The Circle by Stephen Galgon


Well, as promised, I am starting Winter Reading early! I hope you feel free to as well. This book came to me from fellow reader Gina who sent it as a Christmas gift that I carried along with me to Poland. This book is certainly not something I would have picked up on my own, but I had fun reading it because it is written by a Jersey native who is from my same neckathawoods and his perspective shows– the depth of knowledge about the geography of the area is well accounted for and fun to read — it was like an escape back East in that respect. The story itself is dynamic and engaging, though it is filled with violence and murder as the premise- so reader beware! I am glad there were no pictures 🙂 The Circle is about a group of billionaires who have access to so much wealth, sex, drugs and alcohol that the only way they can feel again is by engaging in this private group called The Circle, which essentially is the circle of life. You are assigned someone to hunt, and someone is assigned to hunt you. If you kill your target, you get 30 days off. If the person hunting you gets killed, you get 48h reprieve. Once you are in The Circle you cannot get out, and you are watched by Watchers and cleaned up after by Cleaners (you just do the murdering!). Our protagonist, Doug Goodwin, is an innocent dude with hunting skills from Colorado. He moved out to NYC with his terrible friend, Eric, who has an Ego and sells his friend out to The Circle to pay a debt he owes. A lot of people die in this book from start to finish, which is sort of the point. Poor Doug resists The Circle hard — he loses a lot of people in the process.

This is Galgon’s first novel and I would say it is a success. If I had to liken it to a familiar read, The Hunger Games comes to mind only with mostly adult men. I read its 421 pages in just a few days and am looking forward to talking with Gina (@gguccidoll12) about it! Part of me wonders if Galgon hopes for this to become a movie. There is mention of a sequel in his bio.

Winter has officially begun, and since it’s dark at 4pm here in Maków Podhalański, reading is the most fitting of activities.


10 comments on “The Circle by Stephen Galgon”

  1. Just after reading your description I thought, no thank you. But I did just finish listening to Philippa Gregory’s book, The Boleyn Inheritance, wherein Henry VIII obliterates anyone who causes him the least amount of worry, so there’s that. Gregory writes very good historical fiction. It was good to have her perspective on Anne of Cleaves, Catherine Howard, and Jane Boleyn. Absolute power is an awful thing.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Dark nights full of murder–pretty scary! I just started Edward Snowden’s memoir Permanent Record. I finally made it to the top of the library’s waiting list. Teri reminded me of how much I enjoyed Hilary Mantel’s books Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies. I lost track and never read the third book in the trilogy. The first two novels came out in 2009 and 2012. I just checked, and the final book is coming out in March 2020 (no wonder I never read it). I may have to start over and read all three in a row. Her novels focus on Cromwell. The first two novels won the Man Booker Prize.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, yes, Barbara. I inhaled those two books! Glad to know that a third is coming. (Wasn’t Wolf Hall a series on Masterpiece Theatre, too?)

      Liked by 2 people

  3. borkali, probably not a book for me but worth reading your lively review. How cool that you could identify so familiarly with the physical settings. To be truthful, I couldn’t read The Hunger Games either. Kids killing kids? Couldn’t handle it. Didn’t help that my own children were teenagers at the time.

    Winter dark, reading, ahhhh…

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I don’t know how many authors comment on their own reviews on here… but I thought–what the heck!

    I’m so excited to hear that you enjoyed the book, especially knowing that it was out of your comfort zone. Thanks for branching out and giving it a try. I’m also happy it was able to make you feel at home while so far away. I love reading about things that are familiar to me from time to time, I get the sense that I’m more connected to the story than usual. If you or your followers have questions about it, I’d be delighted to answer them in any way that I can. They can also feel free to follow @TheCircleIsReal on Facebook & Instagram.

    Thank you for the kind words about the book. Best of luck with your 2,020 pages this winter.
    Happy Reading… and Welcome to the Circle.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hey Steve! This is so cool 🙂 I am happy to have read your book, and am hopeful for reading the sequel! Congratulations on your first novel– that is such a massive accomplishment. As a fellow writer and artist, I have serious respect for the effort that goes into such productions. Well done!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The concept came from a game I played my freshman year in college (1997!) called “Assassins.” Each player that signed up received a fellow students name and a water gun their school mailbox. You were given 24 hours to “hunt” the name assigned to you and if successful you take the name they were assigned and so on until there was only one person left standing. I always did terribly at the game and was assassinated very early on. Deep down though, I knew there was a pretty interesting story there, albeit much more sinister. There are no water guns in The Circle! Haha.

        Liked by 3 people

  5. Steve, thanks for joining our conversation! It’s fun to know about where you got your idea. It’s been stirring inside you for quite awhile. It’s quite an accomplishment to bring the project to fruition. I’m glad you responded to the post about your book. Welcome!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s