The Circle

By Dave Eggers
Binding:Hardcover
Publisher:Knopf, (10/8/2013)
Language:English



Average Rating:
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3.80 out of 5 (5 Clubie's ratings)


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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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Harriet's thoughts on "The Circle"
updated on:5/25/2015



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Ceci's thoughts on "The Circle"
updated on:2/2/2014



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Nick's thoughts on "The Circle"
updated on:12/3/2013

Wow, reading this book kind of makes me want to write this on a manual typewriter and mail it in instead of going online. It's very tough to write a good, relevant and timely societal critique, and The Circle succeeds at all of the above beautifully. We have come to take for granted things like the interconnectedness that comes with social media and the work/life tether that comes from smart devices with anytime, anywhere access, and this novel does a great job of making one question all of those things. Living our lives in public has become the accepted norm, but is that a good thing? I think what struck me about the book was the way that Eggers' Circle presented these technological advancements...an all-inclusive online identity and Orwellian items like the SeeChange cameras...as something to be applauded rather than feared and reviled. It is technology as cult and it is not hard to see these things playing out in real life. Interesting, well-written characters, and engaging story and a treasure trove of ethical and moral issues to discuss. The Circle is that rare book that has a lot going on thematically but still manages to just tell a really good story.

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Book Junky's thoughts on "The Circle"
updated on:12/2/2013

Wowza, this book will get you thinking and wondering if you've drunk the "internet social media kool-aid" yet. This book is a PERFECT book club book with TONS to discuss. Written in a fast-fun style that makes it an easy read and keeps you wondering what is going to happen next - to the point you won't want to put it down. I really loved all the conversation points it brought up around our internet and social media usage, issues around current romantic connections, dating, friendships, privacy, and especially how much do we really want to know about other, and how much do we want to be known? Everyone seems to crave that feeling of being known or seen… but do we really want to have EVERYTHING known? This book explores all that and more! Just a FEW questions to contemplate: Mae is evaluated and scored in all her activities at work. Ratings and ranks giving her non-stop instant feedback as to how she is doing. Do you think this would be productive and helpful in the work environment? How would you like that kind of non-stop instant feedback on your work performance? (What do you think about Francis' request for feedback on his "performance"?) How does this compare to our "Likes" "Dislikes" and comments on Facebook? How do they influence your social media activity and most of all - your mood? Mae's online and offline social involvement is considered vital to her work. Should that (being technically more of a private aspect of life) be even considered as a factor in her "work" performance? What would you think if there was SeeChange cameras everywhere in real life? Would that change YOUR behavior? What about the other monitoring systems that were proposed? The neighborhood watch? The in house "violence" level? Do you view your social media activity as an "act of community" as Gina implied in her initial "scolding" of Mae's lack of social media presence? Mae seems to constantly change her behavior based on the feedback of her superiors. Is she just super needy and have a need to please everyone, or is she absorbing feedback and improving at her job? Would you "take" all the feedback from her superiors as constructive? or is some of it over the line? If "The Circle" environment requires that kind of social media activity of their employees to fit in with their culture, would you step up YOUR game and participate more, or leave such an "amazing opportunity"? Was Alister in any way justified in his reaction to Mae not responding to his invitation to brunch? Have you ever had a similar experience on social media or through an evite event? Do you think a service like LuvLuv would be good for dating, or does it take away from the whole"getting to know you" experience of dating? Mae was upset that LuvLuv presented an essence of her that was incomplete. Does the social media tools we have now give us a better understanding of our friends, or are we only seeing the parts of them they want us to see? Do you think this incomplete view of Mae helped her make her decision to go transparent? When she is transparent, do we really get a complete view of her though? Or the censored version of her? Do your thoughts sway team Mercer, or team Mae? (Keep your life private or participate in every way social?) Mercer talks about a new neediness that is developing because of social media? Any truth to that? Mercer also mentions that a social media binge is like eating a bag of chips - afterwards you know you have done nothing good for yourself. Any truth to that? Do you think this book is a true predictor of where the internet and social media are going? Does it make you want to run to the woods and hide too? Wow, I could keep going and going and going with the questions!!! This book just raises a ton of good talking points. It is GREAT for book club discussions. I mean I did not even get into the whole romantic relationships and friendship relationship questions this book raises!!! Fun, fast read that really will make you think - definitely pick it for your next book club.

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Webmaster's thoughts on "The Circle"
updated on:12/2/2013

Great Book! !

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"The Circle"
By Dave Eggers

Average Rating:
Unleash it
3.80 out of 5 (5 Clubie's ratings)


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Dave Eggers is the author of What Is the What, among other books. He is the editor of McSweeney’s, an independent publishing house in San Francisco, and is the cofounder of 826 National, a network of nonprofit writing and tutoring centers for youth with locations in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Boston, Ann Arbor, and Seattle. With his high school students he edits The Best American Nonrequired Reading, a yearly anthology, and with his brother Toph he cowrites the Haggis-on-Whey series of semi-informative books, which includes Giraffes? Giraffes!Animals of the Ocean (in Particular the Giant Squid), and Cold Fusion.


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