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The Circle Audiobook

The Circle

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Publisher's Summary

When Mae 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. Mae can't believe her great fortune to work for them - 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...

©2013 Dave Eggers (P)2013 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"Tremendous. Inventive, big hearted and very funny. Prepare to be addicted" (Daily Mail)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (59 )
5 star
 (13)
4 star
 (24)
3 star
 (13)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (5)
Overall
3.4 (52 )
5 star
 (10)
4 star
 (19)
3 star
 (10)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (6)
Story
4.0 (51 )
5 star
 (22)
4 star
 (15)
3 star
 (9)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
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  •  
    Jennifer Hamilton 13/07/2016 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Eerily close to the future"

    The high tech future is inevitable. With these advances also come great responsibility. Fascinating story.

    The BEST narrator ever!!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Perth, Australia 06/03/2017
    Amazon Customer Perth, Australia 06/03/2017 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    38
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "People don't actually behave like this"

    The Circle is a thinly disguised critique of internet companies like Google and Apple and the adulation they inspire. However it is continually annoying to read because the main character Mae constantly fails to stand up for herself or exhibit any normal human reactions. Most of the other characters are obsessed by the concept of complete openness and no-one except for Mae's parents, her ex-boyfriend and one other main character value their privacy. Everyone else is like no-one you have ever met. Furthermore, the trolls that infest the internet don't seem to exist in this world. Customer service is consistently rated at over 95% and smiles outweigh frowns by a huge amount. Dave Eggers has created a world with a certain type of human in it to make a fairly sledgehammer point. Therefore he hasn't had to deal with the complexities of real humans. For that reason, I found the book ultimately unsatisfying. It is just too artificial.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    F 12/12/2016
    F 12/12/2016 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    8
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The female leads are so disappointing"

    The story is a well trodden group of ideas. Privacy, control, cults and power. It's been better done in other novels. The opening is interesting and the idea of the overall powerful internet company is ok.
    The infuriating aspect are the two female leads, they are sketched out as been smart, intelligent and good at their jobs. The main character Mae is impossibly good at her job. She's like a machine.
    Yet neither has any crucial thought, like nil. It is so disappointing. They make choices that no one would consider normal.
    There is zero opposition to this company and Mae. The few characters that do kind of stand up are quickly killed off. It seems everyone in the world has joined the mob rule and no one founds that weird.
    This could have been a good solid story, instead the female leads have as much depth as a puddle of water. They quickly become these ego centric mad women. I seriously doubt you will be liking any of the characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Japheth 23/10/2016
    Japheth 23/10/2016 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    2
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Thought provoking"

    An enjoyable thought experiment on the extent of technology's involvement in our lives. Likeable characters and a setting that's just close enough to reality.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Darlington, Australia 17/04/2015
    Amazon Customer Darlington, Australia 17/04/2015 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Dislikeable"

    This book was compulsive listening but ultimately made me feel I'd been wasting my time. The ideas were provocative - a future with no privacy and the consequences of monopolies but the characters were unbelievable and uninteresting -especially the main character who hovers between being damaged and just damn stupid. A more skilful writer could have made a satire out of the material.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Kaggy
    United Kingdom
    16/08/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Internet bad guys - so uncool!"

    This is a rollicking yarn masquerading as a dystopian vision of the future. Given the subject matter I shouldn't be too surprised that this is filled with cheesy characters telling each other how 'awesome' they are and that being thirty was 'like really old!' I did however enjoy hating the Circle with every ounce of my soul and cheering on the rebel characters. Mae is a chillingly dim heroine, but surely there is purpose in this, given the things she gets up to.

    The reader did make some of the characters sound like they came straight out of South Park and this made me wonder if the book was actually meant to be funny.

    Overall this book lacks subtlety but makes it up by being reasonably entertaining and with an almost nail biting ending. I can see this a being quite a good Hollywood film although I am not sure I would queue round the block to see it.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Strawberry jam
    5/03/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One of the most boring books I have read"
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Possibly someone a lot younger, but I really do not know


    What was most disappointing about Dave Eggers’s story?

    Although it looked promising with the idea that the internet could one day completely takeover both our work and private lives, the book was too long and plodding. Thought provoking for a while but then just tedious. I tried manfully to finish it, always hoping something unexpected would happen but just gave up. It is very unusual for me to not finish a book.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Angus
    Birmingham, United Kingdom
    4/11/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Thought provoking but could have been much better"

    The themes in The Circle are interesting, it looks at how a 'Google-esque' company could go about taking over the world, however it is let down through a combination of cardboard characters and a badly structured narrative.

    There are elements in the book that are excellently conceived and quite thought provoking (for example the growing number of screens on Mae's desk, is a simple device, but it works really well) however, whenever it seems as if the book is going to really take-off and become a classic, everything comes to a grinding halt.

    Characters make ridiculous decisions, completely out of character with no explanation as to why (Mae rightly is rightly disgusted by something Francis does, but all this gets forgotten in the blink of an eye), or simply get forgotten about until being crow-barred back in to place for no other reason than plot (the character of Annie is almost omnipresent but disappears for an age and comes back with an inexplicably altered personality).

    The book's pacing is very uneven too, switching between long highly detailed descriptions of the activities of The Circle and brief passages in which major plot are passed over in an instant. An example of the latter is the final plot twist, its consequences and resolution. Without giving anything away, this should be the heart of the book, and could have a featured an in-depth philosophical argument and given a key character a true ethical dilemma. Instead it's crammed (along with a clunky metaphorical scene featuring a tank full of sea-creatures from the deepest parts of the ocean) into the final 20 minutes of the audiobook in a most unsatisfactory way.

    In terms of the audiobook narration, this was fine. Occasionally the narrator would play a line in a way I don't think the author would have intended, but on the whole the performance was good. There would at times be strange pauses in the flow of the narration, this would make you think that a section had finished only to continue a couple of seconds later, which was slightly annoying

    On the whole, The Circle isn't entirely bad, there is a good book trying breakout out - it's just that the poor elements far outweigh the better bits of the book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • P1969
    11/09/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The googlefication of life"
    Would you try another book written by Dave Eggers or narrated by Dion Graham?

    The story is both relevant and interesting: what would life be like if the boundaries between work and life, public and private sphere disappeared to the extent that our existence became entirely "corporate"? The allusions to Orwell and Zamyatin are obvious, and the model for the titular company is clearly the world of Google: all the perks for workers are really means to bind them more tightly into the company and to make them work harder, to google-fy and apple-sync until there is no longer any world outside the corporate universe and all personal freedoms are yielded voluntarily. Technology becomes the new totalitarianism.And yet the story is so predictable (even the twist at the end can be spotted a mile away), and the characters so mediocre that it's actually hard to care about them. One character in particular becomes the kind of mouthpiece for authorial views that even the most rudimentary creative writing workshop (let alone editorial office!) would have told the writer to kill, modify or silence. At times I felt really quite patronised as a reader: I can think for myself, thank you.However, I can't fault the reader's performance: he did manage to make the characters distinct, and giving a voice to the criminally naive female protagonist cannot have been easy. Really well done.


    Would you recommend The Circle to your friends? Why or why not?

    No, I wouldn't. Listening to the last hour was a bit of a chore.


    If this book were a film would you go see it?

    Nope.


    Any additional comments?

    This needed editing to fulfil its potential because there is a really good novel in there. Beats me whether the author was resistant to advice or whether it's now okay to publish plodding and predicable material because your name is already "out there" and people buy the books anyway.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Dan Coleman
    14/07/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "So disappointing"
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    The near future what Google could become was well imagined. The story might appeal to a social media marketing intern provided they have never read a book before.


    What was most disappointing about Dave Eggers’s story?

    The characters were terrible and unbelievable, there was an incredibly clumsy metaphor crowbarred in, and there was a rubbish twist.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    The narrator gave a spirited performance and despite some of his voices sounding like they came from Sesame Street he made the book far more interesting than the material warranted.


    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The circle and the things the company did were well imagined. Shame it was seemingly a company populated by the most retarded people in a planet full of retards.


    Any additional comments?

    A bad story in a good setting is still a bad story.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • john mcgrath
    17/04/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "like Zootopia with dirty bits...only Zootopia was"

    I didn't think I had the talent to be a writer but I do now.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    1/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Shallow and self-absorbed"

    The story of a shallow, 2-dimensional and self-absorbed young woman as she joins the most successful company in the world.
    Utterly forgetful characters, self-important and shallow story with a hurried meaningless ending.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A. G. Richardson
    Orpington, Kent, UK
    30/01/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This is a bit scary...."

    Being open, every one sharing every experience online including your distant relatives. Online all day - exposing yourself and those you work with and your family is good - to complete The Circle...

    I know I'm a bit of a Facebook & Fitbit freak but there are limits to what I want people to know... but not if you are a high flying Circler like May Holland. Soon to be a film with Emma Watson - see another side of Hermione..

    Is this book the possible extreme thinking of major software companies or are we a short step away from total corporate control???

    Looking forward to the film!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Lucas
    24/01/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "How did they green light this as a film?"
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    People who can suspend their basic knowledge of how others think may get something out of this story. But I very much doubt it


    Would you ever listen to anything by Dave Eggers again?

    Unlikely, very unlikely to listen to another Eggers book.


    What aspect of Dion Graham’s performance might you have changed?

    Graham's portrayal of female characters is shockingly bad. He makes them out to be high pitched moany creatures all the time, regardless of the context or setting.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    This book is incredibly disappointing! How did they every think to turn it into a movie with the likes of Emma Watson playing May?


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Judy Corstjens
    20/05/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A very clunky novel"

    Clunky, in the sense that 1984 and Atlas Shrugged are clunky, this is a plodding novel tackling sociology and economics in the digital age. I read it in this spirit - as a discussion of the dilemmas we face with big data and social networks: the advantages of transparency Vs privacy and identifiability Vs anonymity, forcing social responsibility and conformity against the individual's 'right' to stay apart, unmonitored and anti-social. To my mind I ended up more in favour of transparency and forced identification; Eggers seems to land few punches in favour of anonymity, despite trying to warn of some dystopian, digital future.

    Clunky means the characters are made of cardboard and there is virtually no plot. People behave in unlikely ways and believe unlikely things (in my experience, people are much less easy to lead by the nose than Eggers thinks). Eggers also makes the classic errors of a man narrating as a woman: his heroine, May, enjoys, and is keen to repeat, perfunctory (but hugely satisfying) sex in a toilet with a strange man who has failed to give her his name (and turns out to be... oh, I shouldn't spoil things, should I? ). The only clothes described are when May is 'wearing a red silk blouse and black skirt'. Dave, either do some research into how women think or narrate as a man.

    Narration. Professional, appropriately Californian.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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