Dave Eggers's 'The Circle,' Part 2: Discuss


There are a lot of major plot developments in part two of the book: Mae learns more of what is expected of her in her job at The Circle -- the short answer is that they want more of everything, all of the time. Her competitive spirit takes up the challenge happily.

On the relationship front, of course, things are quite complicated. It seems like some at The Circle are probably jealous of Mae's closeness to Annie; Mae's relationship with Francis is... sort of gross, in addition to reminding Mae of the dangers of The Circle's openness; and then there's Kalden.

Kalden is not only mysterious, it's clear he's not into whatever is going on at The Circle... so why is he there? What is he doing there? He clearly has the credentials to be there so... what's going on?

Eggers has said he started working on the book about three years ago -- and that's just about the time there was a lot of uproar in the tech world about things like Facebook's Open Graph searching, scrobbling, and the idea of 'one true' identity bringing civility back to the internet. Plenty of people argued against those ideas, but one of the most famous, outlandish quotes from that era (a little earlier even) came courtesy of Google's Eric Schmidt, who famously told a reporter, "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place." This book seems heavily influenced by that time and place when everyone was abuzz with the possibilities of stripping the thin layer of anonymity that we still have from the internet.


The Circle was featured on our Fall Reading List.
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