jackson Roanoke, VA 01-06-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Fiction with lots of truth"

    For me, the best fiction stories contain lots of truth, and the Circle does not disappoint. Eggers has woven a tale of what happens when our need to connect, even with the best intentions, goes horribly too far. Conversations in this book have taken place, I'm sure, at some of our top social media companies. That's the scary thing about it. Many of the scenes in this book seem entirely plausible.

    Dion Graham does an amazing job bringing life to each character. This is one I would listen to repeatedly, and have recommended this book to others.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennie Key 04-21-17
    Jennie Key 04-21-17
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    "Rambling"

    This probably has been my least favorite audible book. I hate not reading something I paid for so I kept at it. I found this book after reading an article about the top 10 books to read before they become no movies. Needless to say, I will NOT be seeing the movie. Narrator was way to dramatic for my liking. Made the book more annoying to listen too. Pointless .

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessica Whidbey Island 11-17-16
    Jessica Whidbey Island 11-17-16 Member Since 2014
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    "A creepily accurate look at modern society"

    This book gives me anxiety. It highlights just how much we push to document every little thing we do, no mystery how mundane it may seem. The girl in this story gets hired by a tech company, like a Mashup of Google and Facebook, and throughout the story there are all the glaring annoyances of corporate life. She's expected, well, "encouraged" to attend so many company events on her off time, and post photos and likes and reviews that you get the image that these people live through their social accounts and less through their own eyes. I get anxious because I've heard personally so many of these corporate team building phrases in real life, and I feel for this poor girl!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah 10-13-13
    Sarah 10-13-13
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    "The Stepford Tech Company"
    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed this book. Sure, it alternated between fairly clever and kind of dumb, but the story moved fast enough that I never felt bored or tempted to stop listening. As others have pointed out, it's a social networking variation on works like 1984 and The Stepford Wives. Except for a few sex scenes, it seemed very YA (not that that's a bad thing...). The narration is fantastic.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kirk Phoenix, AZ, United States 03-08-14
    Kirk Phoenix, AZ, United States 03-08-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Where to start?"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I really wanted to like this book, but the lead character, Mae Holland is so poorly written I could never visualize how someone so utterly inarticulate and incapable of introspection or critical thinking skills was ever hired to work at a firm like The Circle. She came across as shrill and I spent the last half of the book hate-listening.


    What could Dave Eggers have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    The characters were never fleshed out. None of them were remotely relatable, let alone likable.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Dion Graham?

    I was really unimpressed by Dion's performance. None of the characters had a distinctive voice. Mae seemed to be reduced to some modern derivative of a valley girl with a stilted, snarky voice.


    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brock DONOSTIA-SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain 10-10-13
    Brock DONOSTIA-SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain 10-10-13 Member Since 2015

    So much to learn, and so little time to sit down and read. Thanks Audible.

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    "A fresh, past-paced story"

    As I listen to a lot of books, many of them begin to run together in my mind. I really enjoyed The Circle because it was a fresh, unique story. I know many people will compare it to Orwell's 1984, but to me there is a big difference. Orwell's book, published in 1949, described a futuristic setting 35 years down the road. In The Circle Eggers describes "futuristic" events that could happen very, very soon.

    Eggers writes a fast-paced story that really pulled me in. Unlike most crime novels, where I have a pretty good sense of how things are going to end up, I eagerly listened to see where the author was taking us. I give this book two thumbs up.

    16 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RReid Long Beach, CA United States 07-14-17
    RReid Long Beach, CA United States 07-14-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Good novel good reading"

    This novel is very fitting for this technology driven world we live in today. It has a hint of young adult novel but some sex scenes that might not be suitable for younger listeners.
    The reading was hilarious at parts because the male reader needed to sound like a chirpy girl, but overall reading was clear and the voice was soothing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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