The whole time I was brainstorming what I was going to write for this review, I kept returning to a quote I had so often seen attributed to Benjamin Franklin:
“Those who sacrifice liberty for security, deserve neither.”
When I googled it to make sure I didn’t butcher it, I discovered he totally didn’t say that. He did, however, say something kind of similar but he was talking about taxes or something which is not even remotely relevant to the book I’m reviewing.
But you get the point I’m driving at right?
The Circle is a solid dystopian novel that seems especially eerie in the digital age we live in. We are constantly seeing new reports out that are categorizing social media usage with cigarettes, alcohol, and gambling in terms of how easy it is to become addicted to it. We’re always seeing people (hell my parents!) so glued to their phones, they would probably miss a UF Freaking O.
That is essentially, The Circle, in a nutshell. And through this addiction some seriously shady shit walks right through the door.
The book begins on Mae’s first day at The Circle, which is a social media company that wants to incorporate and streamline as much of people’s lives as possible. At the start, she is just kind of treating it like a job, but she gets pressured into being more active in the social media aspect which eventually, obviously, becomes all consuming.
One thing I really appreciated was the likening of her addiction to an abusive relationship and how they portrayed Mae throughout the book. I’ve struggled with addiction myself, so it came across as super authentic to me.
This book is unique in one super huge way that I won’t spoil for you, but I’ve never read a dystopian novel that went that direction, and I commend Dave Eggers for that. I always love a contrarian.
I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I’m really looking forward to the aquarium scene. I bet it’s stunning visually and that was one of my favorite scenes in the whole book, I really loved the analogy.
Overall Grade: B+
One thing that kept grabbing my attention was how weirdly, yet not at all weirdly, sexual everything was. It seemed like every time you turned someone was doing something sexual but it never felt contrived or unnatural.
Again, nice work Eggers.