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The Circle
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December 2018: Geek Reads > The Circle by Dave Eggers- 2.5 stars

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message 1: by Tracy (last edited Dec 09, 2018 09:29PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tracy (tstan) | 1208 comments A young woman, Mae, is hired by the Circle, a company that is reminiscent of Google meets Amazon meets Facebook. Basically, a company that wishes to help others by controlling privacy, and eventually their lives.

This is a concept that has been touched on by Huxley, Orwell, and Ayn Rand- this reminded me uncomfortably of Atlas Shrugged- one of the worst books I've ever read. So I wasn't exactly fond of this one. The writing was good, and it does make a person think about privacy and how much we let others into our lives.

But it gets a very strong "meh" from me. I do think this would make a good book club discussion.


message 2: by Susie (new)

Susie | 4488 comments Your meh is my take it off the list.


message 3: by KateNZ (new) - added it

KateNZ | 2504 comments Dang - this is work related for me. I was hoping it would be better


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

The first paragraph you wrote I was intrigued. Now I think I will pass. Hope your next book is better.:)


Jason Oliver | 2063 comments I did not write a review for this book but I remember being disappointed with the execution of a great premise. 2.5 rating is where I'm at too though I did round up to 3 in my rating. The Circle had the potential to be in the same realm as 1984, Animal Farm, Brave New World but fell short.


message 6: by Joi (new) - rated it 3 stars

Joi (missjoious) | 3822 comments I also was lukewarm about this- with 3 stars, and found the main character to be pretty dislike able. Good concept, poor execution.

Susie- I'd take it off the TBR- if you really want to know more, you can watch the (also lukewarm reviewed) movie. At least that way you get some Emma Watson.


message 7: by Booknblues (new) - added it

Booknblues | 6204 comments I started this and just did not want to read a book that I thought was going in that direction and put it down.


Theresa | 7431 comments I also gave it 2 stars when I read it a couple of years ago, and I might actually downgrade it to 1 star given my negative feelings about it have only increased! Definitely do not recommend it any more than Tracy did.

Here's my review, actually:

" I think I am too old for this book. The protagonist is a Millennial who is completely brainwashed into the cult-like ambience of The Circle (think mash-up of Facebook/Apple/Google where the credo 'do no evil' is redefined in a persuasive way) as are most characters, and she does not come off well - incredibly shallow, naive, needy. The other characters are for the most part Gen X and if possible they come off worse - preachy and arrogant. There is suspense, even a bit of a thriller feel, but mostly it is creepy in a 'Big Brother meets Stepford' way. Yes it was entertaining, and I liked that Eggers did not go for a traditional happy fantasy ending, but I would suggest you read the classics of the genre instead, like 1984, The Stepford Wives, or even The Fountainhead although that is a challenging read."


Joy D | 3888 comments Just to throw out an alternative view....

I have worked recently in the information technology industry, and I enjoyed the satire on the corporate environment, where every single transaction is measured and reported in real time, and employees are “encouraged” (aka required) to take part in the online community.

It obviously is not everyone's cup of tea but if your background is in the tech field, you may enjoy it as I did. I thought Eggers was attempting to update "Big Brother" to include the internet and invasion of privacy by corporate entities (which is not so far from what is happening in high tech companies today in my experience).


Jason Oliver | 2063 comments Joy D wrote: "Just to throw out an alternative view....

I have worked recently in the information technology industry, and I enjoyed the satire on the corporate environment, where every single transaction is me..."


I do think there is merit to the book and it seems like most liked the premise of the story. I read Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble and my first thought was The Circle, so I even believe its an accurate warning, but I don't see the book becoming a classic like others mentioned in this thread. The book was underwhelming to me and at times, annoying.


message 11: by AsimovsZeroth (new)

AsimovsZeroth (asimovszerothlaw) | 436 comments Oof. I was all in when I read the description of this, but after seeing all these bad reactions to it, I think I'll pass. I was definitely hoping for more of a 1984 feel, not Atlas Shrugged. Ugh.


message 12: by Susie (new)

Susie | 4488 comments Jason! Hi hi!


Jason Oliver | 2063 comments Hey Susie. How are you?


message 14: by Susie (new)

Susie | 4488 comments Joi wrote: "I also was lukewarm about this- with 3 stars, and found the main character to be pretty dislike able. Good concept, poor execution.

Susie- I'd take it off the TBR- if you really want to know more..."


Thanks Joe. I think I will.


message 15: by Susie (new)

Susie | 4488 comments Jason wrote: "Hey Susie. How are you?"

I'm good! It's nice to see you here. Sorry if I've missed your recent comments. I have been really busy for the past few months.


Jason Oliver | 2063 comments No problem. I know all about being busy.


message 17: by Booknblues (new) - added it

Booknblues | 6204 comments LiteraryMania wrote: "Oof. I was all in when I read the description of this, but after seeing all these bad reactions to it, I think I'll pass. I was definitely hoping for more of a 1984 feel, not Atlas Shrugged. Ugh."

I wouldn't discourage you from trying it . I stopped reading it because I knew that the company was going to be controlling and I just wasn't feeling in the mood, but as Joy says it has a more modern feeling and may be something which you like.


message 18: by Joy D (last edited Dec 10, 2018 11:45PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joy D | 3888 comments I don't think it is destined to be a classic such as 1984 but I enjoyed it as corporate satire. My main criticism was that the protagonist is a lot more clueless than anyone I've met in the tech field. I didn't get an Atlas Shrugged vibe, but maybe it's just been too long since I've read that book (and didn't like it at all).


message 19: by Theresa (last edited Dec 10, 2018 09:54PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Theresa | 7431 comments Joy D wrote: "Just to throw out an alternative view....

I have worked recently in the information technology industry, and I enjoyed the satire on the corporate environment, where every single transaction is me..."


I think that contributes to why I bwlieve I am too old for it... it's reflecting a world generations after mine have experienced, thus I just don't 'get' it.

This is reminding me of a conversation I just had about Tom Wolf's The Bonfire of the Vanities - showing a NYC world that largely belonged to my generation, the last of the Baby Boomers.


message 20: by Nikki (new)

Nikki | 661 comments I read this a few years ago and had much the same reaction - the concept is great, and from what I remember it started well with some convincing stuff about social media & the pressure to inhabit a particular persona full-time in order to thrive at the tech company where she works, but the scenario & plot just got too over-the-top ridiculous too quickly for me.


message 21: by AsimovsZeroth (new)

AsimovsZeroth (asimovszerothlaw) | 436 comments Booknblues wrote: "LiteraryMania wrote: "Oof. I was all in when I read the description of this, but after seeing all these bad reactions to it, I think I'll pass. I was definitely hoping for more of a 1984 feel, not ..."

It's not that I think I wouldn't enjoy it, it's just that I've read so many books with similar themes that I'm becoming picky. If I'm going to explore those subjects for the 300th time, I want excellence.


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