The Circle by Dave Eggers
The description from Goodreads:
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.
I really wanted to like this book but I’m just not sure what I think of it. I liked certain parts of it, but as a whole I wasn’t that impressed. I finished it thinking, was this book just okay or did it go completely over my head?
I really liked certain aspects, like how detailed Eggers describes the campus. However, I found that in-depth detail to be tedious when describing other things, like the different projects the main character Mae is working on. The premise of the book is great, but I think it got bogged down in a lot of supporting story for example, the water/sea symbolisms. While I understood why they were used, I don’t think they added more to be the story.
There are some very eerie parts of the book but they fall flat on the 2 dimensional characters. I think that’s what made this book so hard for me to really get into because I kept doubting myself. Are the characters supposed to be distant seeming and submissive or is this book just lacking character development and interaction?
There were a lot of WTF elements for me, Kalden’s appeal to Mae, Francis, where did the parents go? That list got longer and longer the more I read.
The end was what I thought and didn’t disappoint or excite me.
Overall, the dislikes outweighed the likes. I’m excited to watch the movie, which also has very mixed reviews just like the book.
I give this book 3 stars.