“You know how you finish a bag of chips and you hate yourself? You know you’ve done nothing good for yourself. That’s the same feeling, and you know it is, after some digital binge. You feel wasted and hollow and diminished.” Dave Eggers, The Circle
So this is a book that I hadn’t heard about until I watched the trailer and so I formed my opinions of the book based on the trailer. Maybe that’s dumb but how else would I have any idea? Regardless of the genius of that plan, I went into the book with an idea that this big tech company was trying to take over the world and Emma Watson was going to stop it from the inside. I thought she was trying to avoid becoming brainwashed like the others in the group, again, just based on how the trailer looked and was cut together.
But that was wrong. Very wrong.
First off, Emma Watson’s character is named Mae, the narrator of the story and whose eyes we see through the whole time. But she’s not the savior that I was expecting her to be. In fact, she’s the opposite. While reading the book, you could see how she was getting more and more brainwashed as the story went on. I kept waiting on her to have a moment where she realized what was happening and snapped out of it but…. I guess I’m still waiting. Not only does she definitely not snap out of it, but you see everyone in her life start falling apart around her: Annie ends up in the hospital in a coma from stress, her parents and ex-boyfriend/friend quit talking to her, and the world becomes more and more reliant and required to be involved with the Circle.
Also, she’s kind of a slut. She has some sort of sexual relationship with two different guys in the book and talks about her ex-boyfriend and their relationship for a bit as well. And the book is pretty graphic during the sex scenes. Just a heads up.
I don’t know if it is genius or not, but we didn’t follow the hero of the story. There’s really not a hero, honestly. We just watch as this girl goes from kayaking and relaxing to spending every second connected to some form of a screen. We see this in the evolution of her work space as she goes from one screen and ultimately ends up with nine to track different feeds and chat groups. We also see how the world operates on a “RIGHT NOW” mentality because people are almost required to respond in seconds or risk offending others.
Since all I have to compare this to at this time is the trailer, I am just worried that there are a lot of parts that are going to be changed or missing if we are going to make Emma Watson the hero of the story instead of the Lillian.
The story behind this book is quite clear: If we aren’t consciously aware, we could let tech companies take over the world and technological advances consume our lives. I don’t know that following the person we did was the best way, especially with that bizarre ending, but I know I will remember it. I’m not sure that I will recommend this book to make people but I am interested in what they do with the movie.