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2014 Book Discussions > The Circle - Part 3 (February 2014)

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message 1: by Deborah (new)

Deborah | 983 comments This is for discussion of the book's ending.


message 2: by Casceil (new)

Casceil | 1692 comments Mod
I found the ending unsatisfying. That shouldn't surprise me, but somehow it surprises me that the ending was even less satisfying than I expected. Somehow I kept hoping for some turnaround or surprise at the ending, but instead, it was just more of same. The whole book is this march toward a world where everyone has access to ALL information, but no time to reflect on or understand any of it. The shark may eat everything in the tank, but hey, at least the shark is transparent, so we can watch as all other life is reduced to ash.


message 3: by Deborah (new)

Deborah | 983 comments What do we make of Calden's gray hair? (Audio book. Hope that is spelled correctly.)


message 4: by Casceil (new)

Casceil | 1692 comments Mod
I assume he worried himself into gray hair. I remember when I was a little girl, my mother commenting about how American Presidents always come into office looking so young, but leave with gray hair because the job is so stressful. (At the time we were looking at a portrait of a recently elected JFK, who would, ironically, be an exception to the rule.)

What I don't get about Ty/Kalden is why he was so strangely passive about stopping the growing tidal wave. Was approaching Mae really the most effective thing he could do? He surely should have been able to find some way to leave the grounds, maybe as part of a group, to get to a place where he could send uncensored communications or give a live interview. Was he afraid of being locked up in an insane asylum? And why did he have such faith in Mae, who seemed to be wholly lacking in any sense of the problems transparency was causing, and would actually buy into stupid mottoes like "secrets are lies."


message 5: by Deborah (new)

Deborah | 983 comments Perhaps Eggars is entering into an agreement with us that we won't look behind the curtain.


message 6: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Casceil wrote: "What I don't get about Ty/Kalden is why he was so strangely passive about stopping the growing tidal wave."

Yes. This.


message 7: by LindaJ^ (last edited Feb 06, 2014 02:11PM) (new)

LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 2351 comments Why did I keep thinking that Mae would do something and that if she didn't, Klaxen/Ty would? I actually thought that what Klaxen slipped into Mae's hand was something that would protect her when Klaxen blew up Stenton and the fishtank. And why show us Bailey getting all emotional about the horror he was seeing but then do/say nothing?

This is very different from the earlier Eggers' books I've read. His first - A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius - had such promise (despite its over-the-top postmodern style). From the second I read (2006)-- What is the What-- I got a real feel for the horrors that young African boys were subject to during the seemingly never ending civil wars in their countries, even before Ishmael Beah wrote his memoir Long Way Gone. The third -- Zeitoun(2009)-- did a great job of telling the true story of the Zeitoun family, especially the father, during Katrina.

And then there was A Hologram for the King, which was on the shortlist for the 2012 National Book Award for fiction. It is much better written -- the main character in that book has more heft. The focus is on globilization through the eyes of a salesman who at the beginning of his career worked selling bicycles for the then fully American-manufactured Schwinn bike. The book pretty much leaves you to draw your own conclusions about globalization. Eggers went to Saudi Arabia to see what it was like and what was going on before he wrote it. http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs....

Perhaps this comment is better placed on the overall spoiler thread, but the thoughts struck me as I tried to figure out what to say about the disappointing ending of The Circle.


message 8: by Sophia (new)

Sophia Roberts | 1324 comments Casceil wrote: "I found the ending unsatisfying. That shouldn't surprise me, but somehow it surprises me that the ending was even less satisfying than I expected. Somehow I kept hoping for some turnaround or surprise at the ending, but instead, it was just more of same."

How could he have ended it differently - if he wanted to end it satirically? Because I don't think more of the same was good enough.


message 9: by Deborah (new)

Deborah | 983 comments Sophia wrote: "Stenton could have killed and eaten everyone?"

Stenton could have killed and eaten everyone?


message 10: by Deborah (new)

Deborah | 983 comments Or actually, maybe he did.


message 11: by Sophia (new)

Sophia Roberts | 1324 comments Now that's what I would call a HAPPY ending!


Evelina | AvalinahsBooks (avalinahsbooks) | 116 comments What I found particularly ridiculous was that Ty - a genius who created almost all of that - approaches the biggest sheep on campus for help on saving the day.. and I mean not even for help, but to put it all on her shoulders. That girl has to be the stupidest creature in the whole book, and yet she's so special that Ty would choose *her* out of absolutely everyone else..? please.. I can't even..


message 13: by Deborah (new)

Deborah | 983 comments Maybe Eggars us inviting us to question the assertions of the narration?


message 14: by Sophia (last edited Feb 09, 2014 09:26PM) (new)

Sophia Roberts | 1324 comments As she has so bought the Circle (hook line and sinker), she does seem a very unlikely candidate. Is Eggers suggesting that we are all fallible? That, if a system gives us all that we want (or in this case dared hope for), that we are hardly likely to bite the hand that has fed us? It sounds to me like Ty's timing was all wrong - earlier in the narrative she may well have helped, but back then then she wasn't as powerful/such a potent cover girl..


message 15: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 2495 comments Strange, disappointing book. I got so dispirited somewhere in Book II (I had skimmed ahead, so knew the denouement.) that I gave up reading, at least for awhile. I may eventually finish listening. But the over-the-top humor and bits of dead pan mimicry of corporate and political lunacy that I had been enjoying finally became irritating rather than funny or satirical -- as did the descriptions of the actions of the characters -- and, yes, the descriptions were almost more irritating than the actions themselves.


message 16: by Daniel (new)

Daniel "Irritating" is a great way of putting it, Lily.


message 17: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 2495 comments I did finish. Comments @15 stand.


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