Skip to main content

The Circle

As the title says, I'm currently listening to Dave Egger's "The Circle," on audio CD. I might have more to say about this book when I finish it but at the moment I can absolutely see how it got a go-ahead for production as a movie. There is something smack dab in the middle of everything about this novel. A way-too-good-to-be-true company pressing for the end to privacy. The snappy "Social Network" dialogue. The futurist optimism about technology and social media. The dystopian terror of the same. Afghanistan, health care, Syria, and kayaking. 

Okay that last part is more about what's going on in my life, but still...

After a summer reading some really heavy speculative literature, the nicest thing about "The Circle" is how it echoes the themes of other books I've read recently without ever losing its sense of charm. The characters in this book feel very real, very familiar in this hyperkinetic, chatty style that probably took an enormous amount of craft to make feel so effortlessly casual.

One more bit of praise. I'm loving how this book - for all of its bright colors and snappy banter - expresses dread for the future more effectively than nearly anything I've read so far this year.


***

Chapter 23 is now available for my espionage thriller, "Agent Shield and Spaceman." We're back with Frankie, dealing with the aftermath of his decision to climb into the pit with some very unpleasant serpents. I hope you enjoy the chapter; feel free to comment either on the blog or in web fiction online, which is hosting this web fiction.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Reading Response to "A Good Man is Hard to Find."

Reader Response to “A Good Man is Hard to Find” Morgan Crooks I once heard Flannery O’Connor’s work introduced as a project to describe a world denied God’s grace. This critic of O’Connor’s work meant the Christian idea that a person’s misdeeds, mistakes, and sins could be sponged away by the power of Jesus’ sacrifice at Crucifixion. The setting of her stories often seem to be monstrous distortions of the real world. These are stories where con men steal prosthetic limbs, hired labor abandons mute brides in rest stops, and bizarre, often disastrous advice is imparted.  O’Connor herself said of this reputation for writing ‘grotesque’ stories that ‘anything that comes out of the South is going to be called grotesque by the northern reader, unless it is grotesque, in which case it is going to be called realistic.’ This is both a witty observation and a piece of advice while reading O’Connor’s work. These are stories about pain and lies and ugliness. The brutality that happens to characters …

Arisia 2019: Wrap Report

Arisia 2019 is over!

It’s back to the real world this week after an entire weekend in Arisia 2019. I go to this convention every year, but this one will definitely be special to me. For one thing, this is the year that felt, at least for a moment, like it wasn’t going to happen. If the debacle with the e-board wasn’t enough, there was the strike at the Westin. The convention felt slimmer this year for sure. A lot of people self-selected to not come this year and honestly with the smaller, more confined venue of the Boston Park Plaza, that was a decision enormously beneficial to my enjoyment of this con.
I had a blast. I was more invested in the panels this year because I wrote a portion of them. It’s one thing to go to a panel and listen for reading suggestions, or new ideas, or people to follow on social media, but it’s quite another to put together a panel of people to create a very specific conversation and then get to sit back to see how the discussion plays out. I loved that aspect…

Thoughts on the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Anything that persists for an entire decade as a recurring entertainment event begins to mean more than simple entertainment. It’s inevitable that once a franchise like the MCU has continued for long enough that its overall significance has to be factored in. I don’t think fans quite appreciate what genre movies like these used to be like before MCU.

It’s really not the special effects or effective mix of humor, action, and character development. It’s the fact that all three of things happen within the persistent universe. Because no Marvel movie is the last Marvel movie, and there’s always another one to develop the characters, fans have a different relationship to this franchise.

It’s more like what comic books are, obviously, where no matter what crazy stuff goes on in a crossover event, you have a reasonable expectation that your favorite character will be back the next month or the month after that.

There have been good MCU movies, mediocre movies, and one that I’m pretty sure quali…