(Update, 9:15 a.m. it's here! The Times finally unleashed the Eggers excerpt in the bleary hours of Saturday morning, and what we've read so far is fantastic. The presentation is beautiful, done in parallax, of course, but the images and graphics don't overwhelm like some other recent efforts. They let the text breath, which is a relief. "It’s simply a great story, with a fascinating protagonist, sharply drawn supporting characters and an exciting, unpredictable plot," explains editor Hugo Lindgren, in his official note explaining why they put fiction on the cover for the first time. "I must say, it reawakened the occasional fantasies I have of moving my family to the woods and living off the land, though I know we’d last about a day out there." -- Connor Simpson)
Original Subscribers to The New York Times Magazine will get a surprise on their doorsteps tomorrow. The cover story of this week's issue is an adapted excerpt of Dave Egger's newest novel The Circle, which goes on sale on October 8. The story will also be available online around 5 a.m. Saturday morning, if you want to set your alarm clocks.
"It's a great read and if that hadn't been true we wouldn't have published it, no matter who had written it," editor Hugo Lindgren told us. He added that The Circle, and this adaptation, are also culturally relevant, in that it deals with the lines between our work lives and private lives, and between our public and private spheres. The Charles Neiman-designed cover, which Lindgren tweeted out this afternoon, makes that theme quite dramatically.
"We Like You So Much and Want to Know You Better," as the piece is title, is cobbled together from the various plots and subplots of the novel. Lindgren said it was a testament to the strength of the story that they were able to create coherent narrative from various strands of the story without giving anything away.
What's notable about this issue — other than our excitement to take a look at Eggers's latest — is that this is probably the first time the magazine has put fiction on the cover. "We think it's the first one," Lindgren said, but he couldn't speak for the entirety of the magazine's 117-year-long history. "The great thing about looking through the archives is that there's a lot of cool stuff that's been done in the past."