TITLE: The Circle
AUTHOR: Dave Eggers
PUBLISHER: Thorndike Press
PUBLISHED DATE: March 4, 2014
This book was published in 2014 and remains just as relevant today as when it first hit shelves. I wanted to like this...I really dd. Maybe this review will help me to dissect it. If there's anything I can say that surely didn't help is the length. So many parts of this book are redundant and should have been shortened considerably.
Mae is the typical small town girl. She comes home from college, gets a job in her town, and longs for a significant opportunity to come her way. That opportunity comes when her friend Annie brings her into The Circle, a multi-faceted internet company that appears to be Mae's dream job. It's not long before Mae herself is climbing the ranks at the company and the readers begin to see the totalitarian indoctrination going on at the company. Employees are told that they are "influencers" and are pressured into sharing all of their thoughts, hobbies, and whereabouts at all times. These influencers are then normalizing the eradication of privacy throughout the world.This book touches on themes of privacy, the increasing tyranny of employment, and shows what people are willing to give up for the sake of convenience.
What I Liked:
- Mae's dependence on the job keeps her from being able to see how invasive her new employer is. Not only is she working at one of the most recognizable companies in the world, but her ailing father is added to her employee health insurance plan. Whenever she starts to question the practices of the company, Mae remembers that her dependence on the company is deeper than financial...her father's life is on the line. Mae's dilemma speaks to a truth that many of us are dealing with. So many people are stuck in dead-end jobs or jobs they hate because of their obligations. I felt this book did a good job is showing us Mae's dilemma.
I liked the way Eggers describes the company culture of The Circle. I could see this as some of the big name companies we see today like Google and Apple. Eggers places the reader in the setting.
I appreciated how relevant this book is. We are living this. Even though some of the technology described in the book, it's not too far off. We are in a time when it is increasingly becoming the norm that privacy is not a given. I have been in numerous situations where employers have requested to login to my social media, or link my social media accounts to my work accounts. People are out here getting fired for what they post on social media or how they behave when not at work. We are living in different times when employers are operating more as monitors than just a place pays you specifically for the work done in the hours designated.
What I Didn't Like -
This book just seemed to drag....omg. There are so many pages where this book reads more like an employee handbook and less like a thriller.
Recommendation: I would still encourage you to read it. Whether we all like it or not, social media, technology is a major force and encroaching more and more on our lives. This book is your reminder to pay attention.