This is a series of reviews of my favorite books published between 2010 and 2019.
The Circle by Dave Eggers (2013)
The Circle refers to a fictional company that is quite obviously an amalgam of Google and Facebook. The book is a dystopian view of a near future, a nightmarish outcome of current trends like living our lives via social networks and the resulting monetization of our every share, the loss of privacy and, ultimately, loss of freedom.
While Eggers’s symbolism becomes quite heavy-handed, this is a chilling, sinister book that made me immediately want to disconnect my Facebook account. It was also an exciting book to read because it depicts the world we are living in right now. The issues that it raises are issues we should all be thinking about and debating, and the point The Circle makes is that people have a tendency to accept what is new and exciting and convenient without really questioning the unintended consequences.
At its essence, I think The Circle is about indoctrination into a cult, how people can easily be persuaded that giving up fundamental freedoms is actually a good and necessary thing. Except in this case, the cult is global.
I’m not going to call The Circle great literature. But I think it is a thought-provoking read.