Outside the romance box: The Circle – Dave Eggers


Rating: 5 Stars
Type: Fiction

Although I dedicate this blog to romance novels I had to share this book with you. This is a brilliant book. If you ever feel like stepping out of the romance world, read this book! An absolute page-turner!

What the official synopsis reads: 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.

What I read: Holy Guacamole brilliant brilliant brilliant.

The book follows Mae a twenty something professional that manages to get a job with “the Circle”. The Circle is basically Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc combined. What used to be oil is now personal data (in the real world not too, only in the book). It is the main objective of the Circle to collect data. The Circle wants to know everything. This book has a certain 1984-ish feel to it mainly because of the whole Big Brother is watching you theme, but in contrast to 1984 one doesn’t feel oppressed straight from the beginning. It is rather the opposite: In the beginning there is this happy place and everything is light and fluffy just gradually the invisible laces are getting tighter and the book is getting darker.

This story covers a lot of subjects: data collection, data privacy, the terror of public opinion, the right to being an individual … (you name it, it is probably in there). Sometimes the book has the tendency towards clichés and describing certain situations in a rather foreseeable way (for those who have read it aka the shark scene) but 1984 had the same tendency and it still was brilliant.

To make it short: This book is on my eternal must-read list. It should be on yours too.


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