Review: ‘The Circle’ by Dave Eggers

Review: ‘The Circle’ by Dave EggersThe Circle by Dave Eggers
Published by Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group on October 8th, 2013
Genres: Adult, Dystopian
Pages: 504
Format: eBook
Source: borrowed from the library
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 America--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.

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Set in the near future, Mae wants something better than being an I.T. worker at a utility company in her small town. With the help of her friend from college, she lands a job at the Circle, a cutting edge Internet company. Will she realize that her world is literally plugged in and the consequences to those actions are dire?

Um wow. This book was crazy. Crazy and realistic! If 1984 was set in our times, it would have this world.. Our world. The Circle is a company that is at the forefront of every technological advancement in the world. They have combined all accounts that anyone will ever need into one and in doing so have eliminated the need to remember accounts and passwords. That is one of the major projects they do. And it’s not even the scariest.

TruYou: one account to use for all your needs. Makes it mandatory to get so voter turnout will be 100%

TruYouth: plugging babies with a tracking device so they will never be abducted or kidnapped. Parents will know where they are at all times.

PastPresent: archiving the world’s photos to fill in holes and complete history’s ancestry.

LuvLuv: no need to find out or ask your date for their interests or hobbies. With one search you can find it all

SoulSearch: With the help of everyone in the world, to track down criminals and fugitives

Demoxie: making secrets a crime, having everyone wear a camera around their chest so everyone and anyone can see what they’re doing at any given time.

The premise in this book could be alternative future, where one company has amassed to become a monopoly even higher than governments. And being masked as a Utopian is really a totalitarianism government. I am legit scared.. Some projects and services are just so real. Like the Go Pro video camera service that we have in real life? There’s one in this book. And the combination of raising your social media presence is also apparent in here. Except it’s part of her job.

The book barely has a plot. Unless you really want to find out who Kalen really is. That was my biggest downfall with this. Lack of story-line and character development. Because this is all about showing and telling. Showing how wrapped up she is in their world and how she loses her independent thought. It was like watching a cult form around her and I was pretty much horrified at what happens in the end. Predictable but still horrified. There was also no mention of her family by the end of the book which I was looking towards a conclusion.

The parallels and the ultimate need to know everything and document everything in the history of humankind is kind of a crazy endeavour. And how exactly would anyone accept the transparency of the entire government? Obviously those are absurd, but this is Eggers fictional world and not real life.

The Circle will make you question how you use social media, and what companies really do with the information they amass about your shopping and interests. In a connected and plugged in world, it feels like our reality isn’t so far off.


You and I both know that if you can control the flow of information, you can control everything. You can control most of what anyone sees and knows.
We must all have the right to disappear.





  1. Becca Lostinbooks

    March 3, 2015 at 11:44 PM

    This book sounds terrifying. I feel like the scariest dystopians are the ones who have just enough truth to them that you can totally see it happening. I’m reading Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale right now and I can only read 20-30 pages at a time before I am too freaked out to continue. It’s SO realistic and even though it was written in the 80s, some of that stuff is happening now. Terri-fying.

    • giselle

      March 4, 2015 at 10:45 PM

      I’m legit scared.. I mean these softwares that were proposed in the book sound so realistic that I’m just scared. I kind of want to forgot I read this because of it. Ah I kind of DNF’d HANDMAID’S TALE but now I want to finish it..

  2. Meredith

    March 1, 2015 at 10:28 PM

    The first of your quotes gave me chills. I think we tend to forget how fast technology is growing and becoming more powerful since we live in its constraints every day. It’s frightening how technology has the ability to brainwash us.

    • giselle

      March 2, 2015 at 1:51 PM

      This book is terribly frightening..Ahhh 🙁 it really is

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