Who appreciates the Dave Eggers book “The Circle”?

Folks: Who else is reading The Circle? The ideas for technological innovations are banal (video cameras everywhere, RFID tags inside humans) but I like the way that the interior life of the mega-corporation and the ambitions of its employees are painted. (The company is a combination of Google, Facebook, Twitter (“Zings” instead of “tweets”!), and PayPal.)

I’m about one third of the way through, listening as a book on tape, and the Amazon reviews (“well written but pointless”) are encouraging me to return it to the library before I’m finished. Who has read to the end?

[Oftentimes I find that with science fiction-tinged books the author’s best ideas are in the first 100 pages.]

7 thoughts on “Who appreciates the Dave Eggers book “The Circle”?

  1. I have the same question about Pournelle and Niven’s “The Mote in God’s Eye”. I’ve managed to attain page 150 on the strength of Heinlein’s glowing quote and the Amazon reviews, but the book is just terrible. The characters are all plastic, the writing’s nothing special and it’s been sitting in my bathroom for months. I suspect I should just throw it out, but I feel as if I must be missing something about it.

  2. I got about half way through before I gave up to pursue other more interesting books. I got tired of the sloppy writing and coincidences that the author seemed to put in whenever it was convenient to advance the plot.
    And am I to believe that all the best engineers are all borderline Aspbergers? And also allof the politicians instantly become honest and all Internet trolls disappear overnight because of this company?
    I believe he had a good idea, I just don’t like the execution.

  3. Mitch – regarding the Mote in Gods Eye, it does pick up and get pretty good later on. The Hornbloweresque space empire rubbish goes away and some far more interesting ideas come to be the focus. Even the sequel is worth a look.

  4. I recommended The Circle as one of my book picks of the year in Uncle Mark 2014 (http://unclemark.org , if that’s OK to post). Yes, the writing is preachy and the characters are thin and the technology is hardly mind-blowing… but that’s not the point of the book, imho. Instead, Eggers is showing what happens to people – individually and in groups – when “friendly” corporate surveillance is taken to its logical conclusion. The insistence on positivity, for example, was highlighted nicely in the book and is widely visible on Facebook and other networks.

  5. Don’t waste your time. Just return it to the library. The protagonist’s ever more ludicrous pursuit of “transparency” without any regard for others in her life only leads to a very weak ending. What a dull main character.

  6. Craig – In light of your reply, I persevered and it has become much more engaging once they started interacting with the aliens. This was around page 170 – I wish I had skipped the first third of the book. Thanks for the advice.

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