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Books

Book review

‘The Circle’ by Dave Eggers

When I finished reading Dave Eggers’s chilling and caustic novel, “The Circle,” I felt like disconnecting from all my online devices and retreating for a while into an unplugged world. I gather that’s what he had in mind.

Eggers displayed a scrappy ironic side in “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius,” his 2000 memoir about raising his younger brother after their parents died of cancer. He has written with finesse and empathy from the perspective of a “Lost Boy” forced to fight in Sudan’s civil war (“What Is the What,” 2006), a Syrian businessman caught up in a post-Katrina nightmare (“Zeitoun,” 2009), and a failing American salesman suspended in a desert limbo, hoping to cut a deal with a Saudi monarch (“A Hologram for the King,” 2012). “The Circle” is his most satiric work, with shades of Orwell, Swift, Voltaire, even Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,’’ in his dark vision of an insatiable Internet monopoly that breaches the barrier between public and private.

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