Reading: The Circle (Eggers, Dave)


The Film above (and the book ) are both pretty faithful to eachother

I First read this book in the wake of the Snowden leaks in 2004, discovering it via the guardian article (Forget Orwell and Huxley – Dave Eggers has seen the future) and its about some perty heavy things, like how social media is making us complicent in our own surveillance (and the book has only become more true with facebook CEO  Mark Zuckerberg wanting to run for elected office)

The Main point of the book is, that A) the internet gives us a false sense of connection with others (and its something I think we all suffer from)      B) We are so guarding of our privacy, because privacy allows us to be who we are, but we make who we are public, is that not also us, and by hiding that are we not lying to others? Its a main plank of the book and its quite powerful, but it takes a dark turn, because with evryone watching us, how can we be who we are? (Take that NSA) 

The book ends on the dark note, of the all seeing organisation, that we have all joined up too (which is probably why I try and use FACEBOOK less than I did before I read this) and shows how that can go wrong for all of us. (because in the end a society that is seen and wahced by everyone, enforcing their internal and external cultural norms on one anothers is one that can never change or evolve. The book cleverly uses a line about how no one would be scared to come out (LGBT) if everything was open, its god because evryone would be afraid to come out about everything if everything was open as no one would want to break a cultural norm, and thus we would all be closed)

The Circle is an evolution of classics like 1984 and Brave New world, just re-imposed on our society, and although that can be a lazy and popular trope, it works really well here, Just because you can see the roots of something in something  else (i’m looking at ‘WE’ by Yevgeny Zamyatin here) doesn’t mean it cant stand up and fight for itself.


Links to Other books: (CANCER WARD ~  Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn )

‘If only living in a hovel was my only problem!’ she said. ‘The trouble is, my boy’s growing up, he’s clever and he asks about everything. How ought I to bring him up? Should I burden him with the whole truth? The truth’s enough to sink a grown man, isn’t it? It’s enough to break your ribs. Or should I hide the truth and bring him to terms with life? Is that the right way? What would his father say? And would I succeed? After all, the boy’s got eyes of his own, he can see.’ ‘Burden him with the truth!’ declared Oleg



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.