I downloaded The Circle because of the movie trailer – it looked fascinating. And I always try to read the book first!
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.
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. – Goodreads
Anxiety. That’s the biggest thing that comes to mind about my experience with this book – anxiety. Mae’s new Circle world was full of online activity and stimuli, and I just couldn’t handle it. She was overloaded with newsfeeds, message threads, online events and conversations – and she handled it perfectly fine. But man, did it ever stress me out! I can barely keep up with Instagram and Facebook.
There were no individual chapters and the ending was unsettling – I had a lot of questions after I finished it. The characters felt a bit two dimensional, but I kind of think that was the point. This book is a fable about the dangers of overdoing it online and the limits of privacy – the characters were there just to help tell that fable. As for the movie – I’m not sure if I want to see it. I’d rather not feel that anxious over a piece of fiction again.