Book Review: The Circle

The Circle by Dave Eggers

I’m gonna be honest…I read this book SO QUICKLY in anticipation for the movie…and I’m still VERY confused and slightly let down by the story!!

OK so the story is based around the main character: Mae Holland who is a new employee at the technology power house ‘THE CIRCLE’, and goes from ‘guppy’ to member of the top forty most popular/influential people within the company.

At first, the circle sounds like the ULITMATE business to work for! Mae is given access to the best technology (new phones, laptops, tablets) free healthcare, all that good stuff! But as time goes by, the reader discovers that The circle isn’t all as it seems. Over enthusiastic co workers and prying eyes create a dystopian atmosphere around Mae as she happily walks into the trap that is created within the maze of this ‘all inclusive’ big brother style business.

I was so into this story in the first half of the book, it was creepily similar to the world we live in today (technology taking over our lives, everyone knowing everything about us because of social media and basically our online identities taking over and becoming intertwined). And Mae’s complete compliance with it all made me want to climb into the book and give her a good shake to make her see the complete creepiness of it all!!

But descending into the second half the plot became far too chaotic!! And not in a good way (in my opinion!).

I don’t feel like it was rushed, but the way it was written I just feel like the author had no idea how to end it with the intended impact, considering the strong plot and relatable sub plots, the second half was a complete shift in tone, which is a shame, cause I was so hyped in anticipation for the film!

BUT I wouldn’t discourage anyone from reading ‘the circle’ especially if you’re a fan of the dystopian genre.

And my only negative comment about the film is that John Boyega wasn’t given more screen time!!

So if I had to score this book out of ten, I would probably give it a six. It’s the first book I’ve read from Dave Eggers, so perhaps it’s just writings style, I’m definitely not put off and I will read more from him. But this book, unfortunately, did not live up to my expectations.

Where to buy this book:

Amazon

Audible

Waterstones

Foyles

Wordery

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; 01 edition (24 April 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 024114650X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241146507
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.8 x 19.8 cm
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Book Review: Strange Medicine

Strange Medicine by Mike Russell

Mike Russell is back to scramble your brains!! this time with tiny little stories…little pills, if you will, that are truly, truly, truly strange.

Reading this collection of short stories is very much like untying yourself from this world and losing sense of gravity, they all make enough sense to be human, but they mainly twist you upside down and leave you stuck to the ceiling with a confusing feeling in your stomach.

within 141 pages, Mike Russell tells 8 stories that all seem to have their own meaning, I feel that if you decipher them enough they are somewhat a cautionary tale…of what? maybe to step out of the normality? the meaning of the subject is in the eye of the beholder.

What I love about Russell’s writing is how detached it is. The characters describe objects to every inch/measurement, and they converse with a soulless eery conviction which adds to the dystopian, ‘strange-ness’ to the short stories. I feel that the lack of context when it comes to characters and their backstories etc. is intentional, how can something be strange if we know every single detail about it?!

I’m not going to explain every short story in extreme detail, because that would ruin the fun for you!! these stories will shake you up and most likely make you stare at a wall for few minutes thinking ‘what is even real anymore??’ 

So now you’ve read this strange review….go and read Mike Russell’s ‘Strange Medicine’!! I believe no prescription is necessary *wink wink*

Want more strange reads? head on over to strangebooks and take a look at Mike Russell’s other books!! (check out my review for Strungballs here)

Also big shout out to Mike Russell himself for introducing me to Dystopian genre!! i’m making my way through the top classics!! (if anyone feels like sending me Dystopian book recommendations then find me on twitter, or email me!!)

Where to buy this book:

Amazon

Book Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (5 May 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1522945385
  • ISBN-13: 978-1522945383