Every : Or at Least a Sense of Order or the Final Days of Free Will or Limitless Choice Is Killing the World
by Eggers, Dave

A former forest ranger and unwavering tech skeptic, Delaney Wells takes a job at The Every, the planet's dominant e-commerce site to take down the company from within and free humanity from its all-encompassing surveillance and emoji-driven infantilization of the species. Original.

DAVE EGGERS is the author of many books, among them <i>The Circle</i>&mdash;the companion to the book you are holding&mdash;and also <i>The Monk of Mokha</i>, <i>A Hologram for the King</i>, <i>What Is the What</i>, and <i>The Museum of Rain</i>. He is the cofounder of 826 National, a network of youth writing centers, and Voice of Witness, an oral history book series that illuminates the stories of those impacted by human rights crises. He has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and is the recipient of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the American Book Award. He has attended the JetPack Aviation academy in Moorpark, California, but is not yet certified to fly off-tether. Born in Boston and raised in Illinois, he has now lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for three decades. He and his family often consider leaving, but they do not leave.<br/><br/>www.daveeggers.net&nbsp;&nbsp;

*Starred Review* The relentlessly ambitious tech firm Eggers portrayed in The Circle (2013) has grown exponentially in diabolical intrusiveness, becoming the Every. With Mae Holland, the intrepid newbie portrayed in the first tale, now running the Every, Eggers introduces a new newcomer, Delaney Wells, a former forest ranger intent on infiltrating and destroying this devouring digital monopoly. Taking risks far greater than even her worse fears, she manages to get hired and becomes a "roamer on the heavily surveilled, cultish Bay Area campus, working in various departments devoted to controlling, well, everything from people's bodies and keepsakes to law and literature. Delaney's plan is to sow seeds of destruction with ever more tyrannical apps designed to ignite massive public outrage. An astutely creative satirist, Eggers presents a galvanizing vision of the potentially horrifying extremes weaponized social media and e-commerce could be capable of by deftly amplifying the already malignant impact tech giants are having on privacy and freedom. As Delaney's situation becomes increasingly perilous, Eggers dramatizes an undermining of our autonomy not with the heavy-handed brutality of Orwell's Big Brother but, rather, with our harried acquiescence, so primed are we to choose convenience over liberty. He also daringly explodes cherished assumptions and asks if an Every-like megacorporation might be the only entity capable of combating climate change. A riveting, astute, darkly hilarious, and deeply unnerving speculative saga.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Eggers' brilliant and provocative tech-giant drama's gravitational pull will be increased by its publicized publication strategy, with the hardcover edition available only on McSweeney's website and in independent bookstores. The Vintage paperback will be everywhere in November. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

The tech-driven nightmare of The CircleĀ (2013) grows even darker in this sequel. In The Circle, Eggers imagined an unnamed Google- and Facebook-like entity growing ever more invasive in our private lives. Headlines having validated his bleak vision of tech monopolies, he's doubled down for this near-future dystopian yarn. The Circle has bought "an ecommerce behemoth named after a South American jungle,?¯ becoming an all but inescapable megacorporation called the Every, though pockets of "trogs?¯ attempt to escape its grip of constant surveillance. Delaney, the novel's hero, is a trog eager to destroy the Every from the inside. Her method is to propose ideas that are outrageous or horridly invasive enough to prompt mass revolt: a resentment-sowing tool to determine how sincere your friends and family are being toward you, a virtual tourism app that dissuades people from eco-unfriendly travel (thus outraging a host of industries), algorithms that whittle away personal choice. The cruel joke, of course, is that society rapidly accepts every surveillance-heavy, technofascist idea she helps introduce. Eggers' outsize caricature of big tech is meant as satire, a bulwark against his assertion that "humor does not easily survive the intense filtering that the twenty-first century made mandatory.?¯ But the jokes are mostly relegated to product jargon (AuthentiFriend, OwnSelf, PrefCom, KisKis) or Orwellian lines ("The World Wants to Be Watched?¯), though a witty set piece attacks algorithmic attempts to defang classic novels. Otherwise, much as in The Circle, Eggers is lecturing behind the thinnest scrim of a plot: The fates of Delaney, the Every, and humanity are never in doubt. The novel's rollout reflects Eggers' anti-monopolist ethos: It was made available exclusively to independent bookstores a month before wide release. But it's a baggy, plodding jeremiad however you acquire it. Further proof that noble values don't guarantee good fiction. Copyright Kirkus 2021 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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