New York : San Francisco : Alfred A. Knopf ; McSweeney's Books, 2013
491 pages ; 23 cm ISBN/ISSN:
9780385351393, 0385351399 :, Language:
"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"--
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If you are looking for a book that is "un-put-downable, Dave Eggers' The Circle is it! This is the kind of book that you feel compelled to discuss with people--it would be great for a book discussion with its exploration of themes such as privacy and democracy.
Mae Holland is hired to work for a powerful tech company called "the Circle". Imagine if Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Yahoo all merged and became one huge internet company . . . . that's The Circle. As Mae joins the company she is excited and impressed by all the Circle offers like high-tech modern facilities, employee dorms, thematic parties, and even health insurance for her ailing father. It seems to be a utopian workplace. But soon, Mae becomes entrenched in the Circle culture and the launch of new inventions like SeeChange cameras that can be planted anywhere to see what people are doing. Mae also agrees to wear a camera around her neck that provides a live feed of all that she is doing every minute of every day. Political leaders are encouraged to wear these cameras and become transparent as well.
As the novel progresses, the reader is confronted with the idea that all this technological progress doesn't align with personal freedom and privacy. One of the Circle's taglines is " Privacy is Theft." But, what if nothing was private anymore? Is complete transparency the answer? Can technological progress be a bad thing?
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