This novel by Dave Eggers is a book I deem so important I really wish everyone would read it - or at least everyone who leads a considerable portion of their lives online, such as many bloggers (myself included), all facebook members, ebay and Amazon shoppers, google profile owners and many more.
Early on this year, I read about "The Circle" in my weekly paper and thought it sounds like something I should read - but then I didn't do anything about it, until the other day my sister mentioned that she'd bought it. So once she finished it, she lent me her copy, and I must say while Chris Hadfield's "An Astronaut's Guide to Life On Earth" was the book I loved most out of the 46 I have read this year, "The Circle" was probably the most gripping one.
In short, Dave Eggers shows with this novel what could happen (and, on a smaller scale, is already happening - kind of) if one company took over ALL online services for banking, shopping, cloud computing, messaging, and so on. That fictitious company is "The Circle", and its goal is to be complete - something someone wants to prevent at all cost.
Mae Holland is a young woman who lands one of the coveted jobs at The Circle, much envied by her contemporaries for what everybody deems a fantastic opportunity. She soon starts letting The Circle take over more and more of her life, and feels good about it - in fact, whenever she does not share something with the entire community (which encompasses nearly all the world), she is made to feel guilty with arguments so convincing you can really imagine this sort of brain-washing taking place.
A mysterious man, wonderfully described as "calligraphic", becomes Mae's lover, but she can't find out anything about him on the Circle's network, something that greatly irritates her. When she finally learns his true identity (the reader of course guessed it long before that), it is too late for her to be saved - and save the world from the omnipresent tentacles of this giant data-collecting octopus The Circle has become.
The novel ends not quite the way I expected, or was hoping for. It is thought-provoking and very well written, quite a nice change to some of the badly (or not at all) edited ebooks I have been reading. I have just found out that The Circle is going to be turned into a film. That is one I definitely want to see.
Please read this, if you have the chance. There is only one negative thing I can say about the book: the print is VERY small, which is why it took me relatively long to complete it - I could not read very long before my eyes grew too tired.