Feature

Novel of the week: The Circle by Dave Eggers

The ever more versatile Dave Eggers has delivered a new-era 1984.

(Knopf, $28)

“We have met Big Brother, and he is us,” said Lev Grossman in Time. In his sixth novel, the ever more versatile Dave Eggers “has set his style and pace to techno thriller” and delivered a new-era 1984 that’s all about the way we are surrendering our privacy and freedom to our Internet addictions. The story follows Mae, a new hire at a Google-like corporation who, like every character around her, is presented with “a calculated shallowness that’s almost Grisham-esque.” This is a message novel, and Eggers “has no time for literary foolery.” The message, though, “is as subtle as a sponsored tweet,” said Ron Charles in The Washington Post. We know where this story is heading long before Mae puts aside her concerns and helps her company achieve total access to every citizen’s every thought and movement. Then again, who can afford subtlety these days? The Circle “may just be fast enough, witty enough, and troubling enough” to wake us from our Web-induced stupor.

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