Author: Dave Eggers
Genre: Technology Fiction / Drama
Year of Publication: 2013
ISBN: 0385351399 (ISBN13: 9780385351393)
The book chronicles the technological advances of one conglomerate aptly called “The Circle”. The internet evolution is picking up speed and is headed towards enveloping every aspect of human life, leaving very little to speculation or imagination. Through the eyes of main protagonist, Mae Holland, this book talks about these advancements and their implication on human life.
“Secrets are Lies; Sharing is Caring; Privacy is Theft” – Dave Eggers (quoted from “The Circle”)
When you start at any given point within a circle, you are bound to come back to it… and if you stick with it … you keep on coming back to the same point over and over again. The title of this book, aptly proves this characteristic of a circle … but not in a very good sense. No matter how many pages you turn; no matter how many chapters you finish, you keep coming back to the same point again and again. Whatever progress the plot makes, it keeps completing the circle by coming back to the same point and then you are bound to go through the same routine again.
How long can one feel interested in the proceedings when all that is happening throughout the book focuses on how cool the workplace and the technology is.
It was established at the very beginning that “The Circle” is a cool place to work with all the technology and obsession of connecting the whole world. The plot and narrative gets stuck on this already established point and the reader is dragged through long dialogue and repetitive explanations of the technology and its speed in “the circle”. In doing so, the book suffers with agonizing monotony and undesired predictability. How long can one feel interested in the proceedings when all that is happening throughout the book focuses on how cool the workplace and the technology is. Beyond a point, its becomes extremely boring and sinfully monotonous.
The writer succeeds in portraying both perspectives of the quickly evolving technology and its control over the daily life.
The basic theme of the book is really gripping; i.e. the wonders and horrors of the ever-growing probe of connectivity in lives of current and future generations. The writer succeeds in portraying both perspectives of the quickly evolving technology and its control over the daily life. The open ended conclusion the book receives is also quite efficient and effectively depicts how adamant the mankind is to let go of its privacy and what sorts of implications this growing phenomenon can cause.
But in doing so, the author gets carried away with painfully detailed descriptions of all these cool advancements. It is so over-done that it starts giving feel of a documentary rather than a fiction novel. That deflates all air out of the basic theme of the book and you start feeling annoyingly unconcerned about how cool it all is and what side effects will it cause.
The identity of one of the principal characters was probably supposed to be an unpredictable twist in the plot. But anyone who has ever read more than a couple of mysteries can figure it out even before it starts getting intriguing.
This ends up as a lost opportunity. This book could’ve been so much better in its effectiveness.
Overall, this ends up as a lost opportunity. This book could’ve been so much better in its effectiveness. It also ends up proving itself an immensely over-rated book. As far as I am concerned, apart from the initial 50 pages or so and about the same number of pages towards the end, this book stagnates in between and completely loses its effectiveness. Should’ve been a 250 pager rather than the 493 pager that it actually is.
“The circle” keeps on going round and round…and while this should’ve made the reader feel dizzy with its rapid circulations and plot rotation, it sadly ends up causing a headache for all the wrong reasons. DISAPPOINTING.