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The Circle

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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.

493 pages, Hardcover

First published October 8, 2013

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About the author

Dave Eggers

322 books8,512 followers
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 Concern), and a monthly magazine, The Believer. McSweeney’s also publishes Voice of Witness, a nonprofit book series that uses oral history to illuminate human rights crises around the world. Eggers is the co-founder of 826 National, a network of eight tutoring centers around the country and ScholarMatch, a nonprofit organization designed to connect students with resources, schools and donors to make college possible. He lives in Northern California with his family.

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Profile Image for Brad.
747 reviews
December 9, 2021
UPDATE: My review of this book's sequel, The Every, is out now.

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, the tender feelings of Facebook culture, Google's enormity (delving into other spheres like banking, phones, etc.) and well-publicized work environment, Steve Jobs' cool public image, WikiLeaks' total transparency, country-wide privatization of what were previously public services, etc. Likewise, it is easy to see pieces of other stories in this one, whether dystopian (1984's watchful eye eliminating privacy and its bold-faced mantras), comedic (Office Space's passive aggressive pressure for more "pieces of flare," though this is treated humorlessly in The Circle) and best-forgotten flops (Idiocracy's ruling class communicating through a hyper-dumbed-down language/culture of cool, something I'm thankful is sloppily forgotten less than halfway into The Circle). That amounts to a lot of boxes checked off by the book, but it doesn't take any bold steps of its own. At its simplest, it is a cautionary tale about a would-be utopia that gradually loses its shine, a hammer Animal Farm mercifully only pounded me with for 100 pages or so.

(2) The tone. The only thing complicated about the book's tone is this: when it chooses to voice the possible consequences of a powerhouse entity like the Circle, does it realize these concerns are pretty much universally recognized already? I can't determine whether the book means to be trite or condescending. Which brings me to...

(3) The audience. While I don't believe an author should dumb down books for a younger generation, the themes of this book might make more of an impact on a younger audience, though it clearly wasn't written for them. Why write a book that warns against sacrificing privacy online and volunteering one's soul to large corporate entities (no matter how genial), if only to market it to a generation who spends its time warning its own children about the same issues? (Side note: In the year since I wrote this review I've noticed that, like Ayn Rand books, this book's fans appear to simply agree with the message of warning, which is very different from liking a book for its merits as a literary work.)

(4) The protagonist. The protagonist is easily influenced to the point of not being a driving force in her own life, all while being 100% bright-eyed and naive. The choice to cast a young woman (only two years out of college) as this malleable protagonist is misguided and invites criticism, especially with the national dialogues happening around women's rights AND since this is Eggers first full-length book to center around a female character. Those issues aside, the paper-thin Mae has only one driving force as the book goes on: being liked. While this could be a conscious comment on the Facebook generation, it doesn't make for a good character. There is little to make us care about the vapid protagonist or the missteps she continuously makes throughout the book. Not caring about her makes it difficult to identify with her, which (a) means Mae's naivete gives this would-be cautionary tale an abundantly obvious direction and (b) makes it unlikely people will see Mae's story as their own being lived out through (i) Facebook's ever-changing privacy policies, (ii) their own choice in how to respond to Google's growing ubiquity/power and (iii) the self-induced pressures of cultivating an active "life" online. Though she is cautious about many of her first steps into something new, feeling pressured to continue, it isn't long before she is running blindly into the next step of cult-like brainwashing. It is frustrating to realize that she never stands up for herself...at least it was until I realized she doesn't seem to have anything to stand up for. Mae is so easily manipulated by the powers that be at the Circle that it is difficult to acknowledge her as a sentient being.

(5) The dialogue. So much time is spent showing the growing pressures and power of the Circle that it is a wonder that any time is spent telling what is happening, as it is so frequently through characters voicing aloud their intentions/motives/feelings. The writing in these moments are fully-articulated viewpoints one could cut and paste into an Op-Ed piece. The characters of Eamon Bailey and Mercer have all the subtlety of Ayn Rand's Howard Rourke but with none of the appeal. Plus, other characters enter the story for no reason other than to offer another somewhat obvious glimpse of the repercussions of an entity like the Circle (e.g. a drunken zealot who stumbles in to encourage the Circle to use its powers to create uniform morality).

(6) The spineless masses. As written, it is totally unbelievable that everyone would go along with each step, much less with such evangelical enthusiasm. What is motivating them to agree and cheer each time their privacy is stripped away? Mercer is the first voice of reason at page 260 or so, which is (a) ridiculous and (b) poorly conceived since he and Mae are mid-argument when the usually-short-on-words Mercer waxes articulate philosophical viewpoints. (This does, however, manifest itself into the only idea I encountered that was new to me: that the biggest disconnect for people in their small, public activities online is that individually most people aren't doing anything wrong, but they are not conscious of the effect collectively.)

(7) Numerous set-ups that lead to nothing.

(8) The artwork. Sorry to nitpick, but even this completely lacks subtlety: On the dust jacket is the Circle's logo, a C or a circle not yet complete. Take off the dust jacket and one sees that the circle is complete and it has become a target. Insert cutting remark here.

There are even more things I personally didn't like about the book.
Author 3 books339 followers
August 24, 2014
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 cardboard character-filled as Ayn Rand's book, which means it has none of the things that I look for in a novel.

However, in keeping with one of the themes hammered home again and again and again in this book, I don't necessarily want all novels that I read to feel as if they were written for me and my tastes. Eggers' and Rand's novels are striking and extreme, and we need striking and extreme novels along with all the rest.

Any engineer who leaves this book shaking his/her head at another high-profile Luddite who JUST DOESN'T UNDERSTAND THE COMPLEXITIES AND DAY TO DAY OF REAL LIFE SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT should think of a novel like this as rapid prototyping for reality. Eggers is hacking together something purposefully bad hoping to get as many people as he can to stop, read, and admit that we really don't want this to be our future, right, right, RIGHT?

I think most of the people leaving one-star ratings and all of those leaving five-star ratings of this book would nod, Mae-like, yes.

And creating that kind of consensus, in an age and about mechanisms that Google can't even decide whether to deem GOOD, BAD, or NECESSARY, is so valuable.

This book is not very good, but you should read it.
Profile Image for MJ Nicholls.
2,050 reviews4,118 followers
December 13, 2013
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. Just a warning. Eggers’s latest novel is a deliberate re-imagining of IngSoc from 1984 in the form of a bland Californian Google-plex whose erosion of privacy for the Greater Good becomes the hippest thing in Corporate Evil. His constant riffing on the banalities of social networks and the inherent evil lurking below is first-rate, raising oodles of smiles and outright titters, taking excellent turns to the sinister and horror-film eerie within a sometimes obvious but zingy plot. Apart from one scene where Mae’s lover asks for a rating after sex (we all do that, right?), the observational material, intelligently researched and presented concepts, character-buffing sections, are excellent and, of course, Eggers is a mainstream literary writer, so writes with effortless page-munching zeal. Remember, failure to like this review will reduce your standing in the eyes of those who (hitherto) loved and respected you.
Profile Image for Jaclyn Day.
736 reviews336 followers
November 1, 2013
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 other characters or her motivations. In a digital, dynamic world, Mae (the main character) is static. She speaks mostly in responses to questions. Do you understand this, Mae? “I do.” Does this make sense, Mae? “It does.” It’s a stretch, but I could excuse this as Eggers’ interesting way to show how submissive we become next to what we perceive as Immense World Power. But honestly, I hesitate to give the book that much credit. The plot is predictable in a bad way. The characters are one-dimensional in a bad way.

Speaking of predictable—the ending! It wasn’t satisfying and it provoked no emotional response from me whatsoever. I ended the book, I tossed my Kindle to the side and that was that. This is no modern 1984. I’d enjoy reading a suspenseful, realistic and engaging dystopian novel about the Internet. This book wasn’t it.
Profile Image for Julie Ehlers.
1,111 reviews1,415 followers
August 21, 2014
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... Starting today, Goodreads is inside your books on the new Kindle Paperwhite. Reading and discussing books are no longer separated—your reading experience is all on one device!1!!11!!!1!! [creative punctuation added]

That's right. It used to be that reading was basically a solitary experience. Sure, you could talk about it later, among friends, in a book group, on a site like this. But in order to form your opinion of a book, you needed alone time with it. You needed to be able to give it your full attention, concentrate on it, decide how you felt about it. Now you don't need to do any of those things. You can share every line with your friends (or "friends"), pretty much as soon as you read them, and you don't even have to put the book (or "book") down and pick up a device. It's all integrated for the maximum amount of sharing!

How do you feel about this? If this idea sounds awesome to you, chances are you'll hate The Circle, but you'd fit right in at the Circle. If this idea sounds like a nightmare, you definitely wouldn't like the Circle, but you might like The Circle.

If you'll permit me another digression, do you remember when Jonathan Franzen had the nerve to say he didn't like Twitter and the internet fairly exploded in its collective anger? I never understood it. Who cares if Jonathan Franzen doesn't like Twitter? He doesn't have to like it. People are allowed to not like Twitter. But we've all heard it a million times by now, in various internet-related scenarios: this is the way we're headed, this is the future, if you don't buy in wholeheartedly you're an embarrassing dinosaur, just accept it! I find this thinking alarming. Haven't we learned anything from the past? Decades ago, we decided the automobile was the future and started building neighborhoods with no sidewalks or businesses within walking distance. Decades ago, we decided processed foods were the future and started deemphasizing fresh food, not to mention local farms. We all know how these scenarios turned out. We now spend a lot of time and resources trying to coax people back onto a kind of middle ground. I'm no Luddite--I like social media (obviously). A middle ground is all I'm asking for, but these are all-or-nothing times we've been living in.

Similarly, The Circle is an all-or-nothing kind of book. I wouldn't call it a literary novel; it's more of a fable, a kind of 1984 for the online world. Its central character, Mae, is a frustrating empty vessel. She believes anything she's told, gloms onto any guy who shows interest in her, abandons her loved ones, passions, and principles (the few she has) with only the slightest persuasion. Is she a pure symbol, meant only to convey what happens when things go too far, or is she actually supposed to be a real human being? (In other words, is this what Dave Eggers thinks of real human beings?) On the other hand, Mae's ex-boyfriend Mercer is such an anachronism that he seems to be a symbol as well, set up purely for contrast to Mae. The rest of the characters are ciphers, impossible to really get to know. Side effect of being part of the Circle? Or did Dave Eggers consider the characters secondary to the message he was trying to get across, and therefore simply didn't spend a lot of time on them?

Still, while the book's characters and events are certainly taken to extremes, the story nevertheless feels plausible to me. What's more, it's fast-paced and entertaining and made me feel like I was trapped in a horrible nightmare I couldn't get out of. I would suggest you read it. Decide for yourself what you think.
Profile Image for di.
206 reviews15 followers
August 14, 2016
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 was the perfect outcome. Any sort of would have lost the book entirely to lameness.

--The exploration of an interesting idea. Private vs public. Social media at its extreme.

--Part II, where Mae is , raises the stakes nicely, and increases the tension. (In fact, this is potentially the first time the stakes are raised in the book.)


--The Kalden 'twist' was very obvious from early on, and that cringe-worthy scene underground gave it away entirely. (You know, passwords, top secret underground bunkers, old mattresses, Mae 'falling apart all over' Kalden. *ugh*)

--The sex/'romantic' scenes. All of them. With Francis they were supposed to be bad but the Kalden scenes were worse. When she imagines herself 'sitting on his crown' I feel nauseous.

--How dumb is Mae? E.g. Was she surprised to hear Ty's summation of Francis's TruYouth idea? Is the permanence of implanting chips inside the bones of infants not obvious? And did she really think that Mercer would appreciate being stalked by the world via flying cameras? Apparently she thought Mercer would "laugh too," and would "shake his head in admiration for the power of the wonderful tools at her disposal." Okay.

--Mercer's was far too predictable in terms of plot--Eggers needed to show shocking worst case scenarios for the plot to have impact--and in terms of character it fell flat. I did not believe for a second that Mercer would actually . His character was not developed well enough for me to buy it.

--Every time the crowd 'roared' or 'erupted with laughter' at one of Bailey's lame jokes I was tempted to close the book for good.

--The book could do with some serious editing. The descriptions of the ins and outs of Mae's desk job could be cut down by a half. In fact, most of the pages could be cut down by a half.

--The majority of the book is unbelievable, to say the least. E.g. In what world would someone get into so much trouble for not attending an inordinate number of mundane work functions?

--Worst of all, the character development--or lack thereof. Bailey is a caricature. Mercer is a caricature. Annie is weak. Those two social police people, and Mae's boss, Dan, all talk like the cast of a bad sitcom, ("Let's put a pin in that thought"), and Mae acts and thinks like an imbecile. Continually. Much more so than any likeable/relatable protagonist should.

So, IMO: frown.
Profile Image for Amantha.
332 reviews29 followers
July 23, 2016
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 a genius."

Sounds like a bit of a tool, doesn't he?

Well now imagine that character's name is Mae Holland. What's your thoughts on the above characteristics when they're attributed a woman? Do they suddenly seem....natural? Expected, even?

Excuse me while I vomit.

I'm not saying all female characters should be ballbusting HBIC "strong female character" stereotypes. I'm all for well-rounded women. The problem is Mae isn't well-rounded at all. So here we have Dave Eggers looking at a genre (the digital world) that is mostly dominated by male protagonists (occasionally you get that tech-savvy female sidekick like in Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore or the GwtDT trilogy but even then it feels like the author is asking for a pat on the back for being so very groundbreaking and open-minded) and going "Hm I need a protagonist who is easily manipulated and brainwashed. Obviously it can't be a guy because that's not the story I want to tell. It must be a girl."


Okay so you've got Mae. You've got her ballbusting HBIC "strong female character" stereotype best friend, Annie. You've got her automaton coworkers and bosses. You've got the Zuckerbergesque founder who stays in the shadows. You've got his "face of the company" partners. You've got the ex-boyfriend who starts out as the only voice of reason in the whole damn book. You've got the sickly parents whose souls Mae sells to her company. And then, because she is a Leading Female Protagonist, you've got not one but two guys who are polar opposites who basically spend the whole length of the novel trying to get into her pants. Both succeed. Both are utter tools. One of them has a "secret identity" that I figured out about 100 pages before it was revealed and I thought to myself "if this guy is who I think he is I'm going to throw this book across the room."

If it had been my own personal copy, I totally would have. My literal reaction was: EIsurprise
I was so angry I really almost did throw the book in spite of the fact that it belongs to a coworker.

So yeah, you've also got not one but two White Male Saviour characters(the ex-boyfriend and one of Mae's beaus), one of whom and the other of whom . Admittedly that second spoiler is one of the reasons I gave this book two stars instead of one. Mae finally FINALLY stops being manipulated by everyone around her and makes her own decision and reveals what her personality is (so far all we know of her is what other people foist upon her): her personality is the sort that wants everyone else to tell her what her personality is.

W O W.

Okay so the other reason this book got two stars from is that in spite of everything it's an intriguing plot and the action was intense (and infuriating) enough that I kept going through all 500 pages. And the ending, like I said, was slightly satisfying inspite of the "surprise" not being a surprise at all. And there is a repeating theme of Mae getting panic attacks that feel like a black tear opening inside her that can only be quenched by the devouring monotony of consumerism. The imagery was so vivid that I felt like a panic attack was imminent myself.

But let's get back to the bad stuff. Leaving aside the anti-feminist vibes I was getting the entire time, there were so many things about this world that had me questioning the validity of it all. Because everyone has one account with one password and their real identity for all of the internet, identity theft no longer exists. Um, what? Wouldn't that make identity theft EASIER? Also because anonymity no longer exists, people are nice (oh except when they're not but Mae doesn't acknowledge that) and no one ever says anything nasty about anyone ever again. W H A T? And then there's the bit at the end with the all-devouring shark that is such a heavyhanded metaphor for The Circle that I would like Mr. Eggers to know that hey guess what your readers really aren't that stupid that you needed whatshisface to explain it at the end. Oh gosh my real name is attached to this review and I just said something negative about someone. Guess that whole "anonymity makes people assholes but being watched makes everyone magically nice" idea doesn't actually work, does it?

Now if you excuse me I'm moving to the middle of nowhere where there is no internet or people or anything and I'm gonna earn my living by making chandeliers out of deer antlers.
Profile Image for Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥.
547 reviews34.7k followers
October 5, 2018
”Outside the walls of the Circle, all was noise and struggle, failure and filth. But here, all had been perfected. The best people had made the best systems and the best systems had reaped funds, unlimited funds, that made possible this, the best place to work.”

Did you ever want to live in a world where everything is perfect? Every step is fully automated, no wars, no crimes, no pollution, no problem that can’t be fixed? Well, you found it! Welcome to “The Circle” where they have the best jobs, the smartest brains and the necessary means to change the world. For Mae to work at her new job is heaven and if possible she never ever wants to leave the Circle again! And let’s face it, why should she if everything is going so well?

Maybe a little too well? What’s that little voice nagging at the back of her mind, where does this feeling of loneliness and pressure come from? Is she losing her mind? Is she just stressed? Who’s that mysterious guy she finds herself falling for? Is he an illusion or is he real? Is he against the world they are building? Against the ideas that seem to change people’s lives for the better? What’s wrong with their ideas? Why shouldn’t’ they try to improve the world?


”There needs to be accountability. Tyrants can no longer hide. There needs to be, and will be, documentation and accountability, and we need to bear witness. And to this end, I insist that all that happens should be known.”

Say hello to SeeChange where you can watch every spot you want to see. All over the world there are little cameras that give you a live picture of the place you want to watch. The Maldives? The Grand Canyon? A riot in another country? Live footage of your grandpa on the toilet? No problem! ;-) You can see everything and be everywhere!

”Okay. But just know, from now on, that being social, and being a presence on your profile and all related accounts – this is part of why you’re here. We consider your online presence to be integral to your work here. It’s all connected.”

And there are so many connections that Mae needs 6(!!!) monitors to keep up to date with everything that happens on Campus! But who needs sleep when you can interact with every person around the world? Who needs to eat and drink when you can get likes for attending one of the countless activities on campus? Did I already mention that nice Portugal Brunch that’s hosted by a guy named Alistair you didn’t even meet yet? You don’t have to attend if you’re too busy, but we expect you to be an active part of the community, so please at least tell him you can’t go because you’re swamped with work. Oh, are you overstrained? We take the health of our employees very seriously!

”It’ll collect data on your heart rate, blood pressure, cholesterol, heart flux, caloric intake, sleep duration, sleep quality, digestive efficiency, on and on. A nice thing for the Circlers, especially those like you who might have occasionally stressful jobs, is that it measures galvanic skin response, which allows you to know when you’re amped or anxious.”

There! Problem solved! Now you can check your vitals and act accordingly! This nice tool will inform you when it’s time to eat the next banana so your blood pressure doesn’t fall. But you better don’t do any sport to improve your health, because we expect you to sit in front of your 6 monitors all of the time. Who needs sports with the right nutrition anyway? You’ll look like a supermodel in no time and oh did we forget to mention that all our employees look like models anyway? Sorry, our fault! I hope you’ll still give us the best rating.

”I have thought on this for years, and I have yet to conjure a scenario where a secret does more good than harm. Secrets are the enablers of antisocial, immoral and destructive behaviour.”

If you have any secrets just leave them at the door because inside of the Circle we don’t have anything to hide. We’re all equal; we all strive to improve the world. I mean who needs a hierarchy? Every one of us is an important member of our company! We, all of us, will make the world a better place. But oh, I just saw that you didn’t get as many likes as you got yesterday and you forgot to attend one of our 100 events because you visited your parents? I’m sorry Mae, but you better head to one of the top 40 so they can rap you on the knuckles. And if you did something really bad you’ll have to make an appearance in front of one of the three wise men! #SorryNotSorryWeDoHaveRulesAndAnImpeccableHierarchySystemAfterAll

”Just as within the Circle we know our Participation Rank, for example, soon we’ll be able to know at any given moment where our sons and daughters stand against the rest of American students, and then against the world’s students.”

AND this is one of our newest inventions! Now every student all over the world will know how good she/he is and it will be easy to improve your rank because now you finally know where you stand. No pressure! We swear! Cross our hearts and hope to die!! But well, you’re not doing so good right now, your current rank is pretty low and you’re just on 1.584.256. Might be wise to do something to improve this. What? You worry about all the students that will never be in the top 100? Sorry, but we can’t all be the best, there will always be people that are better than others. Oh, now that you mention it, well yeah what did you expect? There are millions of students all over the world and someone’s got to be the lowest rank. Hierarchy? Pressure to succeed? Nope, never. We just erased those words from the dictionary. ;-P See another problem efficiently solved! Aren’t we great? XD

”And then it occurred to her, in a brief and blasphemous flash: she didn’t want to know how they felt. The flash opened up into something larger, an even more blasphemous notion that her brain contained too much. That the volume of information, of data, of judgments, of measurements, was too much, and there were too many people, and too many desires of too many people, and too many options of too many people, and too much pain from too many people, and having all of it constantly collated, collected, added and aggregated, and presented to her as if that all made it tidier and more manageable – it was too much.”

WHAT? O_o You don’t want to know what everyone thinks of you all of the time? You don’t want to hear negative comments? But you need to hear them in order to improve! No one is perfect but we’ll get there soon, promise!! Just deal with the shit storm like a responsible and normal human being, it can’t ruin you. I mean seriously, we’re all just doing our best, right?! =)

”I expect this is some second great schism, where two humanities will live, apart but parallel. There will be those who live under the surveillance dome you’re helping to create, and those who live, or try to live, apart from it. I’m scared to death for us all.”

This comment wasn’t deleted in order to keep peace; it was only removed to our archive. We strive to be transparent but 1.435.201 of our very valuable members didn’t agree with this statement so we decided it would be best to isolate it on our hard drive. Hope you guys don’t mind! Send us a like! =)

We really hope you liked your trip into our company and we’re looking forward to welcome you as one of our employees soon! And even if your idea isn’t good enough to become one of us, you can still become a member of our network. The Circle is close to being complete; make sure to be a part of it! ;-)


P.S: Sorry, but the sarcasm was too strong to suppress it! *lol* This book and the ideas of the Circle… *shudders and shakes head*
P.P.S: Just in case you wondered: I really “liked” this book, but the ideas and solutions that were presented in it scared me so much, that I can’t help but feel like hiding under a rock would be a more than just good idea. XD If you feel the same way, come and visit me under my rock. There’s plenty of room and lots of cookies. ;-P
25 reviews44 followers
November 15, 2013
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 about tech companies or the people who work in the industry. Interestingly, despite all these concerns, readers are still enjoying the book. What people seem to forget is the fact that The Circle isn't meant to be a biographical retelling of some historic event. The Circle is meant to be read as a non-fiction novel - what happens at The Circle is irrelevant, it's what you think about while reading that counts.

While reading I ended up making quite a few annotations in my Kindle, and I realized a lot of the notes were about similarities to the world we live in today. Eggers creates interesting situations that really prompt readers to consider what kind of world we live in today and where we're going in terms of technology and how we use it. This is all facilitated by the superb settings of the company known as The Circle. In early speculations about the book, it was presumed that this huge tech giant that got started in web search and eventually grew to do anything you could think of from shopping to social media, etc. was in fact everyone's everyday favorite tool Google.

When you first hear about The Circle and what they do as a company, your initial response is to consider how ridiculous it all sounds. But over time, as you learn more about the company, its history and its projects, and even see the situations its employees are in, you think these scenarios are not too far off from what we experience today - how far are we really from this future?

Along with this extremely interesting premise are occasional twists and turns in the plot, and although there are some predictable points in the story, there were a lot of questions in my mind that kept me flipping to the next page, looking for an answer. Even though by the end of the story I don't think all of my questions were answered, I still enjoyed the overall journey quite a bit.
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,535 reviews9,960 followers
September 3, 2017
Noooooooooo! No! No!

This book is creepy as hell! People in the world watching your every move! They can suck it. The only social media I do is Goodreads and google. This book makes you want to run away from even that! I still have a Facebook account but don't go there because I despise it. I don't do stupid twitter or Snapchat. Haven't done Instagram and not sure if I ever will. I should just go off the grid like the lovely Charlie Hunnam 😊💕

Anyway, whatever. I wouldn't doubt they are already putting something like this book into place. Maybe? It's a VERY scary thought!

Mel ❤️
Profile Image for Madeline.
781 reviews47.2k followers
July 4, 2017
If I had to come up with a one-sentence summary for this book, it would be this: if you've ever read one of those thinkpieces written by a smug baby boomer explaining why millinials are the worst and thought, man, I wish I had five hundred pages of this, then The Circle is for you!

May Holland is a recent college graduate living sometime in the near future, when a company called the Circle has created a monopoly on all technology. The Circle has created TrueYou, a system that links a person's entire online presence - social media, email, bank accounts, etc - under one account and one name. Online anonymity is a thing of the past, and the entire world is connected by the Circle. May's friend is one of the top employees at the Circle, and through her influence, May manages to get a job at one of the world's most influential companies.

(sidebar: after Margaret Atwood's Year of the Flood series, I was sort of disappointed that TrueYou wasn't spelled TruYoo, and didn't have any clever double meaning, like the companies and products she makes up in her series. Just in case you needed an indication of where Dave Eggers ranks on the list of speculative fiction authors.)

Dave Eggers spends a lot - and I mean a lot - of story space just showing us around the Circle campus and telling us all the cool stuff they have, to the point where it feels like the first 2/3 of the book is taking place within May's first week at work. We get introduced to the founders of the company (referred to as the three wise men, because of course they are), and May seems to spend more time going to company parties and increasing her social media presence instead of actually working. Because millennials, amirite guys! Meanwhile, a mysterious guy named Calden pops in and out of the narrative, and he has two purposes: to give us a semi-developed mystery to work on, since no one else at the Circle seems to know who he is and May can't find him anywhere in the company database (and frankly, I'm embarrassed by how long it took me to figure out that he's . His second purpose is to hook up with May and provide us with some truly uncomfortable sex scenes. May also has a sort-of romance with another programmer, and all I'll say about that is that he secretly films her giving him a handjob (and it's basically this Louie CK bit) and then, when she finds out, refuses to delete it. May is mad at him for about three pages, and then they're back to hanging out like nothing's wrong.

I'm four paragraphs into this review and haven't even discussed May as a character. The simple fact is that there's really not much to say about May. She's 100% onboard with everything the Circle does from her first day, and the few objections she offers to their practices are feeble at best. She has a lot of scenes with one of the founders of the Circle, so he can patronizingly dismiss all of her concerns and offer up some of the worst pseudo-intelligent arguments I've ever heard - there's a scene where May goes kayaking and doesn't live-stream it on her social media feed, and the founder finds out about it and basically shames her for not sharing it with all her followers. He tells her that he has a son who's disabled and, I shit you not, tells her that by not sharing a video of her stupid kayaking trip, she's denying his poor wheelchair-bound son the chance to experience what he can never do in real life.

May's total acceptance of the Circle's creepy practices is supposed to unnerve us, and it does, but I just couldn't connect with it. I'm a millennial, for god's sake, and even on May's first day at the Circle, she was being shown around and a million alarm bells were going off in my head. But nothing seems off to May, and she hands over her privacy without a second thought. I think Dave Eggers wanted May's total conversion to Circle-think to be gradual, so the audience thinks it's okay at first, and then she slowly gives up more and more until it's too late. He's trying to live up to that line from The Handmaid's Tale, about how in a gradually-heating bathtub you'd boil yourself to death and never notice. In The Circle, May jumps headfirst into a boiling tub and Dave Eggers thinks it's believable.

(I realize that this is my second Atwood comparison so far - if you take one thing away from this review, it's that Margaret Atwood's speculative fiction makes The Circle look like a toddler's crayon drawing)

But the ending is the most disappointing thing. It felt like the entire book was building to something much bigger and more sinister, and I kept waiting, until the very last page, for the other shoe to drop. But it never really does, and there was never any secret, super-evil motive behind the Circle - just the usual, banal Facebook and Google style of evil, which is too realistic to be interesting.

Buried deep within this book is a well-written exploration of how people can be inducted into a cult-like mentality without even realizing it, and at its best, The Circle reads like an origin story for all those teenage dystopia worlds - if you've ever wondered how a society like we see in The Hunger Games or Divergent could ever have happened, The Circle shows you exactly how it could have seemed like a good idea at the beginning. But overall, those good ideas and concepts are just drowned under unlikeable characters, absurd plot points, and endless smug preaching about the evils of technology.

(Reviewer's note: I listened to this as an audiobook, and hated the reader for two reasons - first, they have a man doing the reading, even though the book is told from a woman's perspective; and also the multi-cultural staff of the Circle means the reader has to do a lot of accents, and they're...not great. So the poor listening experience might have made me dislike this book a little bit more than it deserved. Only a little bit, though.)
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
4,010 reviews610 followers
April 2, 2017
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 book - it was FUN when I read it a few years ago ---it seems MORE scary to me now! I still recommend it.


Its a fabulous Satire with a cautionary tale!
--"Sharing is Caring"???
--"Secrets are lies"???
--"Privacy is theft"???

In the Jewish Religion -- Education is important. We are taught, "Learn in order to teach". (pass on knowledge).
In "The Circle" --their was a line which made me think about traditional religion:
Here's the line: (taken OUT of context to the 'whole' of the story)
"I understand that we're obligated, as humans, to share what we see and know. And all knowledge must be democratically accessible."
"We all have the right to know everything we can. We collectively own accumulated knowledge of the world." [I laughed to myself when I read that line --then said to myself --sounds like being Jewish]....lol

Back to This Book: (things to think about)
What are the costs for 'staying connected'? What are the costs of sharing? Letting the entire world in on your life? If you've nothing to hide--so what??? hm???

I highly recommend "The Circle"! THE BEST MODERN SATIRE!!!!!! Its company mission is: "Passion & Participation. They advocate 'Collective Knowledge', Collective Sharing' -- TRANSPARENCY. The 'Circlers' (people who work at "The Circle), are an inspiration when they Open themselves UP -- willing to share their life to further collective knowledge. They are assets to humankind! ---

In the fun of this page-turning novel:
You'll discover what a *Tru-You* account is: singular online identity anonymity account. (sound interesting?)---and what the benefits would be.

You'll learn about SUPER-DUPER CAMERAS the size of lollipops for only $59.
You'll get to know *Mae Holland* intimately!!!! (The 24 year old 'newbie' to "The Circle")!

To Buy the book:
Contact "The Circle" Company. Its a HOT NEW STORE! (found ---'everywhere')

DAVE EGGERS is a genius and must be WAY TOO much FUN!!!!
Profile Image for Felice Laverne.
Author 1 book3,229 followers
February 12, 2020
“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 giddy!

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 say that this novel, The Circle by Dave Eggers, really blew me away! I felt like it’d been a while since I read a novel that actually lived up to its blurb (and more), so I was thrilled about that, not to mention wholly enamored with this world that Eggers constructed. The Circle is the new-age Animal Farm meets “The Yellow Wallpaper,” a read reminiscent of 1984 where Eggers provides a fresh mirror in which to see ourselves and our culture in a startlingly accurate light, in a kaleidoscope of scenarios that straddle the line between personal rights and rights of commerce, the greed of cultural extravagance and the effect of e-media inundation on our lives. While, at the same time, we watch Mae’s slow and complete decent into some millennial version of madness. I loved it!

First off, let me say that the lack of chapter markers was a smart play. The format threw me off balance, which kept me on my toes, a useful trick in a read like this. Or as one character put it: “I want you on your toes, off-balance, intimidated, handcuffed and willing to prostrate yourself at my command.” It also did an exhilarating job of reeling me in as a reader, making it hard for me to pull back, fully immersing me in the on-campus world through Mae’s eyes. It was like I could feel my own slow inundation with The Circle, which, of course, made the implications as they unfolded a little horrifying, the thought of this utterly realistic and culturally possible phenomenon actually happening. The completely bizarre started to become normal, sounded like it really made sense. Of course everyone should know everything! Of course we should do everything we can to keep children safe (including planting tracker chips in their arms at birth that they can't even remove in adulthood)! Hmph, must be how cults are formed.

Here, Eggers offered a view of our world like Big Brother on steroids. Embedded in the fact that the Google-like company mostly employed millennials—and that we millennials are known for our social media voraciousness and oversharing—it comes off as a totally plausible alter-universe that Mae has stumbled upon when she arrives, both to herself and to the reader. If you’re a typical millennial, read it and take pause. If you’re not—especially if you’d classify yourself a Luddite—read it and weep at this completely conceivable, totally creepy, new-age possibility.

The Circle was comical in its realistic nature, life-like in the way that the interactions between characters were played out. Here you’ll find competition in a survival-of-the-fittest sort of way reflected in passages that unnerve while being so relatable that they’re undeniable. Here Eggers brushes up against classism, caste, struggling to belong and competition, whether healthy or not:

“Annie still held some particular status. Again Annie’s lineage, her head start, the varied and ancient advantages she enjoyed, were keeping Mae second. Always second, like she was some kind of little sister who never had a chance of succeeding an older, always older sibling.”

Eggers pushed situations to a brink that you might be tempted to label over-the-top, but he did so in a way that was contemporary social commentary at its finest. Even Mae’s interactions with the people around her—all strange in their own way—ring hilariously true, from frustrating reprimands from the boss who’s drank too much of the company Kool-Aid to clumsy sex in a dorm (and even a cave, who hasn’t done that, right)? Mae was a realistic 24-year-old character—still bright-eyed and bushy tailed, initially worried about her student loans and her parents’ health and well-being, feeling weighed down by her responsibility as an only child, and that contributed immensely to the direction that the plot took, as we see her being stripped down to conform to a new mold. I loved watching her and being a part of her world. In fact, Eggers wrote a world that I wished I was a part of, one of the reasons that we read in the first place. He constructed a world where social media reigns supreme, where privacy is the enemy, an awesome looking glass of us all being reduced to screen-scrolling sheep.

“Here…there are no oppressors. No one’s forcing you to do this. You willingly tie yourself to these leashes. And willingly become utterly socially autistic. You no longer pick up on basic human communication clues. You’re at a table with three humans, all of whom are looking at you and trying to talk to you, and you’re staring at a screen, searching for strangers in Dubai.”

Imagine a world where e-media and all-encompassing surveillance are the prime forms of communication and interaction across the globe. It’s also how you vote, how you pay your taxes, how you shop online. Your social media profile is how the world—the government, even—sees you. You’re now living in “…the world’s first tyrannical monopoly.” That’s a scary, chilling thought that Eggers executed fluidly, with clarity and intrigue. With mounting anxiety, both on the part of the reader and the main protagonist, Mae, until…until it all seems perfectly normal. And that’s the scary part.

I knew that this one was getting 5 stars from about the mid-way point, and hoped that it wouldn’t disappoint with some hastily done bow-tie ending or weak sort of sputtering out like it was tripping over the marathon finish line. But, it did not. It held up its end of the bargain, so I’ll hold up mine: a well-deserved 5 stars. *****

**By the way, the movie version of this DID NOT do this book justice! Don't judge this book from the movie!**


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Profile Image for Ron Charles.
1,050 reviews48.7k followers
November 13, 2014
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 BuzzFeed list of “Top 10 Problems With the Web.” He’s followed the links from today’s Silicon Valley to next Tuesday and discovered that we’re all craven exhibitionists, distracted into idiocy by the insatiable demands and worthless pleasures of the Internet.

Yelp, indeed!

What’s it about.com?

As the hip founder of McSweeney’s, Eggers is LinkedIn to everyone who’s anyone, but he claims that he’s never been to the Googleplex outside San Francisco. Until he posts his complete My Location history, I’m skeptical because it’s awfully easy to recognize the setting of “The Circle”: the sprawling campus of an omnivorous Silicon Valley search company where 10,000 of the brightest young people in the world glide around the glass headquarters, enjoying free gourmet food and Pilates classes. “Outside the walls of the Circle, all was noise and struggle, failure and filth,” Eggers writes. “But here, all had been perfected.”

The novel has a lot of fun with this breathless tour — imagine a Pinterest board maintained by Walt Disney and Kim Jong Il. “The Circle” is working in an old tradition of warnings about schemes to deify mortals, stories that go back to the serpent who promised to help us know everything. But like Gary Shteyngart in “Super Sad True Love Story,” Eggers strains to stay one Instagram ahead of the real-life absurdities made possible by the new fortunes of social media. After all, it was only two weeks ago that the cover of Time magazine asked, “Can Google Solve Death?” Next to that ambition, driverless cars and reliable restaurant reviews don’t seem so far-fetched.

The Circle is directed by the three Wise Men, which is just the first example of the corporation’s cutesy messianic lingo. One member of this triumvirate is Ty, a socially awkward visionary who wears an enormous hoodie. (Tell your lawyers to stand down, Mark. It says right here that “any resemblance to actual persons is entirely coincidental.”) A few years before the story opens, Ty and his two more seasoned partners devised TruYou, a transformative new way to interact with the Web and the world: “Anytime you wanted to see anything, use anything, comment on anything or buy anything, it was one button, one account, everything tied together and trackable and simple, all of it operable via mobile or laptop, tablet or retinal.” Their goal is nothing less than creating a world in which “uncertainty is eliminated.”

Our wide-eyed Candide through this technological wonderland is a new employee named Mae Holland, who starts at the bottom of the Circle in Customer Experience. “Oh my God,” she says on her first day. “It’s heaven.” (Dramatic irony +1.) As the weeks pass, Eggers buries poor Mae beneath an ever-expanding range of technological distractions: On two, three, four, finally nine different monitors, she must answer customers’ questions while monitoring their satisfaction on a 100-point scale, fill out online surveys, rate people’s photos, respond to preference choices piped into her earpiece, “zing” out newsy tidbits about her activities, swap messages with “friends,” and send “smiles” or “frowns” to help various social causes.

In this del.icio.us satire of corporate culture, everything is rated, ranked and evaluated for continuous improvement. Whenever Mae raises any questions about the Circle’s inanity, glossy folks from HR sweep in to counsel her toward enlightenment. But she keeps poking around the dark underbelly of the headquarters, not knowing what she might StumbleUpon next.

Because “The Circle” is all about its argument, the characters are Super Mario-deep, and the novel doesn’t have as much plot as it has momentum. The corporation rolls out one miraculous new service after another, from cheap little Web cameras to monitor every spot on Earth (no more crime!) to ingestible sensors to track children’s movements (no more sex abuse!). Everything the Circle does is guided by the founders’ culty belief in the boundless benefits of information and the flattering notion that “the world needs to know . . . your opinions on just about everything.” Pushing aside her nagging suspicions, Mae cashes in the bitcoins of her soul and helps the company develop its Orwellian principles:




Like some tweeting thought-leader from Babel, one of the Wise Men announces, “We will become all-seeing, all-known.” The grand promise of happier living, better health and especially easier purchases overwhelms any concern about the loss of confidentiality. Your space is MySpace. “The momentum crushed all such arguments,” Eggers writes. “If you weren’t operating in the light of day, what were you doing in the shadows?” Politicians who dare to object soon find their browser caches laced with incriminating pornography.

The only flickr of hope in this story comes from Mae’s parents, who are struggling with bills and chronic illness. Though initially proud of their daughter, they provide a powerful counterpoint to her enthusiasm for the Circle’s enervating distractions, its presumption that we’re just “a matrix of preferences.” Before this apotheosis of consumer culture, they stand aghast at the way privacy and intimacy have been replaced by a synthetic community of “friends.”

Given how self-evident these satiric points are, though, it’s a shame Eggers can’t trust his readers more. We hardly need Mae’s ex-boyfriend to look directly into the novel’s webcam and hector us like some Luddite preacher. The clever writer who once dazzled us with mercurial emotions, ironic asides and rambling footnotes in “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius” is now painstakingly explaining such dead-obvious symbols as an omnivorous, translucent shark that one of the Wise Men keeps in a giant aquarium. Part of respecting privacy might be leaving readers space to draw their own interpretations. (Please retweet!)

On the other hand, who can afford subtlety in these latter days of Jenna Marbles and apps for babies? “The Circle” is “Brave New World” for our brave new world — and let’s be frank: Aldous Huxley’s classic is no model of understatement, either. Now that we all live and move and have our being in the panopticon, Eggers’s novel may be just fast enough, witty enough and troubling enough to make us glance away from our twerking Vines and consider how life has been reshaped by a handful of clever marketers.

I’m not worried about giving away the end of “The Circle” because we’re already living it. There may come a day when we can look back at this novel with incredulity, but for now, the mirror it holds up is too chilling to LOL.
Profile Image for Matthew.
1,219 reviews8,992 followers
August 30, 2017
Well, that was an uncomfortable experience. I am not sure I have ever read a book while saying, "Nope . . . un-uh . . . OMG NO!" every single page. This is not me saying that it was bad, just that every action, every suggestion, every idea presented made me squirm.

This book is less story and more about social media and technology taking over our lives. The characters in the book are brainwashed lemmings who are led to believe that giving up their privacy is the most important thing in the world. Every breath must be tracked. Every opinion must be tabulated. Big Brother anyone?

I thought the concept of the book was interesting, but I am not sure the delivery was all that great. The main character's actions were very unbelievable and her progression through the course of the story, far fetched. The overall "story" was more about presenting little anecdotes of where we could be headed as a society than presenting a cohesive and moving narrative. If it was presented better, I may have left with this book in my memory as a cautionary tale I must heed. Instead, I am just kind of, "Meh, some food for though, but my brain is still hungry"

The book is worth checking out, especially if you have an interest in cyber-thrillers or how social media is taking over our world. But, don't go in expecting to be blown away by the writing.
Profile Image for Bonnie.
1,376 reviews930 followers
November 15, 2015
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 overtaking everything and without stopping to consider, her entire life ends up being put on display for anyone willing to see.

‘TruYou changed the internet, in toto, within a year. Though some sites were resistant at first, and free-internet advocates shouted about the right to be anonymous online, the TruYou wave was tidal and crushed all meaninful opposition. It started with the commerce sites. Why would any non-porn site want anonymous users when they could know exactly who had come through the door? Overnight, all comment boards became civil, all posters held accountable. The trolls, who had more or less overtaken the internet, were driven back into the darkness.'

So essentially the only people that truly care about privacy in this world are trolls and people who view porn online. Everybody else is fully willing to give up their privacy. Right. Because that’s totally legit. And comment boards became civil overnight all because people’s real names were disclosed thus insinuating that the only thing encouraging people to state their opinions on the Internet was their anonymity? And I loved how the creation of the Unified Operating System, also known as TruYou, which basically took all user accounts and passwords and made them into one all encompassing login, revolutionized the Internet and prevented identity theft. You’d think if you only had one single password it’d be easier rather than more difficult to hack someones information but maybe we’re not supposed to think too hard on these technological creations of Eggers, especially considering his supposed lack of research on the subject. (“There were a handful of times when I looked something up, or asked the opinion of someone more tech-savvy than I am, but for the most part this was just a process of pure speculative fiction.” -Source) His lack of research is abundantly clear with the naming of his main invention, Unified Operating System, which isn’t even an Operating System at all. Windows? OS X? Linux? Android? Those are Operating Systems. Computer software that manages the computers hardware. For someone that decided to write a 504 page book dedicated to technology I would have expected him to know that at the very least.

It’s obvious that Eggers himself harbors a deep dislike of technology and the way the Internet is growing and expanding in society as that’s the way it was written, in a smug and dismissive manner. Each time Mae’s ex-boyfriend Mercer makes an appearance the opportunity is taken to preach his opinions about her job and what companies like ‘The Circle’ are doing to this world. It’s clear Eggers is the embodiment of Mercer and he used that character to push his agenda which is completely fine by me, but the opinions of technological advances were written as black and white where people are either completely for or completely against those advances. Personally, I found myself in a grey area and I’m doubtfully the only like-minded individual.

Setting all that aside I really have to mention the worst thing about this book: the sex scenes. Not only was there a completely unnecessary romance, but the embarrassingly graphic sex scenes told from the point of view of a female were awful (not to mention the scene where Mae walked in on her parents? Served absolutely no purpose to the advancement of the storyline.) Maybe it would’ve been better if the main character was a male and Eggers could have made it sound like he has a modicum of sense in regards to what goes on in the bedroom. The bothersome descriptive words makes me hope someone will steal that man’s thesaurus. Here a few cringe-worthy examples:

‘Then his eyes closed, and he went into paroxysms, emitting a brief squeal before grunting his arrival.’
Squeal? Grunting? ARRIVAL? No, no, no.

“Sometimes,” he said, and breathed fire into her ear.
My. That sounds painful.

‘She could think only of a campfire, one small log, all of it doused in milk.’
Okay, maybe this is a little out of context and hard to understand but there had just been an embarrassing sexual situation where the man was a bit too… quick with it. And Eggers uses a ‘small log’ and ‘milk’ as the descriptive terms. Good grief, NO.

The Circle is at times a bit of a satiric story on the technological advances in this day and age but does manage to bring up some points that would be worth discussing. If it was a non-biased written interpretation on the future possibilities of technology it could have been well received (by me) but as it stands it was written too much like The Circle was ‘Big Brother’ and everything associated with technology is inherently bad. The laughable ending which involves robot drones directed by social media hordes that essentially cause a murder only solidified my displeasure.

Profile Image for brian   .
248 reviews3,120 followers
August 2, 2017
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. very entertaining but gonna round down to a 3.
Profile Image for Starjustin.
91 reviews255 followers
May 15, 2018
A possible present day dystopian novel involving a young girl, Mae, as the protagonist who starts in a dead end job, is divorced, has two parents, one of which is not well, and is also separated from her very best friend Annie. Annie works for the 'Circle', the number one internet management company in the world.
When Mae is hired at the 'Circle' with the help of her friend Annie, life-changing experiences lead her into a different world, a world we could all envision ourselves in someday.
My thoughts, the book was long for me, over 400 pages, drawn out, with a very unexpected ending. I'm not trying to say this in a negative fashion. I enjoyed the book. The story was made into a movie and I am looking forward to seeing it. 📙 🐦
Profile Image for Kai Spellmeier.
Author 6 books13.7k followers
January 12, 2022
“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.”

This book is flat.

The concept is great, but nothing new or revolutionary. The writing is basic so it won't take long to read the book. That's basically the good stuff.

Now, I don't know if the author did it on purpose or just can't do any better, but the writing is anything but appealing, poetic or emotional in any way. It won't make you feel anything. It's shallow and dull and when the writing is this weak, so is the whole book. It was also highly repetitive and predictable and would have done perfectly fine if it was 300 pages shorter. The simplest and most trivial conversations did not only spread over an unnecessary amount of pages, they also kept repeating themselves. Does Dave Eggers think his readers are particularly dim-witted or what is going on here?

The characters were as complicated and exciting as a potato. Worst of all is the main character, who is so naive it hurts. Way to write women, Dave! Especially because she is easily manipulated and keeps sleeping with a man that she dislikes and who is unable to please here, sexually or in any other aspect of her life.

And the ending: it's stupid.

In a nutshell: I didn't hate or dislike this book. I only read this because Emma Watson is starring in the screen adaption but I'm not sure I can stand to see her play such a boring and flat character. I'm not even sure how this book became this popular in the first place.

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Profile Image for Baba.
3,621 reviews988 followers
November 13, 2021
2021 read: Mae Holland is delighted to get a job at The Circle and is now on the fast track to success, being at the most powerful and successful company in the world! The Circle - imagine a world where a single American based global company has either replaced or bought out all the big tech firms Google, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon etc. all of them! Imagine the power they would have? Using Mae as the lens to see and tell this almost dystopian tale of The Circle, a company sought of using logic (and profit goals) to steadily get more and more involved with people's lives.

On one hand Eggers expertly put together all the concepts, ideas, strategies that have made the tech companies so successful and placed them under one hat with a unified goal; so for the first half of the book I was gobsmacked at the reach and power of The Circle....and was already thinking Five Star Read. However it felt like so much energy and effort was put into creating and breathing life into The Circle, looking at it through a fresh pair of eyes (Mae's), that somewhere along the line an amazing story became a bit of a flat one, that didn't live up to the amazing reality that it was set in!

So... why am I still writing? Because I feel that I want anyone reading this review to know that I consider this an absolute must-read; deserving of the label that it has been given by some as this century's '1984' - strangely enough, just like 1984 it's an utterly breath-taking but dark reality where the book plot doesn't reach the heights of, in my opinion. 8.5 out of 12.
Profile Image for Trina (Between Chapters).
876 reviews3,754 followers
May 17, 2017
Great concept, but horrible writing and execution. I am a sucker for this type of premise, but I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone. What you can imagine in your head is probably a better story than this book. It's getting 2 stars simply for the concept alone and because I did enjoy thinking about these things but I just kept waiting for anything to actually happen. I think what you'll get out of this book is more dependent on you than the book itself. If you aren't inherently intrigued in the concept, you won't get much out of it. The reason I continued reading is because this WAS a very easy read, and it didn't become super obvious that nothing would happen until very late in the book.

The writing was just bad. I didn't think Eggers was good at storytelling or characterization. There's no plot, no storyarc. It's the most anticlimactic book I've ever read. It's an almost 500 page long infodump - 20 pages detailing some new technology the Circle has created, then 5 pages of Mae at her desk doing the most mundane work tasks that we've already seen her doing 50 times before. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Mae completely lacks any personality. She cares so much about followers, but we never get a sense of why. She flip flops her opinions on all of her relationships. She's written in such a bland, misogynistic way. No personality, but you bet she has the perfect body and loves sex. The most she ever speaks is in the last pages of the book where I think she delivers a whole paragraph of dialogue, but the rest of the book shows her just mindlessly agreeing with her superiors while literally thinking that she doesn't know why she agreed. SHE doesn't even know why she does things, so how can we?

If you want to read about the rise of a dystopia with a complete absence of any resistance, this may be the book for you. I was surprised at how Mae and her coworkers just went along with everything and didn't see the problems in the society they were creating. You have to REALLY suspend your disbelief. I would have enjoyed this more if at any point a real obstacle had been included. Even in Animal Farm, which is a hopeless dystopia, there were characters who became aware of the problems even if they could not escape the system. The Circle just lacked any sort of tension.

Lastly, there was a great deal of fat phobia in the book. There is one character who is said to be 40 pounds overweight and he is constantly referred to as "Sasquatch" or "moose-man," and described as "disgusting," "grotesque," and so on. Mae also says she must have been "possessed by a demon" to have ever slept with him. Because we all know fat people can't get laid unless a person is literally possessed. *eyerolls myself away*
Profile Image for Lyn.
1,883 reviews16.6k followers
September 24, 2019
The Circle rating: 3.7

It reminded me of Ira Levins’s 1972 The Stepford Wives – Smile. 97%

Too long – Frown. 26%

Great premise, a social media dystopian satire – Smile. 92%

The execution of the great premise into a quirky and inconsistent novel – Frown. 33%

Having fun with social media as a social commentary on our pop culture – Smile. 88%

Asking serious questions about who we are with social media as an intrusive and perhaps inescapable force of synthetic nature – Smile 89%

Some scenes reminded me of the 1999 film Office Space where the Flinger’s manager is talking to Jennifer Anniston about pieces of flair. This book has a fun dark comedy element – Smile. 90%

Seriously, over a hundred pages too damn long, stop typing – Frown 42%

Privacy is Theft – clear and recognizable references to and influence by such dystopian classics as 1984, Fahrenheit 451 and We, makes me like this and those books even more – Smile. 99%

Subtle but unmistakable theological references and allusions, as well as metaphorical use of nature and environmental to frame the story – Smile. 89%

A cultural interrogative about the balance between common good and personal privacy, Eggers explores the ideas of living in total surveillance, where everything is on camera, where all acts (even sex and going to the restroom) are potentially visible to everyone else and how this level of transparency effects are political, social, cultural and economic lives – Smile 86%

Formulaic plot structures, two dimensional characters and with B-movie dialogue – Frown. 50%

Overall good post-modern book, socially relevant and entertaining – Smile 81%

Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 5 books4,104 followers
February 10, 2017
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, with mini cameras shareable as Facebook apps, fantastic data-sharing apps, and, of course, 1984. This book takes it all the way, giving us the step by step progression of great ideas and then knocks on our door, meeting us with a huge shark face and a bunch of shark poop trailing behind him, telling us how much he loved our neighbors.

It's not impossible. I mean, we've had great ideas turn into amazing nightmares ever since we started telling stories. I appreciated the inversion of David Brin's completely visible society, the running with the ball almost all the way through the novel, and then, SLAM, it's taken down in a paranoid frenzy, at least for the reader, telling us to be scared.

Sure, it makes for a scary dystopia. The points made on either side of a complete accounting of evil-doing is pretty powerful, and timely, and well written.

Unfortunately, the only thing that prevents me from giving this a full 5 stars is the fact that it's pretty old news. :) And I don't believe that a company called The Circle would ever have gotten as far as it did. It was a nice thought experiment, though, and pretty decent SF. Or wait, was this supposed to be Mainstream? Sheeet... nah, this was pretty much entirely SF. Firmly in the category of Cautionary Tale. Trying to convince me of something in a dramatic way.

Okay! Got it! Now where should I put this Cautionary Tale? Um.. under popcorn fiction? Um, fairly amusing Social Media Slamming? Cultish Brainwashing? Golly... I have so many choices.

The dark ending might get people upset, but I'm fine with it. It's an old established rule for this type of tale. At least it's updated for Social Media versus the horrible, horrible effects of TV watching for ultimate brainwashing techniques, or the fact that radio signals are sent out there to reprogram our brain waves (and hence the tin-foil hats) or the fact that the cotton gin is destroying the working man and we must all rise up and destroy all such machinery, now, now, NOW!

Of course, Frankenstein was a good tale in this vein, too, as was LoTR, so perhaps it doesn't rank up with the very best, but I can say that The Circle was entertaining, though. :)
Profile Image for Will M..
304 reviews625 followers
August 25, 2015
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-like thing going on where people "zing" each other and also give "smiles" and "frowns" to further expose their lives. At first it was still a bit normal for Mae to succumb to such demands, but as the novel progressed, the company showed its true colors. It was seriously stupid of Mae to answer about 900+ survey questions in one sitting. I know it's important for them to socialize and know more about each other, but the way they did it was just wrong and I would've left the company right away.

The Circle at first seemed like it was just concerned that Mae wasn't being socially active with her workmates, but it slowly turned into insanity. The Circle seemed like it had a world of its own. Actually that's the most plausible description of it. They were constantly trying to boost their scores by updating and interacting with people in the company. Their main priority was fellow workmates. Life in the outside world was indirectly mandated as their least priority, Even family was to be considered less important than the company itself. The only thing missing would be for them to call themselves a country already, or why not a planet.

For me the sense of privacy is very important. I know celebrities naturally tend to get less of this, but The Circle was just plain old absurd. I know this thin could happen in the near future, and i hope that people wouldn't be dumb enough to accept this as something normal. There is a difference between being sociable and being completely transparent. There's no need to know everything about a person, and personal information shouldn't be readily available to be viewed online by anyone. Let me add in that the camera and mic shit going on with Mae in the near end was the epitome of absurdity. She was one of the most stupid characters ever. Why in the world would you allow your life to be documented and broadcasted live online 24/7? It's different with reality tv shows because those things are scripted anyway. What Mae did was basically showering naked on stage 24/7 everyday.

The theme was great for me because like I said earlier, the possibility of this happening is not that unlikely. Unfortunately there were plenty of problems with the novel itself.

The plot had no sense of pacing. It's not fair to make the readers read about Mae's first week for almost 300 pages long. 100 pages would be pushing it, but Eggers decided what's more fun than elaborating further how amazing it would be to work in The Circle. I almost didn't finish this novel because of the boring first half of the novel. Eggers should be thankful that I was a bit more patient with this one.

Another awful thing would be the terribly boring characters. Mae was one stupid piece of transparent poop who should never be allowed to live in real life. If we have a Mae in real life, then humanity is truly in danger. Annie was a bit interesting at first, but once The Circle was introduced she proved to be no different. She was also pretty damn stupid. All the people who were above Mae were also damn boring. From Dan to Alistair to Jared, they were all typically the same characters with different names. Same goes for Mae and Annie.

Redeeming qualities? The whole idea of The Circle itself. While I stated above how opposed I was, all I'm saying is that the author tackled on a topic that I'm really interested in. What Eggers managed to fail at would be the characters and the pacing. Some parts were too long, and the good parts were also too short. May I add in that Mae's decision in the end completely destroyed whatever character development there was beforehand.

Before I end this review, let me add in the fact that I'm still excited to watch the movie because Emma Watson is going to star as Mae. Hopefully the movie would be a lot better than this, but I'm not getting my hopes up. I really hope they would change the latter 3/4 of the novel though.

2/5 stars. Tempted to give this a 1 star but I didn't really hate the novel that much. If only the characters were more interesting, this would've been a 3 or 4. Some of my friends enjoyed this a lot so I guess don't be scared to give this a try, but I'm clearly not recommending it.
Profile Image for Rose Symotiuk.
37 reviews2 followers
October 14, 2013
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 probably be better than this book).

The main character, Mae, brings to mind wooden, one-dimensional female characters such as Bella from Twilight and the central character of 50 Shades of Grey. She's a plain, boring girl from Fresno but all men fall in love with her, everyone wants to be her friend, everything she does is amazing and exceptional, and everyone just finds her so fascinating. She never question the increasingly ridiculous scenarios in the book.

In fact, no one does. Except for a couple dozen people in the entire world, EVERYONE is completely happy to have chips embedded in their children, cameras put in every room of their house, and mandatory enrollment in the system for everyone on Earth. This book makes an Ayn Rand novel seem subtle and thoughtful. It gets so ridiculous that halfway through it reads like a goofy book your Grandpa wrote about Interwebs Boogeyman.

I also don't understand the people calling this a thriller. It certainly builds up like one, hinting at an uprising of people against the Circle. It builds and builds with increasingly stupid scenarios.

Then it ends. It hints at the start of a climax in the story arc and then 2 pages later it just ends, abruptly. It's the first half of a book. A $17 first half of a book.

Please don't spend your hard earned money on this. And hopefully Eggers goes back to writing solid books and stops this fascination with the Old White Male Authors Against The Internet club....
Profile Image for Mohamed .
324 reviews41 followers
October 15, 2013
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 ideas and themes described within, but more importantly, because we live in a world where The Circle (a clear surrogate for Google) could easily happen. I cannot begin to mention the number of times I stopped and thought 'wow, this could happen right now and no one would bat an eyelash.' In fact, a chase near the end of the book brought to mind the Reddit manhunt for the Boston bombers. It's a timely book, almost terrifyingly so.

Halfway through the book, I'd mentioned that this is 2013's 1984. At the time, I wondered if it was exceedingly high praise. But by its end, I was sure of it. This is a book that will cause you to pause repeatedly while reading it, pondering if the tale it tells isn't so far removed from the world we're living in right now, and that maybe - just maybe - we're just as doomed.

Essential, essential read.
Profile Image for Trish.
1,352 reviews2,438 followers
September 25, 2016
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 long but easy read because it brings us a glimpse of a world many of us have only heard about and yet cannot help but be intensely curious about: the campuses of the technology giants like Google or Facebook. The company in this novel is called The Circle, based loosely on what is known of the more famous real life companies. We have heard enough, perhaps, to know Eggers is not making all of this up: the campus, company structure, and internal reporting requirements are drawn (and undoubtedly exaggerated) from life. But the mania and mindthink of bright young things anxious to gain approval in a large, successful, innovative, and fast-moving company is perfectly believable.

Eggers creates a character, Mae, who unwittingly is drawn into becoming the “voice” of the company philosophy. Her answers to carefully-posed questions by the company leadership become soundbites and her not-well-thought-out responses are said to exemplify what humans really want. Her soundbites are then clipped and pasted to the walls of the media space created by the company as though to she expressed the unfettered will of all the people, when in fact, Mae had been groomed, prodded, bullied, corrected, corralled into making the utterances that became an command that could not be challenged.

I enjoyed Eggers’ imagination and willingness to engage the important subjects of technology, privacy, education, and democracy but grew weary before the end. This may be a great book for teens who may have a larger appetite for the glamour of high technology campuses and need a point hammered home by a thousand blows. Part of the story is that of Mae developing a crush on someone she does not really know, as well as instructive incidents ill-considered sex with someone she doesn’t even like. These ring true, as does the celebrity side of Mae’s meteoric rise to stardom at The Circle.

Certainly the questions at the heart of Eggers book are not merely for teens. The pace and direction of our lives leaves little doubt that technology has changed concepts of privacy, celebrity, and participatory democracy. These are issues we need to consider now. Opting out of the whole system is not really a possibility. In Eggers book, the person who tried to opt-out did not end well and he ended early. Eggers also points out that our politicians are not going to do this for us, being “bought” as it were by corporate interests. This is up to reasonable people taking reasoned positions and fighting like hell.
Profile Image for Trish.
2,019 reviews3,436 followers
October 6, 2017
I liked this book very much. Until I went to get my copy at the local book store I had no idea that there was already a hype about it (or else I might have not gotten it and missed out on this experience since I’m usually very wary when it comes to hyped books).

One of the main points I’ve seen people criticize this book for is that the protagonist is not opposing the system but actually a vivid member of it and, as such, even a fan and promoter of said system. I have read Orwell’s „1984“ to which this book gets compared quite a lot and although I don’t expect „The Circle“ to become a classic like „1984“ (although it could, in fact, become a modern one) I also don’t see why the opposite sides of the respective protagonists make one book good and one bad. On the contrary: I think that just because it worked one way brilliantly once, doesn’t have to mean that the pattern should be repeated over and over again.
Dave Eggers manages to show us the potential horrors of the society The Circle created exactly by overdrawing the picture through Mae’s eyes. Maybe one cannot root with a protagonist like Mae but that doesn’t mean that the story can’t be told powerfully and brilliantly through her.

And the book was really powerful to me. I mean, it was creeping me out! Seriously, I should have read this for Halloween it was creeping me out so much (although, of course, more on a psychological level than a physical one but that only makes the feeling stronger, right?)!

What I quite liked was the expression of being "socially autistic" as Mercer put it at one point.
I, personally, am using sites like Facebook and Twitter like many other people around the globe and like technological advances since they actually have the potential to improve our lives.
Nevertheless, I am always critical about privacy settings and I certainly don't want to be "voluntarily forced" to like posts, answer surveys and be compelled to go to matching events lateron so people rate me in a positive way online. I do not need them in order to feel heard or being seen; I don't need online confirmation and I don't give myself away to the illusion that I will leave a footprint online. I also don't think that I have to.
Moreover, I want to be able to turn my devices off at any given moment and just enjoy something only I can see without someone feeling entitled to make me feel bad about that. Call me selfish but I see nothing wrong in enjoying kayaking alone as it were in the book.
Of course, that as well as the obsessive-compulsive behaviour about how many surveys one can answer daily while getting as good a social ranking as possible was only displaying some of the real fears people in our society have about social media and where it's heading. The author did a very good job at addressing those.

What was probably creeping me out the most about Mae and the other characters just like her was their unyielding way of thinking that they are ENTITLED to know everything about everyone.

The author did a fine job in explaining where these people and their way of thinking was coming from and some of their approaches even made sense to me in a way - for a while at least, but enough is enough.
Another thing that sent chills down my spine were certain Circle inventions that closely resembled newly released real inventions like the Apple watch simply because it rooted the story in today's world so realistically.

Another compliment goes to the author for completing the book in a very realistic way.

I can recommend this book wholeheartedly to anyone looking for a book combining a not too aloof writing style (making the book a pleasantly quick read) with a powerful story that makes you think very hard about our world and where it could be headed.
Profile Image for Snotchocheez.
595 reviews336 followers
December 4, 2013

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 possible while her company systematically strips away the populace's right to privacy. Fun, and really creepy, as long as you don't spend too much time thinking about its plausibility.

(Don't forget to click the "like" button below...my very soul depends on it).
(What? You didn't like my review?!? How can I do better? I need that "like", please.)
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,483 reviews7,781 followers
March 3, 2017
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/


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 Snotchocheez’s review, the never ending “Read to Reel” library challenge, and a chance encounter where I discovered who would be playing the main character . . . .

Managed to finally wear me down and this went back on the stack. I should have trusted my gut instinct and shown no mercy because that’s exactly what this book ended up doing to me.

How do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways. If you hate all the same things I do . . . .

But first, let me take a minute and give you a super brief synopsis. The story here is about Mae, a recent college graduate in debt up to her eyeballs who lands an entry level position at the company of her dreams – The Circle. Hired as a “CE” representative (which is basically the poor schmuck who answers everyone’s bitching and moaning via the intertubes) Mae quickly becomes quite the golden child and works her way up the corporate ladder PartiRank.

Alright, now let’s spew some hate. (For those of you who think I function with limited capacity, you’re right. But also please note I am not missing the irony of me bitching about this millennial’s obsession with all things social media whilst posting to a social media site.)

Mae will go down in history as one of my most hated characters of all time. If you follow me at all, you are well aware that I adore the “character you love to hate.” Unfortunately for Mae, she’s not one of those. There was zero love lost between the two of us. It was pure hate due to a combination of her being completely vapid and stupid as shit to boot. For lack of a better term, Mae goes to work for a straight up cult. Although she does well at her assigned job, she quickly discovers “good” employees will pretty much dedicate their entire lives to The Circle. With the convenience of clothing, grocery, etc. stores right on campus and plenty of clubs and after-hours social activities, there’s almost no need to leave. Right then is where this should happen . . .

But of course it doesn’t because there would be no story if it did. Instead Mae takes several big gulps of The Circle Kool-Aid and proceeds eat, sleep and breathe all things Circle related as well as getting horny with real winners like a dude who has premature ejaculation problems and another whose last name she can’t even manage to catch, but who she does manage to get busy in a Burger King bathroom with . . .

Just in case Mae being an effing idiot wasn’t enough, readers get the added bonus of her attempt to be the Number 1 Reviewer On Goodreads break into the Top 2000 most popular users on the intertubes via her constant “zinging” of all the things and expertise at distributing smiles, frowns and mehs. Much like other websites which shall remain nameless, I could almost smell Mae’s desperation through the screen.

To be fair, there were a handful of items that were either entertaining or rang fairly true in such a supposedly far-fetched tale. The shout outs to “Going Clear” gave me a chuckle and I’m sure pleased a couple of other gentlemen almost as much . . .

The creepiness which is providing a website a sample of your DNA to track your heritage was just as effed up as the commercials that interrupt my monthly Housewhores of Beverly Hills binge-watches . . . .

And the idea of transparency within our government could have possibly eliminated a lot of conspiracy theories and chatter about a certain someone . . . .

That might have saved ‘Murica from the complete and total nightmare which we are currently facing . . . .

I debated all last night about awarding this 2 Stars rather than one, but at the end of the day I spent three days of my life on this turd that I will never get back and to sum things up with my trademark blend of class, if this book was a dude I’d punch it right in the balls so 1 Star is all it gets.

Book number maybe I should have quit while I was ahead of my local library’s Winter Reading Challenge.
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