Illustration for article titled Algorithm Predicts Dystopian Book About Technology Should Be Massive Bestseller

An algorithm that predicts bestselling books has awarded a perfect score to The Circle by Dave Eggers, a book that just so happens to be a dystopian satire of life in Silicon Valley. Hmm.


Said algorithm was developed by Matthew Jockers, co-founder of the Stanford Literary Lab, and former publisher Jodie Archer to prove that there is a formula for which books sell. (Anyone who has watched the success of Nicholas Sparks’ career could have told you this without building an algorithm, but let’s put that aside for now.)

It analyzed the plot, theme, style and more of over 20,000 novels to award the crown to The Circle, which is about an ahem, “fictional” West Coast company that has eaten up Facebook, Twitter, Google, and so on. It’s been called a “500-page satire of the tech world while appearing to have little interest in the actual tech world” and more succinctly, a book that “reads like Hunger Games with apps.”

Too bad The Circle, which is supposedly ranked “the single more paradigmatic bestseller of the past 30 years” by an algorithm that is right “over 80 percent of the time” never cracked the top 50 in any fiction charts.

[The Bookseller]


Angela Chen is the morning editor at Gizmodo.

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