• The Circle

  • By: Dave Eggers
  • Narrated by: Dion Graham
  • Length: 13 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 06-03-14
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Whole Story Audiobooks
  • 4 out of 5 stars 3.9 (729 ratings)

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
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Critic reviews

"Tremendous. Inventive, big hearted and very funny. Prepare to be addicted" ( Daily Mail)
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Regular price: £26.09

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Kaggy on 16-08-15

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.

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30 of 32 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Angus on 04-11-14

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.

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33 of 36 people found this review helpful

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