Hello! Welcome to my little corner of the universe. Join me as I make my way through my infinite reading list one page at a time.
I'm sure we're all familiar with the cautionary tale of the boiling frog, the idea being that if a frog is placed in boiling water, it will jump out, but if it is placed in cold water that is slowly heated, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death.
In The Circle by Dave Eggers, Mae Holland is the metaphorical frog. A recent college graduate, she is thrilled to land a job at The Circle, a renowned technology company reminiscent of Google. The sprawling campus, with its hotel-like dorms, restaurants, organized activities, free healthcare, and access to amazingly advanced technology, makes The Circle seem like a utopia. Come on in, the water's fine! As the story unfolds, one fabulous, cutting-edge technology after another is introduced, the water in the pot begins to bubble and the insidious nature of The Circle is revealed. Mae, relishing her rising status within the company and its worldwide social network, happily accepts each new layer, and soon becomes the oblivious frog engulfed in the boiling water. Will she come to her senses and jump out of the pot, or will she continue to tread the cozy, warm water until it leads to her demise?
I burned through The Circle like wildfire. As I was marking my progress midway through, I realized that nothing substantial had happened in 273 pages, but I didn't even care. This fictional world that Eggers builds is fascinating, most likely because it essentially mirrors our own, and it had me hooked. The plot gradually begins to bubble and before long you realize that the story is suddenly at a raging boil. On another level, you, the reader, have become the boiling frog and didn't know it. I found The Circle entertaining, and even a bit eye-opening in regard to the role technology and social media plays in my own life and in society in general, so I give it four stars. I smell a movie on the horizon.