Book to Screen: The Circle Adaptation


Was the circle adaptation as good as the book?

The Circle by Dave Eggers is a funny and yet creepy novel that sheds light on our internet obsessed society. Imagine a world with no privacy, where not-sharing your every moment is considered strange, and smiles, frowns and unicorn emojis can change government policy. The Circle illuminates our current mentality and shows how we are walking the line into totalitarianism. A great read that was enjoyable and enlightening, I was very interested to see how The Circle adaptation would tackle these issues.

I was not disappointed. Tom Hanks in a Steve Jobs type role was wonderful. He pushed for policy reform in ways that had a cult following in the world at large. This man made sending frowns to a dictator a serious form of protest. Obsessed with knowing it all in the name of making money, while disguising his interest as helping humankind, his character was perfect.  Emma Watson as the newbie, Mae, was a little lackluster compared to her character in the book however. While at The Circle, she drank the Kool-Aid 100% the more she became involved.  She truly believed it would benefit everyone and fix society.

Mae is a rising star at new company, but what was lacking from the book was the complete craziness that she had to go through in order to attain that goal. Eggers wrote about, likes and zings and smiles and party scores. The great lengths that Mae had to go to in the book, were hysterical and mind boggling, but other than one scene in the movie, that humor was lost a bit.  On the other hand, the added depth into her parents home life was quite enjoyable.

First of all, I know it’s all people like you. And that’s what’s so scary.Individually you don’t know what you’re doing collectively. – Dave Eggers, The Circle

The ending of the movie was also a complete departure from the book. I actually like where the writers went with it, making it more dramatic but also more comprehensive. I had finished the book shaking my head in disappointment at Mae. That feeling was still there but, the journey to the ending was actually clever and fitting. 

If you liked The Social Network, you are gonna like this movie (and the book.) It’s funny, it’s dark, and maybe a little too close to home but there is a lesson buried in there that we all very much need to hear.

Book to Screen: The Circle AdaptationThe Circle by Dave Eggers
Published by Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group on October 8th 2013
Genres: Fiction, Literary, Thrillers, Technological, Dystopian
Pages: 504
Buy on Amazon

Now a Major Motion Picture starring Emma Watson and Tom Hanks. A bestselling dystopian novel that tackles surveillance, privacy and the frightening intrusions of technology in our lives.

When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users’ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company’s modernity and activity. There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO. Mae can’t believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in the world—even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge.

The circle book to screen adaptation: a little too close to reality.