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Friday, December 15, 2017

The Circle - Dave Eggers

When Annie first offers Mae a job at the technology giant, The Circle, Mae turns it down at first. But after she grows tired of her dead end job and horrible boss, she decides to take the offer.

"Customer Experience" is easy for Mae, but when she finds being social both on campus and online somewhat challenging at first. Her loyalty to the company is questioned when she disappears for a weekend to care for her family, but when it's revealed the company can get her parents on much needed medical coverage, Mae quickly changes her attitude. Wooed by campus culture and tantalized by a mysterious lover who comes and goes unbidden, Mae sinks deeper into isolation from the real world.

As Mae's status grows in the company and she rises in popularity on social media, she abandons her old life and her humanity.

While I enjoyed the story and seeing how far the CEOs of The Circle were willing to go to complete their vision, I found Mae to be an extremely bland character. With the novel being written in third person limited there should have been more internal conflict and personal revelation in the narrative.

The Circle illustrates how some people may be easily led, while others will resist until the end. Worth reading for political and social commentary, but not for character development.

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