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the circleTitle: The Circle

Author: Dave Eggers

Publisher/Edition: First Vintage Open-Market Edition (May 2014)

Pages: 497p

Bought at: Periplus Soekarno Hatta Airport (IDR 98k)

Mae Holland is very excited when she was hired to work for the Circle, the largest, most powerful internet company in the world. Not only that, she finds out that the Circle has the most fascinating workplace ever: huge campus with lots of entertainment, cool people doing cool stuff, and high technology workspace.

Mae starts as a consumer experience staff and she thrives there, making her one of the most valuable employees in the Circle. Meanwhile, Mae also thinks about her priorities. What seemed to be the most important things in her life (family, her dad who has multiple sclerosis, her kayaking hobby), turns out not so important anymore.

Now Mae has to dedicate herself more in the online world- creating networks as large as the world, posting her activities in social media, even sharing her thoughts, opinions, and life in general to the public. Because in the Circle, sharing is caring and privacy is theft.

But is it possible to share all your life without holding a secret? Is it really how the future should be? Where no boundaries between people and everyone else, and internet becomes so powerful it feels you don’t live in real world anymore.

The Circle is a thought provoking book, a page turner that guarantees you to force your eyes open at night just to know how the ending will be. Yes, the characters (including the main character, Mae) are quite one dimensional, a bit flat and sometimes you can’t relate to them well. And some of the conversations are too absurd even among the tech people.

But the plot itself is very engaging and real. Semi science fiction, semi dystopian and semi realistic story (people said The Circle was inspired by Google), Dave Eggers successfully engaged the readers until the end, and even made me forget some loopholes here and there.

The twist is not that surprising, and even though this book tries to become a thriller, it lacks of the real mystery and thrills. What makes this book a thriller is actually the feeling that it would be possible to happen in our world. When internet dominates the world and we would be just a bunch of names in the online world. Scary, huh?