But more to the point, “The Circle” doesn’t read like a novel whose author immersed himself in the nitty-gritty of day-to-day life in Silicon Valley. It reads like a novel whose author deeply dislikes current modes of online social interaction, and constructed a narrative to deliver that antipathy as harshly as possible. In “The Boy Kings of Silicon Valley,” Losse contributes something very different — a nuanced, closely observed look at the real lives of hackers and the tools they create that tells us more about what Facebook is like than any other book on the company has yet achieved. If Eggers had truly plagiarized Losse, he might have written a better book, the great Silicon Valley/American novel that we’ve all been waiting for.
Because to stand athwart history and cry “Stop” is never enough, something that the inheritors of William Buckley’s legacy have so obviously failed to learn. We’re going to continue tumbling forward, and if we have any hope of steering in the right direction, we need to know more than just why everything is so bad and awful and dangerous. We need to know what’s pushing us forward, what needs and desires we are trying to sate. There’s more going on here than the indulgence of a manipulated craving for snack food. We’re hungry for connection. We live for it.