Reading The Circle had me shaking with laughter on one page and shivering with fear and recognition on the next. It’s a full-blown satire that sends up our modern world of addictive social media, yoga-obsessed tech companies, and our obsession with information and constant connection. This is quite a different book for Dave Eggers, and I loved every fast-paced page of it.
I couldn't shut up about this book for weeks after I read it: I was like one of those people who bring up their new significant other every two seconds. Dave Eggers places his novel in a near/parallel future in some ways more horrifying than that of 1984, and one for which we may have already passed the event horizon. It is a captivating, deceptively light, and deeply important novel.
"The Circle" is the exhilarating new novel from Dave Eggers, best-selling author of "A Hologram for the King, "a finalist for the National Book Award. 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.
About the Author
Dave Eggers grew up near Chicago and graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the founder of McSweeney's, an independent publishing house in San Francisco that produces books, a quarterly journal of new writing ("McSweeney's Quarterly Concern"), and a monthly magazine, "The Believer." McSweeney's publishes Voice of Witness, a nonprofit book series that uses oral history to illuminate human rights crises around the world. In 2002, he cofounded 826 Valencia, a nonprofit youth writing and tutoring center in San Francisco's Mission District. Sister centers have since opened in seven other American cities under the umbrella of 826 National, and like-minded centers have opened in Dublin, London, Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Birmingham, Alabama, among other locations. His work has been nominated for the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize, and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and has won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, France's Prix Medicis, ""Germany's Albatross Prize, the National Magazine Award, and the American Book Award. Eggers lives in Northern California with his family.