BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

The Every by Dave Eggers [in Booklist]

Dave Eggers’ voice-of-choice Dion Graham again convincingly ciphers the author’s newest white-woman protagonist, Delaney Wells, an employee of The Circle’s (2013) Mae Holland. Here the Circle has exploded into the Every, the world’s most ubiquitous conglomerate, which continues to develop manipulative mechanisms to subtly wipe out all semblance of privacy and freedom. Delaney, of course, is the subversive vigilante who’s planning to take down the behemoth from inside, but once hired, every preposterous suggestion she dreams up miraculously morphs into enthusiastic existence.

Graham initially dives right in as earnest accomplice – readers have already been primed with the familiar screen-suck addiction of social media, the convenience of Siri/Alexa – but as believability begins to diminish, his raised eyebrow becomes aurally detectable, even in the playful catch of the chapter titles: just replay that lilting “25”! By the time he gets to the final chapter, “45,” that raised eyebrow has turned into a wink-wink as the ludicrousness is difficult to contain.

Despite Eggers’ own edict – “No book should be over 500 pages … we found that the absolute limit to anyone’s tolerance is 577” – that The Every is a bloated 608 in print literally (intentionally?) says too much, but Graham transforms tedious on the page into glorious in the ears.

Review: “Media,” Booklist, February 15, 2022

Readers: Adult

Published: 2021


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