The Circle Book Review
Dave Egger's The Circle follows college graduate Mae and her job at the prestigious technology company called the Circle. The Circle prides itself on using its technology to connect everyone and everything to one network. It's three founders (alternately called the Three Wise Men) make sure new innovations allow the Circle to reach further areas around the world. Mae will soon find out if its possible for her to choose between what is best for everyone and the Circle. The future rests on her shoulders.
First and foremost, the focus of the novel is technology. The technology featured is futuristic and pictured in a way that is inviting. It is really nice to read about small self-powered portable cameras with HD outputs. Bracelets that can measure the vital signs of a person just by touching the skin. Ingestible trackers that can track a person in any given moment. Social media applications which connects everyone under one network. If you're a technology junkie, then the book will immediately grab your attention. But, don't expect too much detail of how everything works.
The book becomes a chore during the second and last section of the novel. As a character, Mae Holland is overly compliant. This allows her dialogue and interactions with other characters later on to become repetitive. The underlying subplot is started but never fully realized. While reading I wanted something exciting to happen but the book doesn't move away from its own status-quo of technology talk and compliancy. There are hints at an uprising, but it's never fully realized.
Overall, during its opening moments the Circle is a fun read. Mae's best friend Annie is a joy and the technology presented at first is enjoyable to imagine. However, any excitement that is had drips away as the novel focuses more on Mae's relations with the Circle. Interesting characters are introduced and suddenly disappear. There is zero suspense and the novel isn't concerned with creating an antagonist. Anything remotely thrilling, is short lived and too late. In the end, the book rushes to its conclusion in its final hour while loosely wrapping up its story. I would only recommend this book to someone who's willing to read a lengthy novel with its main focus being technology and underlying message of morality.