The Circle is a 2014 novel by Dave Eggers. It tells the story of Mae, a young woman who is searching for her vocation and who gets offered the opportunity of a lifetime – the chance to work for The Circle, an innovative internet company. Stepping on their campus, Mae feels like it’s a dream come true, she’s been invited to become part of Utopia… but is all as it seems?
A strikingly relevant novel for the culture of ‘Big Brother’, surveillance and the social network, The Circle explores what happens when we let our guard down and make everything about our lives public. The Circle creates a culture of transparency, its ideology that it is our secrets that keep us from realising our potential…. but what if that transparency went a step too far…
As Mae becomes increasingly embroiled in the culture of The Circle, she is asked to do things which she hadn’t ever considered, she is asked to make everything about her life public and she does so, willingly. Soon Mae begins to realise the implications of her new transparency and it becomes clear that the Utopia she bought into is actually a scarily familiar dystopia.
In the tradition of science fiction, Eggers uses the genre to address a modern social issue and explore exactly what it means to the extremes of possibility. This book certainly encourages readers to be more careful what they’re posting online. A gripping, fast-paced novel which draws you into a world which is wholly conceivable and yet strangely unthinkable, this comes highly recommended.