Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Dave Eggers - The Circle

Dave Eggers' thriller, a futuristic vision of social media and surveillance gone too far:

“'Look at our log,' he said, and pointed to a wall-screen, where, on his cue, the logo appeared. 'See how that 'c' in the middle is open? For years it's bothered me, and it's become symbolic of what's left to do here, which is to close it.' The 'c' on the screen closed and became a perfect circle. 'See that?' he said. 'A circle is the strongest shape in the universe. Nothing can beat it, nothing can improve upon it, nothing can be more perfect. And that's what we want to be: perfect. So any information that eludes us, anything that's not accessible, prevents us from being perfect. You see?'” (p.287)

“'Secrets are the enablers of antisocial, immoral and destructive behavior.'"(p.289)

SPOILER ALERT (following contains major plot point)

“Now another voice,this one a woman's and laughing, boomed from the third drone: 'Mercer, submit to us! Submit to our will! Be our friend!' Mercer turned his truck toward the drone, as if intending to ram it, but it adjusted its trajectory automatically and mimicked his movement, staying directly in sync. 'You can't escape, Mercer!' the woman's voice bellowed. 'Never, ever, ever. It's over. Now give up. Be our friend!' This last entreaty was rendered in a child's whine, and the woman transmitting through the electronic speaker laughed at its strangeness, this nasal entreaty emanating from a dull black drone. The audience was cheering, and the comments were piling up, a number of watchers saying this was the greatest viewing experience of their lives.
And while the cheers were growing louder, Mae saw something come over Mercer's face, something like determination, something like serenity. His right arm spun the steering wheel, and he disappeared from the view of drones, temporarily at least, and when they regained their lock on him, his truck was crossing the highway, speeding toward its concrete barrier, so fast that it was impossible that it could hold him back...”(461)

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