Nevertheless, the story in itself is not so convincing. In fact, the plot is in parts so unimportant to the bigger picture, that it took me a really long time to figure out, what the plot was. This is because primarly The Circle doesn't tell a story but a movement, a trend, a state.
What it's about
Through help of a friend, Mae receives a job at the successful company The Circle. She works in the customer service department, or how it's calles at The Cirle: customer experience.
What does The Circle do? The question is rather: What doessn't it do? The Circle is a social network like Facebook but the employees work on projects in all kinds of areas: technology, entertainment, biology, psychology, safety, science, etc. They use the technical revolution to f.e. prevent child kidnapping, to explore deep sea fish, to catch criminals, and much more.
In the beginning Mae finds it hard to keep up with the pressure of being socially active all the time. Because everything is graded and published, not only her successes at work, but also her Parti Rank, which shows how active she is within Social Media. But soon Mae turns into one of the most active employees and into the face of The Circle.
Wow, what a book! The most fascinating thing about it is that we see everything through Mae's point of view, who's a bit naive but all in all has a positive attitude towards The Cicle. There's no moral message, The Circle is not condemned. As readers, all we can do is observe and form our own opinion. That's why The Circle is not a dystopian novel. It doesn't show the pitfalls of society, there's no protest, no revolution. It's more of a prophecy.
That's why I found the book really upsetting. It was emotionally tough for me to read it, most of all because I could find our society in The Circle and myself in Mae. The book was in a hidden way disturbing, so much that I could only manage to read a couple of pages at once and that I even dreamed of it. Because it's actually not so easy to form an opinion. Some of The Circle's projects make a lot of sense (sometimes when I hear about crimes in the news, I think, this wouldn't happen in The Circle), but on the other hand, I had a growing feeling of unease while reading the book. The pressure to always be socially active is vast, so much that as a reader we come, at the side of the characters, close to a mental breakdown. And the surveillance it shows is unnerving.
Dave Eggers combines our society with a possible future and with ideas and concepts, so well that we start to forget what's right and wrong and see the world through a new point of view.
When I had only 30 pages left to read, I waited for two weeks to read them because I just wasn't emotionally ready to read it. I don't want to spoil the ending but I can say that the book was not what I expected and the story didn't develop the way other authors would develop it. Nevertheless, in my opinion the story is consequent and logical and most of all realistic.