Summary of The Circle

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The Circle book summary


7 Overall

7 Importance

7 Innovation

8 Style


In this dystopian novel, Dave Eggers – author of A Heart-Breaking Work of Staggering Genius – imagines a world where people gladly trade their privacy for convenience and connection. A giant Internet corporation known as “the Circle” mines consumer data, floods the world with tiny cameras, compels politicians to broadcast their entire lives in the name of transparency and intends to install tracking chips in children. The leaders of the Circle believe that a world without privacy or secrets will be free of crime, corruption and human rights abuses. To achieve this utopia, these executives believe, the Circle must control all information. Eggers made his name as a post-modernist, but here his prose proves straightforward and conventional. His weak link is characterization: The protagonist is as exasperatingly malleable as a horror-movie damsel, the corporate managers are cartoonish and the off-the-grid antagonist speaks in manifestos. Despite this flaw, getAbstract recommends this futuristic parable for its vivid vision of a terrifying, techno-world with no privacy. Savvy cynics might even find a business idea or two in its pages.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How, in this scenario, modern technology could eliminate privacy; and
  • Why people might willingly trade privacy for convenience and community.

About the Author

Dave Eggers, founder of McSweeney’s Publishing, wrote the award-winning A Heart-Breaking Work of Staggering Genius and the National Book Award finalist, A Hologram for the King.



A New World
Mae Holland reveled in her good fortune at starting a job at “the Circle”: the world’s hippest, hottest Internet company. Its California campus was a sprawling wonderland of glass and steel, rolling lawns, tennis courts, a gym and a yoga room. She got the job with the help...

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