Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Circle

What is the goal of the social media? What is the endgame?

Set not too many years into the future this novel talks about the massive social media organisation known as The Circle. It has swallowed Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and Amazon. People no longer tweet, they zing.

And the talk is of completing the circle. Becoming transparent so everyone can see everything you are doing 24/7 apart from comfort breaks.

People who don't want to share, wish to stay hidden, are treated with suspicion. Even hounded.

Mae starts work with the Circle and soon becomes a key employee, sharing her ideas and indeed her life with millions of followers.

Total transparency will eliminate crime. It will enable people to exercise their right to vote knowing everything about each candidate, for a candidate who is not transparent will be treated with suspicion. It will help us find anyone with anything to hide. It will bring us all closer together and stop wars. Won't it?

Even illness seems to be a thing of the past as the Circle's massive turnover enables bang up-to-date treatments for employees who become unwell. And their families, Mae discovers.

This is utopia isn't it? Well?

The book is a thriller and a page-turner but is also a slow reveal. Is there bad in here somewhere? Is someone trying to tell Mae about a sinister flip-side? And will she listen?

I loved this book but also need to think about it a lot. You must read it.


Anonymous said...

I have it, and it joins the queue. Sounds alot like revelations though, I have read that over and over and over...

Jenny Holmes said...

I have just finished reading Shaun's copy. Really enjoyed it and have been pondering it since finishing and spotting where we are in the real world heading in that direction. I was particularly struck by the way that transparency is sold to with all the benefits it brings, but The Circle ignored the costs of it. I guess the question for us and society is whether the costs of the move towards transparency are too great and whether we want to live in that type of society. Questioning and considering it all is important, otherwise it may happen without us ever really choosing it

St said...

Agreed Jenny. Book was full of insight and challenging questions. I loved the scene where the brother was trying to escape and was camera-chased (although not the outcome).