I’ve never actually been part of a book club before, but I hear they often involve, like, your mother-in-law and a lot of red wine. And a book! Sometimes there’s a book.
With this classic model in mind, I wondered if perhaps we could up the ante a little by deliberately pairing a novel with a tipple? In the service of highlighting appropriate literary themes, of course. The bleakness of this current winter is mitigated only by my penchant for dystopian fiction – you know, the kind of novel that practically drives you to drink – so I hereby call to order The Symmetric’s first meeting of the Dystopian Book Club.
THE BOOK: The Circle by Dave Eggers (Knopf, 2013) describes a digital near-future where a seemingly benevolent tech conglomerate feeds on the public’s desire and complicity for constant communication, connectivity, and affirmation, leading to a world wherein social media participation is mandatory and privacy is essentially nullified. The story follows Mae Holland, new hire at The Circle, and her assimilation into the cult-like company’s culture and philosophy. The novel is not exactly subtle, but it’s a pretty enjoyable plot-driven read that will probably make you squirm the next time you go to hit the ‘like’ button on your friend’s latest baby photo posted on Facebook.
THE DRINK: We’re pairing the book with an alcoholic beverage that goes down easy – if it tastes good enough you probably won’t realize you’re getting drunk (and/or essentially having your private life stripped away), right? We’ve deemed it “Ultimate Transparency” for both its see-through appearance and Mae’s decision to “go transparent,” having her every move filmed for the world to watch. Here’s how to drink (and make) the Kool-Aid, so to speak:
1 shot orange vodka
1 sugar cube
blood orange juice squeezed from half an orange
Fill glass with ice and pour vodka over top. Dip sugar cube in blood orange juice and place it on top of the ice. The sugar cube will slowly break apart and insidiously seep into the rest of the cocktail, infusing its flavour (is the metaphor working here? Gosh I hope so).
And now, to discuss: Have you read The Circle? Holy sh*t do you think all that could really happen?? Do you have a favourite novel you’d like to see given the Dystopian Book Club treatment here? Pray tell, my friends.