I finally saw this movie the other day and wanted to review the book for you all. The Circle by Dave Eggers was on my 2017 reading list for the categories: a book that’s becoming a movie in 2017 and a book recommended by an author you love. I originally learned of the book when Emma Watson, my favorite, was tapped to be the lead actress in the screenplay. Per my usual style, I did not read anything whatsoever about the book before I borrowed it from Overdrive, my libraries online database, but I was not disappointed. I was listening to this book when the movie hit Amazon Prime, but had yet to see it until a few weeks ago. When I started my new role, I saw my dual screen set up, and immediately thought back to this book, and the eerie feeling I got thinking of the ways screens, social media, and advertising are gradually taking over our lives.
In Dave Eggers’ The Circle, the main character Mae, lands a job at a highly sought after mega-company in Silicon Valley in california. As she goes through the motions of her job, taking on more and more responsibility, she is gradually connected to more networks, and her work and social life merge into one. The Circle is seen as an all-encompassing business, they cover 100% of their employees health care and provide online services. The workplace is more like a college campus with R&D in almost every industry and aspect. The best and brightest are tapped from all over the globe to work on passion projects and interconnect with other disciplines. The end goal being to complete the circle, or radical transparency.
The book seems to be a commentary on the saturation of social media and screens in today’s society, a la 1984. It still leaves chills down my spine thinking about the willingness of the characters to reveal all aspects of their private lives with viewers and followers. I mean sure I write this blog, but I keep my personal life relatively private, aside from my random thoughts and memories that I choose to share. The fact that The Circle provides so much for the employees is fantastic, and the support to pursue their dreams and goals is desirable, but at what price?
If you like the writing of Dave Eggers, check out one of his top rated books What Is the What which follows the life of Valentino Achak Deng, one of the Sudanese lost boys.
If you found the concept of radical transparency as fascinating as I did, check out To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism by Evgeny Morozov which speaks to the other side of that argument.
If you enjoyed the sci-fi aspects of The Circle you will enjoy The Status Of All Things By Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke which delves into the fantasy of rewriting your life through Facebook statuses.
Have you read any of these books before? What did you think of the book The Circle or did you watch the screenplay? How do you think they compare? The movie, in my opinion, is never as good as the book; did they leave out any of your favorite parts? I’d love to hear what you have to say so please comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!