Monday, November 25, 2013

53. The Circle - Dave Eggers

Audio read by Dion Graham
11 unabridged cds; 14 hours
2013 Random House Audio
491 pgs.
Adult CRF (I guess....)
Finished 11/25/2013
Goodreads Rating:  3.59
My Rating: It was okay (2) 
Setting: Just outside San Francisco
1st sentence/s:  "My God, Mae thought.  It's heaven.  The campus was vast and rambling, wild with Pacific color, and yet the smallest detail had been carefully considered, shaped by the most eloquent hands." 

Beginning Quote:  "There wasn't any limit, no boundary at all, to the future.  And it would be so a man wouldn't have room to store his happiness." -- John Steinbeck

My comments:  Well.  I'm not really sure what I thought of this book.  At times I was incredibly bored.  At other times I was incredibly pissed. Good books get strong reactions, but what is a good book?  Good plot?  Strong reaction to the plot?  Good characterization?  Beautiful words?  I think every reader has his/her own trigger, and this book helped me think about mine.  Story...a bit tedious, ending rushed.  Writing...okay, I guess. Strong characterization...lacking.  But does it make me think? You betcha!  I'll probably remember it for a long while.  But I can't say, for me, that it was a great book....  (Mae Holland is one of the most unlikeable protagonists I've "met" in a long time....)

Goodreads Review:  When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users’ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company’s modernity and activity. There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO. Mae can’t believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in America—even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge.

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