The Circle was recommended to me a couple years ago by my dad.
It is a Utopia novel that is based on social media, connectivity, and the sharing of information. The Circle is a company that is seeming modeled quite a bit after our big technology companies today like Apple and Facebook. The company has a compound with everything a worker could ever want. Gyms, food, entertainment, events, shopping, housing, medical care. In fact, there is really not much of a reason to leave. It’s very Hotel California. Or Hotel Silicon Valley anyway.
The book brings up several tough questions that we as a society have been toying around with the last decade or so. Do we have a right to know? And what do we have a right to know, everything? And if we have the right to know everything, should we? Should all of the information that could possibly be gathered, be gathered and shared? What, if anything, should be private anymore? If someone is always watching, how does that change your behavior? What happens with crime rates? Big Brother is back.
I really liked the concept of this story. I think it hit on many important things to consider in a social media addicted society. I think it will make readers stop and think about their involvement online.
The end of the novel was a bit disappointing. The book builds and builds and then it’s just over. Eggers doesn’t answer any of the questions he raises. He leaves it entirely up to the reader to make the final connections and judgments. Which is either frustrating or brilliant. I still haven’t decided which.
0 stars – terrible
1 star – skip it
2 stars – ok
3 stars – enjoyable
4 stars – amazing
5 stars – life changing