Dave Eggers’s The Every is a David and Goliath story in which a techno-sceptic infiltrates a digital behemoth in order to destroy it from inside. In writing this novel, Eggers himself seems to be taking on the role of David, using his analogue slingshot to ping rocks off an impervious and often invisible giant. Most of us will be cheering him on from the sidelines, while regularly checking our smartphones. What else can we do in the face of an all-pervasive web of data and surveillance ensnaring almost every aspect of existence?
Eggers’s novel is a sequel to his 2013 bestseller, The Circle, which follows the ambitious Mae Holland as she works her way up the titular internet company and down through the Dantean circles of digital hell. But The Every works perfectly well as a stand-alone novel.
We begin with