As it is winter break and I’m between semesters of classes, I have had quite a bit of free time on my hands. I love reading fiction books for fun, but during the semester I’m usually too swamped with homework and social activities to make time for it.
I just finished The Circle by Dave Eggers, and it was a fun read.
The book takes place in a utopian future where technology is literally everywhere (even more so than now; can you imagine!), and one company, the Circle (think Google, Apple, and Facebook all in one) is essentially monopolizing the world. The Circle controls most online searches, social media, and is building ground for all the amazing new technology.
One of the Circle’s latest technology is what is termed as SeeChange cameras. These are small, self-powered that can be placed anywhere and everywhere to provide a livestream to anyone who wants to watch. The always-on cameras are one of the ideas that develops to the point where private moments are limited to nonexistent. This reminded me of “Big Brother” from 1984, and The Circle is almost a modern version of that book.
The Circle is brimming with new ideas and it’s every young person’s dream to work there, including our protagonist, Mae.
To be honest, I didn’t really like Mae. She was a flat character and showed no real development throughout the novel. Not only that, but her decisions frustrated me. The Circle is monopolizing the world, and honestly I think any person with common sense would see that. But not Mae; she only fuels the Circle with new ideas to take over the world. She just doesn’t to have a limit to how far she goes, letting her family and her ex-boyfriend come to hate her for the person she becomes.
I got over not liking the main character because the plot is interesting and keeps you on your feet. It’s one of those books where you want to keep reading to find out what’s going to happen next. I liked reading about how Mae got acclimated to working in the Circle all the cool technology discussed.
All in all, with Dave Eggers provides a fun and interesting read that makes you think about privacy in a world of technology, which is for sure a relevant issue in today’s world.
Another thing to note: There will be a movie based on The Circle coming out this April. Emma Watson is playing Mae, (which to me, is a reason in and of itself to go see it) and Tom Hanks is playing one of the founders of the Circle. Hopefully, this spring I will write a movie review and how the film compares to the book!
Here is the first trailer for the movie!