This is my third Dave Eggers book. It is likely my second favorite. I enjoy Eggers as a writer but this one fell just short of great.
Mae is a twenty something (24 I believe) whose life is made when her friend gets her a job at The Circle. She quickly falls under the spell of the company (think Google a few years back when thinking about The Circle) willingly shedding her anonymity in the world and that of those close to her. She for all intents and purposes falls head first into the Kool-Aid and you will hate her for it. You will pray that she wakes up from this company that for all intents and purposes wants control of everything. But they aren’t power hungry, no, they wouldn’t have you believe that. It is all in service of the greater good. There are three figureheads of this company: the visionary, the one who wants to make the world a better place, and the businessman. You can guess and see while reading who holds the most sway. The bitter pill you will have to swallow when reading is that this world described in this book is that this world couldn’t be far off. We all overshare on social media. We all want all of our stats tracked and sure we’ll send that information in so that the next product could be even better. This is the reality The Circle proposes and it, as the book goes on, becomes a somber, depressing, inevitability.
The only problem I really had with the book is that there was too much filler. There was too much of Mae’s routine that I felt that I was trudging through. Some of it served a purpose but the rest of the time I could have just done with a reference to what she was doing and why she was doing it. Instead a lot of the time we are served with an explicit description that would be repeated later on almost verbatim. It was almost as though she was trying to convince you of something but remained blind herself.
I recommend this book but know that you won’t leave it feeling good.
Poor poor Mae.
And maybe don’t overshare. Keep something for yourself.