cover image The Circle

The Circle

Dave Eggers, read by Dion Graham. Random House Audio, unabridged, 11 CDs, 13.75 hrs., $45 ISBN 978-0-8041-9116-6

When 20-something Mae Holland is recruited to work at the Circle, a sort of social network on steroids that consolidates its users’ various online identities (personal e-mail, social media, financial services), she’s thrilled at the company’s grand modernity and cutting-edge aesthetic. She delights in the Circle’s exuberance and the grand fetes it throws. But as her role in the company becomes increasingly public, she becomes increasingly wary of the Circle’s role in the lives of Americans. An encounter with Kalden, a shadowy figure who issues ominous pronouncements about the Circle’s contribution to a dystopia, further dampens Mae’s enthusiasm. Dion Graham provides inventive narration in this audio edition—capturing Mae’s breathless enthusiasm at landing the job. Graham also cleanly differentiates between characters, and provides them with simple but unique voices. Despite the longtime audio partnership between Graham and Eggers—the former read A Hologram for the King and A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius—the narrator seems an odd choice for this title given its female protagonist. Graham has a deep, masculine voice—and at times it can be incongruous to hear him approximate the gasps and anxieties of a young woman. A Knopf hardcover. (Oct.)