The Circle | Dave Eggers

Edit-The Circle

The Book

Follows Mae as she adjusts to her new job at “The Circle” a new internet experience. Where everything is filtered through one site. Banking: Circle; Bills: Circle; Social Networking: Social, it’s all there. Even (spoiler) voting is all done through this one company The Circle. So that’s not bad or anything. As The Circle nears completion, Mae is forced to decide: Circle? or not? Featuring: Young Female Protagonist, Dystopia, The perfect Workplace.


The Circle has compelling plot progression. It starts slowly, so might be a little long winded, but escalates so that by the end something is happening every 5 minutes. It draws you in with the promise of more, and oh boy does it deliver.


Mae has elements of Mary Jane-ism. (Mae-ry Jane anyone?) she’s young and she gets a job at The Circle, and she quickly moves through the ranks. It’s not the strongest of Mary Jane arguments and I’ll let it go because the characters are otherwise quite complexly written. They’re interesting and are never a simple outline of a person.


The conflict of the book escalated. I felt like I was walking on a travelator and the end was coming but I hadn’t picked up my bags from the floor. But in a good way. I was prepared for a simple plod along “Social Media is bad” dystopia but it’s so much more than that. It’s not telling you anything it’s asking a question and the ending (which I won’t spoil) was unexpected and brilliant.


Points of Dis/Interest: 

I missed Annie. But that was the idea.

Etc.: Social Media is bad and other lies we tell ourselves.

I’m sure you’ve all see one of those “when I was growing up we went outside and used bows and arrows to kill deer, now they stay inside with their Facepage and their instasnaps” memes. Well I have. I’ve seen those “what is the world coming to” captions on a picture of people on a train on their phones. Well I say screw them. If I’m on my phone on a train I’m probably on Facebook. You know who else is on Facebook? My family. My friends. And if I wasn’t on my phone. I was probably reading. I wouldn’t be socialising if I had forgotten my book and my phone was dead and I literally had nothing but my wallet with me. Because talking to randoms on trains is not something I regularly want to do.

So there’s this episode of Black Mirror with Bryce Dallas Howard (S03E01 Nosedive) that is set in a future where social status is everything. It tells you what sort of houses you can buy, how you succeed in your job, and the sort of person you are. It paints a very clear picture about the world, but it’s not that social media is bad. It’s that our reliance on likes and dislikes, shares, and hearts and pokes and right swipes that doesn’t determine anything about us. Unfortunately our reliance on social media is enforcing our reliance on these. Like for a like. Follow for a follow. In the right circles followers and likes are everything.

Social Media isn’t bad. But the lies we tell ourselves about it are.

Get Reading. Get Travelling.


P.S. You may have noticed that I’m changing the theme up for these book posts. It’s hopefully to get me thinking more complexly about the storys that I’m reading. Instead of just Good vs Bad, I’m hoping to look further into the book design and the core of the novel. Please leave your comments and thoughts after the tone.


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