The Picky Bookworm

"Books are a uniquely portable magic." –Stephen King

The Book

Author: Dave Eggers

Publisher: Vintage Books, 2014

Where you can find it: Amazon, Paperback available for $8.69

Mae, the main character, gets a job at a new social media company: The Circle. Mae can’t believe her good luck. Some people, however, are a little cynical about her experience, because The Circle has been going through some issues about being a monopoly. “Circlers” can pay their online shopping bill through The Circle, they can vote through the Circle, and most people who work there have opted to live in dorm rooms on campus. 

What I Liked

The basic premise is nice, and the story is OK. I like the dialogue, and the descriptions of the Circle campus are wonderful. I actually think I would like working there. Mae works in CE, or Customer Experience, and she basically gets to play on social media all day.

What I didn’t Like

The book took a bit to get going, and Mae strikes me as a bit of a bitch. The story doesn’t seem very empowering to anyone. Mae seems to be a bitch because I feel like she’s being brainwashed. Maybe she is. As much as I would love a job to play on social media all day, I wouldn’t want a job that attempted to run my life. Mae gets in trouble several times for going to see her family instead of “participating in community life” at the Circle. When she explains why she didn’t go to certain events, she is manipulated into apologizing for not participating, even though her father has MS and probably won’t be around much longer. The story makes The Circle sound almost like a cult.

The Movie

Where you can find it: Amazon, DVD for $12.99

Mae, daughter, friend and waterworks employee, gets a coveted job offer to join The Circle. The Circle is a new social media company, that gives the impression of trying to take over every form of communication. Emma Watson & Karen Gillan give wonderful performances. We even get to see Tom Hanks!

What I Liked

Emma’s performance was wonderful. Mae wasn’t as big of a bitch in the movie as in the book. She seemed more like a dewy eyed child playing with a new toy. The movie is much more empowering in some aspects, because Mae doesn’t seem to just swallow everything she’s fed. She forms her own opinions, and follows her own path.

What I didn’t Like

The movie takes a bit to get going. Mae in the book has a relationship with two separate people at the Circle, and the movie took those two people and merged them into one. I think seeing the conflict between Mae and the view she’s trying to show the world would have been better told by the conflict between who she is with one person, and who she is with the other.

Comparison

What they have in common

Both movie and book tell the story, just in two very different ways. The makers of the movie took out quite a bit of what I would consider imperative to the story.

What they don’t have in common

The movie doesn’t give as much detail into Mae’s life at the circle as the book does. In the book, Mae and Mercer are exes, and Mae dislikes him intensely. In the movie, they are good friends who simply happen to disagree on The Circle’s motives.

Which one I liked better

I can’t say I really liked or disliked one over the other. They each have pros and cons, so I think a tie between the two is in order. I did give the movie a better rating, to account for excellent casting.

Rating

Final Star Rating for Book: 4 Stars. I would recommend this book, but not to everyone. Please exercise caution if you don’t enjoy sex or cuss words in your books. I would recommend the book to a select few. The book does give explicit descriptions to some of Mae’s sexual exploits, and even refers to them later in the book. People who don’t like this should stay away from this book. Watch the movie instead. If those things don’t offend you, the book is very good.

Final Star Rating for Movie: 4.5 stars. Again, this movie takes a bit to get going, but the casting is excellent, and it doesn’t have some of the less savory aspects that are in the book. Emma Watson, Karen Gillan and Tom Hanks give wonderful performances. The story is well told, if it does take a bit to get going.

Conclusion

Again, I don’t know that I could rate one over the other, my half star notwithstanding, but both have pros and both have cons. If you don’t like the cons in the book, the movie doesn’t have them. 

What did you think of the book? Have you read it? Have you seen the movie? What did you like about it? Let me know in the comments below!

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One thought on “Book vs. Movie: THE CIRCLE

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