The book is about a young woman who joins a technology company, and cannot believe her good fortune to do so. The Campus is big and bright where they work, and many live there. There are social events and visiting musicians or speakers on a daily basis. They have many screens in order to be able to communicate via various networks like Zing which is akin to Twitter. There is no real reason to leave the campus, and it is frowned upon if you do. So many do not. Sounds familiar?
Mae is competitive and well meaning. She quickly assimilates the ideas of the Circle and makes them her own, lives them and adds to them. The Circle is involved in every-bodies online lives, and reaching to make more of the off-line life, online. They have cameras everywhere that cannot be seen by the public. They are digitalising all public and private records. They are basically all encompassing.
How the circle develops is probably inevitable, and definitely scary. A lot of people have reviewed this book, and many found it wanting in terms of depth of character or originality of ideas. Maybe that is fair criticism, I know that I too could not believe that the Mae character would really behave as she did in many cases. On the other hand, I have seen how young people will put their life and soul into a company in order to succeed, and the companies will let them. That is what Mae did, and she lost herself in the process even though she thought she was finding herself.
I found it an addictive read, and I can recommend it as a good read. It is not a best seller for nothing.
if you want to read some other reviews, far better written that this one, check it out on Good reads