**spoiler alert** I actually didn't expect to like this book as I find most "bestsellers" fairly lame and tepid. But my town book club read The Circle**spoiler alert** I actually didn't expect to like this book as I find most "bestsellers" fairly lame and tepid. But my town book club read The Circle and I thought I'd give it a try. Surprisingly, it ended up being a pretty effective combination of a modern thriller, a cautionary tale, dystopian sci-fi...and a horror story.
The story follows the career arc of Mae Holland, as it intersects with the continued expansion of a creepy Internet company which is carefully never hinted to be Google. Well, aside from the obsessive data collection and creepy interest in self driving cars.
You start out kind of liking Mae, as she struggles to get a new career up and running. True, she's a little self absorbed but not much more than a lot of very young people. By the end of the book, though, it was clear that she had become a True Believer in the current braindead notion that privacy is unimportant AND bad. I kept waiting for some non "smile/frown social media" event to pull her back and snap her out of her descent into madness. Even when her actions help cause the tragic death of a family/friend. But at the end, you could see her going beyond the idea of there being no right to live and act privately and contemplating the next horrible direction for the Circle...no privacy for the internal working of our minds, our thoughts. The end was just really damn chilling.
Props to the author for: - a decently plotted story with rising tension and real suspense
- a look into a world that tech true believers would undoubtedly see as good and not the horror story that it is
- showing how government and corporations team up to make problems worse (think Obamacare)
- the great "data collection and social media as ravenous shark that shits dust" comparison
- The quote: SECRETS ARE LIES SHARING IS CARING PRIVACY IS THEFT
Hearkening back to 1984's litany of: War is Peace Freedom Is Slavery Ignorance is Strength
If there was ever a book to read at the end of 2016 and close out the year, this is the one.
Chuck Palahniuk's story follows a cadre of covert agents fIf there was ever a book to read at the end of 2016 and close out the year, this is the one.
Chuck Palahniuk's story follows a cadre of covert agents from some demented totalitarian state (North Korea seems like a likely candidate), who come to the differently demented United States with the goal of committing a terrorist atrocity. Posing as high school aged orphans, these trained assassins infiltrate a community and leave a trail of chaos, destruction and valuable life lessons in their wake.
Alternately horrifying and life affirming...this book is the essence of 2016 distilled into 240 action packed pages....more
I know I'm going to be in the minority on this one but here goes.
I didn't really enjoy this book. The writing style was flat and about as interestingI know I'm going to be in the minority on this one but here goes.
I didn't really enjoy this book. The writing style was flat and about as interesting as a police procedural. "At 2200 hours my air pump exploded. I observed shards of metal embedded in my chest. Fortunately, all vital organs were missed".
Heinlein was writing better, more engaging scifi for juveniles 60 years ago......more