The Circle - Dave Eggers

The Circle

By Dave Eggers

  • Release Date: 2013-10-08
  • Genre: Literary
Score: 3.5
From 1,191 Ratings


Now a Major Motion Picture starring Emma Watson and Tom Hanks. A bestselling dystopian novel that tackles surveillance, privacy and the frightening intrusions of technology in our lives.

When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users’ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company’s modernity and activity. There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO. Mae can’t believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in the world—even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge.



  • Don’t read

    By kristinasunflower
    Horrible writing, don’t waste your time.
  • Just Awful Writing

    By Belliemay
    Concept: interesting. The rest of it? Couldn't even finish it. Wouldn't mind a refund. The characters are sophomoric, uninteresting. The movie didn't last long in my neck of the woods and I'm not surprised. Don't waste your money on this one. A real snore.
  • Thought provoking and scary.

    By H3@th312
    This all seemed as if it could actually happen in the future. I now worry for my nonexistent grandkids.
  • Anticlimactic

    By Odie092
    It's a frustrating read because the core storyline has such potential. Delving into how technology has evolved and posing the question of "is technology going too far" is a promising theme, however this book hardly scratches the surface. Instead, the storyline focuses on 1 dimensional characters and their experiences. It's a huge let down.
  • It just ended...

    By Lost boards
    Great concept. The sexual scenes are unnecessary and no intelligent person could be as shallow or ignorant as Mae was. I hope the movie brings the book to completion because it just ended with no solution. I mean seriously, I searched for more pages or a sequel with no avail.
  • Thought provoking idea adequately rendered

    By cvonline
    I found the concept thought provoking. It was adequately rendered.
  • Well that was a waste of time.

    By Shae1212121
    The main character's development was so poor it was aggravating. To save you the read, this is how it went: Side character: Mae, I don't like the idea of all my information being public. Mae: It's a good thing! You'll never be alone. Side character: Mae I don't want all of my information published. Mae: I'm going to help you by publishing all of your personal information! That was it. Over and over and over again. There was zero growth in her character, she was snide and self centered and the majority of the time I didn't understand why she made the decisions she did. It's disappointing because this book began with so much potential! I was instantly intrigued and wanted to know how it ended. Now that I know, I wish I didn't waste my time or money with it.
  • Fascinating, But Not Essential

    By DigitalEl
    The world-building is captivating, but this book drags on and ultimately peters out.
  • Great book

    By Big Dan Big D
    It's scary to see that this could be our lives one day. The way social media can take over our lives. Great book! I look forward to the movie as well!!
  • Awesome? Frown.

    By PHXDana
    This was a challenging read for me. The binary nature of the question about Mae in Demoxie sums up my feelings about this book: when awesome becomes a yes or no question, everything not awesome becomes horrible. This was a thought provoking book for me. The increasing integration of technology into our lives is often portrayed as an intrusion. The need for technology to achieve a transcendent completion is something often described in fiction. And the binary nature of the book's questions - if it's not awesome, it's terrible - makes it easy to not think too hard. That's why I rated three stars. The questions are complex, and the answers are too pat. I think it's worth reading, and I will likely read again in a few months. Some of the hardest sections to read are Mae's HR interviews. They are remarkably well written, the feeling of ants crawling around your head as the circular logic of the circle takes hold is really compelling. The least appealing sections are the anti-capitalist message (really, a shark is a bit on the nose) and the premature nature of Francis. C'mon.