Book Review: The Every

This is a work of fiction. Nothing described herein actually happened, though much of it likely will. At that point, this will be a work of non-fiction.

Dave Eggers ~The Every

Synopsis

When the world’s largest search engine/social media company, the Circle, merges with the planet’s dominant ecommerce site, it creates the richest and most dangerous – and, oddly enough, most beloved – monopoly ever known: the Every.

Delaney Wells is an unlikely new hire at the Every. A former forest ranger and unwavering tech sceptic, she charms her way into an entry-level job with one goal in mind: to take down the company from within. With her compatriot, the not-at-all-ambitious Wes Makazian, they look for the Every’s weaknesses, hoping to free humanity from all-encompassing surveillance and the emoji-driven infantilisation of the species.

But does anyone want what Delaney is fighting to save? Does humanity truly want to be free?

Review

I love dystopian books. The idea of what the world could become if a situation changes is fascinating and scary. However, sometimes these books hit a little too close to home…

The Every is one of those.

We all share so much information online. Fitness trackers, social media… in fact very few of us lack some form of digital footprint.

But when is it too much?

Set in the near future, topics discussed in The Every – from the use of facial recognition to determine true friendship, to being reprimanded for saying ‘like’ – feel as if they could easily happen in the next few years

An amalgamation of a fictitious Facebook and Amazon (plus others), The Every controls everything. Each employee is mandated to share when a colleague upsets them, how a colleague could improve… they’re monitored continuously at work, watched as they wash their hands and expected to share a certain amount of photos & videos on social media… it’s frightening!

Delaney has managed to overcome the intense interview process to be hired by The Every. However, her plan is to bring it down from the inside… but the more ridiculous her ideas, the more The Every love her!

The ideas are feasible and you can understand the rationale of people feeling safer when constantly monitored, but it is disturbing that people feel the need to share everything with everyone.

Initially gripping, the book does feel too long and the pace slows somewhat in the middle. Conversely, the ending is rushed with a resolution that feels disappointing.

Clever and well-written, it is enjoyable (and can be read as a stand-alone), but perhaps not as good as The Circle.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Book provided by Penguin Random House. Opinions my own.

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