Original title: The Circle
Publisher: various formats
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. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company’s modernity and activity. There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO. 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.
I read this book for book group. It has been buzzing around for 2 years now because the topic is very relevant. Privacy and the internet. The story is very solid and realistic though I have a hard time believing this amount of people would fall for the way The Circle works. Or at least I hope with the number of posts against sharing on Facebook. Still it is important people realize how much privacy they give up on the internet.
I did not like Mae. She is blinded by the whole concept and the way she is treating her parents and friends is wrong. I felt the author put her in a bad looking position on purpose and I did not like it. She was really unlikeable and annoying. The decisions she made did not make sense.
The discussion we had in the book group about this book was interesting though. The book failed to really scare me as there are many points in this book that are real already. People not realizing what they put on the internet and the influence. A few other people mentioned the book made them really uncomfortable. The idea that computers and the internet will rule the world. I think that was the most interesting thing about the book.