Originally published: Apr 2014
Author: Dave Eggers
Set in: California
Page count: 491
Reading dates: 5-9 Apr 2018
Star Rating: 5/5
The Circle is a company that runs everything – everyone’s internet activity is in one easy and safe place. The Circle is a powerful and influential company and considered a place that everyone wants to work at. There is an amazing California campus, with everything you could possibly need – from doggy day care, to free health care to a cafeteria made completely of glass, the Circle campus is almost expected to become the employees home. After work entertainment and social events are not mandatory but are expected and there are even areas for the staff to sleep if they don’t want to go home.
Mae Holland is a 24-year-old woman, grateful to her friend Annie for getting her a job at The Circle. She starts work in Customer Experience but soon many other aspects of what is expected of her become apparent. One of the first innovations we see from The Three Wise Men (who are the founders of The Circle) are tiny portable cameras that can be placed anywhere in the world, that anyone can access at any time. Not long after we see a politician who has decided to become “transparent”, wearing a camera at all times so nothing is secret – soon other politicians are doing the same thing and anyone who doesn’t is viewed with suspicion. To begin with, Mae is concerned about her privacy and tries to keep some aspects of her life private but she soon sucked in to the beliefs and ethos of The Circle way of life.
There are lots of themes in this book including the dangers of modernisation, identity and human rights. I found it frankly terrifying – a work of fiction but one that could easily become truth.
Food for thought – it Apr 2017 Apple opened their shiny new headquarters in California, called Apple Park. Not many details are known about what’s inside but here is a picture of the building…
And here is a picture of the campus of The Circle from the recent movie..