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.
"*Starred Review* Most of us imagine totalitarianism as something imposed upon us but what if we're complicit in our own oppression? That's the scenario in Eggers' ambitious, terrifying, and eerily plausible new novel. When Mae gets a job at the Circle, a Bay Area tech company that's cornered the world market on social media and e-commerce, she's elated, and not just because of the platinum health-care package. The gleaming campus is a wonder, and it seems as though there isn't anything the company can't do (and won't try). But she soon learns that participation in social media is mandatory, not voluntary, and that could soon apply to the general population as well. For a monopoly, it's a short step from sharing to surveillance, to a world without privacy. This isn't a perfect book the good guys lecture true-believer Mae, and a key metaphor is laboriously explained but it's brave and important and will draw comparisons to Brave New World and 1984. Eggers brilliantly depicts the Internet binges, torrents of information, and endless loops of feedback that increasingly characterize modern life. But perhaps most chilling of all is his notion that our ultimate undoing could be something so petty as our desperate desire for affirmation. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Eggers' reputation as a novelist continues to grow. Expect this title to be talked about, as it has an announced first printing of 200,000 and the New York Times Magazine has first serial rights.--Graff, Keir Copyright 2010 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"When 20-something Mae Holland is recruited to work at the Circle, a sort of social network on steroids that consolidates its users' various online identities (personal e-mail, social media, financial services), she's thrilled at the company's grand modernity and cutting-edge aesthetic. She delights in the Circle's exuberance and the grand fetes it throws. But as her role in the company becomes increasingly public, she becomes increasingly wary of the Circle's role in the lives of Americans. An encounter with Kalden, a shadowy figure who issues ominous pronouncements about the Circle's contribution to a dystopia, further dampens Mae's enthusiasm. Dion Graham provides inventive narration in this audio edition-capturing Mae's breathless enthusiasm at landing the job. Graham also cleanly differentiates between characters, and provides them with simple but unique voices. Despite the longtime audio partnership between Graham and Eggers-the former read A Hologram for the King and A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius-the narrator seems an odd choice for this title given its female protagonist. Graham has a deep, masculine voice-and at times it can be incongruous to hear him approximate the gasps and anxieties of a young woman. A Knopf hardcover. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved