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The Circle

3.47  ·  Rating Details ·  107,668 Ratings  ·  15,142 Reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, First edition, 493 pages
Published October 8th 2013 by Knopf
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Bas Korpershoek I'd say it was about the beauty of not being connected with the internet; the beauty of being connected with nature. Mae found she could be herself,…moreI'd say it was about the beauty of not being connected with the internet; the beauty of being connected with nature. Mae found she could be herself, relax, and enjoy herself while she was at the water; the tear was also absent there. The water passages are written to show the beauty of nature, and I also found my antipathy for Mae disappeared when reading those passages: she became human again.

Maybe that's why the champagne was hidden by the water also; a Romantic symbol that the true beauty is in nature.

Then again, who am I... These are just my observations!(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Oct 29, 2013 Brad rated it did not like it
Shelves: contemporary
A 491 page soap box. Here's what's wrong with it, in no particular order:

(1) Not offering anything new to the conversation. I imagine I will not be the only fan of dystopian literature who will be bored and feel this is retreading old territory already covered in books written long before the age of the internet. As a human being living in a first world country, the comparisons one can draw between real-life companies and the Circle are second nature: Facebook's ever-changing privacy policies, t
Stephanie Sun
Nov 21, 2013 Stephanie Sun rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook, obama, real-goodies
A Review of Dave Eggers' The Circle by Google

Transparency is...

Surveillance is...

Society is...

Kayaking is...

Cults are...

Everything in moderation, including...

Cynicism is...

Can I...

On a more serious note, yes, this is The Fountainhead for Big Data. If Sonny Mehta had called up Dave Eggers and offered him 100,000 shares of Facebook to write a The Fountainhead for Big Data it couldn't have turned out much differently from this book. The Circle is as manipulative, intellectually bankrupt, and cardbo
MJ Nicholls
Sep 12, 2013 MJ Nicholls rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, merkins
Liking this review will send a zing direct to Dave Eggers, who will enter the names of all those who liked at once into the McSweeney’s Assimilation Programme (MAP), an underground writing movement devoted to the extinction of all non-clear-cut, accessible, socially conscious, lyrical and harmlessly amusing prose. Eggers will also have access to your Facebook profiles and email addresses, and will friend you as JONAS BENZINE, a plucky Mexican stripper interested in your wit and bank account. Jus ...more
Jaclyn Day
Nov 01, 2013 Jaclyn Day rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this.

The idea of a dystopian novel centered around the perils of the Internet (or the company/companies that control it) is a really appealing and relevant theme. There are parts of the book—the main character’s addiction to crowd-sourcing or sharing minute details about what’s happening around her—that absolutely feel like 50 Shades of Creepy.

The big problem with The Circle is that the main character is completely flat. I didn’t understand her, her connections with oth
Julie Ehlers
Oct 07, 2013 Julie Ehlers rated it really liked it
Not long ago, one of the founders of Goodreads posted this on the site's blog:
Picture it: You're curled up on the couch, lost in a fantastic story on your new Kindle Paperwhite, when you come across the most amazing passage. It sends shivers down your spine... or it makes you laugh... or it captures something important to you. And you can't wait to see if your friends feel the same way. Now there's no need to put down your new Kindle Paperwhite to jump on Goodreads and share it with your friends
Dec 28, 2013 di rated it it was ok
Unfortunately, despite an intriguing premise and my high hopes, I feel obliged to give THE CIRCLE more frowns than smiles. In Mae's extreme/bizarre opinion, my "dislike" may as well equate to murder, or hatred at least. Really it's just disappointment.


--The ending. Mae (view spoiler) was the perfect outcome. Any sort of (view spoiler) would have lost the book entirely to lameness.

--The exploration of an interes
Nov 15, 2013 Benjamin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Realistically, The Circle probably deserves just four out of five stars - the writing is simple and the characters don't have much depth. In any other book, shortcomings like these would definitely play a much bigger role in the rating. But despite these issues, for me The Circle was an extremely exciting and interesting story to read.

There's been plenty of conversation and scrutinizing of Dave Eggers and his approach to the story. Plenty has been said about how he neglected to do any research a
Ron Charles
Sep 24, 2013 Ron Charles rated it liked it
Shelves: apocalyptic
Dave Eggers is having a Klout moment: He’s just published a dystopian satire about social media called “The Circle.” On Sunday, the New York Times Magazine touted an excerpt on its cover. The blogosphere has lit up like the aurora borealis.

At 500 pages, this relentless broadside against the corrosive effects of the connected life is as subtle as a sponsored tweet. Make no mistake: Eggers has seen the Facebook effect, and he does not “like” it. His parable of technological madness reads like a Bu
Sep 12, 2013 brian rated it really liked it
as zeitgeisty as they come and just as flawed. eggers' prose is a bit too ordinary, his characters seem just smart or clueless enough to conform to plot machinations, and the masses appear as neo-marxist caricatures of 'the masses' with only a select few white-hat-wearing good guys able to catch a glimpse outside the ol' cave. the riches contained within (and they are aplenty) deserve a more thorough and complete treatment. the circle probably deserves 3.5, but i round up as this is just an incr ...more
Oct 14, 2013 Amantha rated it it was ok
Imagine a character named Mark Holland. He's easily manipulated, does anything anyone tells him, is constantly worried how others see him, constantly thinks he's going to be fired even though he meets the company's expectations, and when he gets 97% approval rating he becomes convinced that the 3% expressing disapproval obviously want him dead and are plotting to murder him. He listens to people spout off distorted, uncomfortable bullshit, takes it all in, and says with wide-eyed wonder "You are ...more
Sep 19, 2013 Elyse rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-authors
Update: The movie opens April 28th- in my area - with Tom Hanks.
Regardless - what people rated this book ---1 star or 5 star. It makes for an engaging discussion.
Yesterday Paul and I saw the movie trailer just BEFORE watching the YouTube update of the Apple Campus being built here in Silicon Valley... Steve Job's last creative design before he died. The 'Kingdom' ... haha in the ROUND off freeway 280 in Cupertino is like NOTHING I've ever seen built in the Bay Area in my lifetime.
I loved this
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
I received this book free from LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

In the world introduced in ‘The Circle’, individuals become completely transparent and are stripped of their anonymity even when performing menial tasks. Mae Holland has just secured a position with The Circle thanks to her friend Annie, a high-ranking employee at The Circle. Mae’s involvement in the company slowly begins ove
Will M.
Jun 18, 2014 Will M. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Honestly, no one
I hate books with unlikable characters. The mere fact that it took me 14 days to finish this short novel clearly means that something bad was going on. The novel didn't captivate me in any way possible. The premise was great, but the execution was laughable.

The Circle is a company wherein transparency is the natural law whereas secrecy is the eternal sin. An employee is trained to be competent in their jobs but they are also required to be socially active in the company. They have a facebook-lik
Navidad Thelamour
“We all know we die. We all know the world is too big for us to be significant. So all we have is the hope of being seen, or heard, even for a moment.”

Wow, what a read! It’s been a little while since I’ve given a read 5 stars, so I’m feeling a bit like:


I went into this one a little tired from the mild let-downs that some of my more recent reads have been and wanting to take a quick breather from my list of upcoming pre-release 2016 reviews. (This one was released in 2013.) I am delighted to
Oct 01, 2013 Mohamed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Once upon a time, we used to think about the future and the many wonderful things we would be able to do online, and we used to say 'one day we'll be able to do this.' and now we live in a time period where the mentality's changed from 'one day we'll do it' to 'now we can do it, and we should.' And we mostly do that without pausing to wonder what the repercussions may be. The Circle explores this idea with stomach-churning gusto.

The Circle is a disturbing book, not only because of the troubling
Oct 06, 2016 Brad rated it really liked it
Facebook Bad. Twitter Bad.

Oh wait, we all know that, that's why we're drawn to its dark, dark powers. We love to be frightened by a totalitarian regime based on widespread shaming and a few likes.

Seriously, this book has some really great prose going on, imminently readable, with wonderful characters and a very good progression of plot... kinda like sitting in the cold water as a pot starts heating up. We see all the great stuff that this new omnipresent social media/accounting has brought to us
Sep 09, 2013 Snotchocheez rated it really liked it

I'd be the first to admit that Dave Eggers' writing can be quite facile (The Circle is certainly evidence of that), but love him or hate him, he sure can tell a story. His long (500 page) yet breezy reimagination of a Google-esque company controlling every aspect of our lives provided probably the most fun I had reading fiction this year (2013).

Watch as protagonist Mae gets hired at "The Circle", quickly works her way up the ranks, and loses her mind trying to amass as many "smiles" and 100s as
Ron S
Sep 22, 2013 Ron S rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A deft and timely novel that reads like modern day Orwell, to make Christopher Hitchens or Walker Percy proud. Eggers tells the story of Mae, newly employed by the Circle, a tech monopoly that seems to neatly encapsulate Google, Microsoft, Linked In, Facebook and Scientology all in one. While the ending seemed anti-climactic and rushed, this is a near perfect mirror held up to, and satire of, our current social media and digital obsessions, monopolies like Amazon and Apple and our willingness to ...more
You can get scared or act fearless and laugh, but listen to Silicon Valley getting hammered on a grand scale! No, not that hammered! Hammered over the head ... thump... thump... thump style!

The protagonist is a young woman, Maebelline Renner Holland who lands a poshy job at The Circle - the biggest internet interactive company in the world with its dreamscape buildings filled with ten thousand of the world's young techno gurus changing the way the world operates by working on the Second Enlighte
Dec 30, 2016 Carol added it
Shelves: fiction
The Hook - The story goes like this. I run into a guy who used to be in my non-fiction book group, one who I miss for his eclectic reading and bold opinions. We catch up on what’s happening in his new career, prior insurance man turned security tech in a large company, so much more exciting than my retirement. I mention how the loss of privacy in my daily life due to the use of social networking and the Internet bothers me and that I wonder at where we are heading. He immediately says “Have I go ...more
Oct 07, 2013 Darwin8u rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
“Suffering is only suffering if it's done in silence, in solitude. Pain experienced in public, in view of loving millions, was no longer pain. It was communion.”
― Dave Eggers, The Circle


(***1/2) A solid, just not great social network dystopia. Imagine FB::Google::Amazon take over the world. There is nowhere left to hide. No secrets. No privacy. No down time. In fact, "SECRETS ARE LIES, SHARING IS CARING, PRIVACY IS THEFT." While it is interesting, and does seem to mimic some of the warnings of
Fred Fenimore
Oct 09, 2013 Fred Fenimore rated it it was ok
Shelves: audible
Basically a campfire tale for introverts.

A great setup in the first couple of dozen chapters then nothing really happens until the end of the book. Straw men are setup, then methodically sliced back into straw. Lectures are delivered, lessons are learned or not depending on what point was being made in the most recent or next upcoming lecture. Sort of like Ayn Rand writes a Michael Crichton type thriller but without any action or plot.

One time I heard art described as something that causes a rea
Rose Symotiuk
Oct 14, 2013 Rose Symotiuk rated it did not like it
Having read the reviews by critics stumbling over each other to praise how "edgy" and "prophetic" this book was, I borrowed it from the library (if I'd paid the ridiculous $17 for this book, I probably would have sat down and cried).

The only thing good about this book is David Eggers writing ability. He's clearly an extremely skilled writer and it's a credit to him that I managed to finish this to the end. He could write about going to the bank and make it readable and interesting (and would pro
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:


Here’s a dramatic reenactment of me while reading this book:

In case you can’t tell what that little child of the corn is saying, it’s something along the lines of “WTF?!?!?!? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?! I’VE BEEN READING THIS CRAP FOR THREE DAYS AND I’M ONLY AT 74%?!?!?!?!?!” The Circle has been making its way on and off my to-read list ever since it was released. Most recently, a combination of Snotch
helen the bookowl
Dec 30, 2016 helen the bookowl rated it it was amazing
If there were a few of the books I read this year that were impactful, this was one of them! Seldom have I read a novel that terrified and overwhelmed me so much but that also speaks the very important truth. "The Circle" has so many similarities to "1984" by George Orwell - actually, I would call it a modern retelling of "1984" - and Dave Eggers does a fantastic job at creating a dystopian society which could very well be reality some day.
Mae is the protagonist of this story and she's hired in
Nov 11, 2013 Liane rated it it was ok
The Circle, a commentary on transparency and a person's "online life" vs. "real life", follows the most naive college graduate in history as she effortlessly navigates herself from a bottom-rung customer service position at the world's leading "technology company" into its inner, ahem, circle, in what seems like just a few weeks. Mae is yet another faceless main character in a book that serves to allow the reader to insert his- or herself into the narrative, a current trend which unsurprisingly ...more
Oct 05, 2014 Kristijan rated it liked it
Egersov roman "Krug" bi lako mogao da se nazove "1984" za 21. vek. Očigledno je da je ovo vizionarsko delo bilo Egersovo uporište, samo što je on nužno morao da osavremeni Orvelove ideje i da ih upakuje u sveopštu kompjutersku globalizaciju.

Glavni lik ovog romana je mlađahna Mej Holand koja, da bi pobegla od svoje malograđanštine, "prodaje svoju dušu" internet kompaniji "Krug". Iako kompanija deluje poprilično humanistički, ispod njene naizgled transparentne površine kriju se totalitaristički po
Oct 16, 2016 Julie rated it really liked it
The Circle by Dave Eggers is a 2013 Knopf publication.

This book was recommended to me by someone recently, but I wasn’t sure if it was really my kind of book. Many folks had marked it as ‘Dystopian’ and I’m not as big on that trend as everyone else, so I waffled a little, but ultimately chose to borrow it from the library.

Reading the editorial reviews, one described this book as a parable. I can’t think of a more apt word than that for this novel.

Even in just three short years, since this boo
Giselle (Book Nerd Canada)
So now it's a movie with Tom Hanks and Emma Watson? Ahh well then!


Not sure if this author has plagiarized, but here's an article that mentions it.

‘The Circle’ Author Dave Eggers Denies Reading Facebook Memoir That He’s Accused Of Plagiarizing -

Wrote the review below before I had any knowledge so my review is unbiased.


Set in the near future, Mae wants something better than being an I.T. worker at a utility company in her small town. With the help
As a novel this huge piece of work has almost too many faults to name, but Eggers’ imagination and style makes the experience of reading or listening to it a special kind of pleasure. Filled to the brim with fledgling discussions of privacy, freedom, fairness, democracy, and control, the novel has in its DNA all the previous great works who have posed the questions “What is privacy and is it good?” and “What is democracy and is it good?” and “What is personal freedom and is it good?”

This is a lo
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Dave Eggers is the author of ten books, including most recently Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever?, The Circle and A Hologram for the King, which was a finalist for the 2012 National Book Award. He is the founder of McSweeney’s, an independent publishing company based in San Francisco that produces books, a quarterly journal of new writing (McSweeney’s Quarterly ...more
More about Dave Eggers...

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“You know how you finish a bag of chips and you hate yourself? You know you’ve done nothing good for yourself. That’s the same feeling, and you know it is, after some digital binge. You feel wasted and hollow and diminished.” 96 likes
“Better to be at the bottom of a ladder you want to climb than in the middle of some ladder you don’t, right?” 85 likes
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