on July 22, 2013
Not what I was expecting when it was recommended to me. The style is unique and the main characters are children, the prose are written from the POV of one of children. It is a scarey but logical future to advertising, globalization and consuming of Earth's resources(more then we put back). Their are a lot of other estimations of future technology and society that the author does not explore in the book and I think it is better to for it. It is not a collection of science fiction. The book knows its purpose and it isn't bogged down by irrelevant details.
But it is not an adventure story or conspiracy with a mission set near the beginning and some resolution at the end. The themes are obvious, but at front of the story the children are consumed by little actions, here and there, for your surface plot
The ending is great and it was satisfying to me. But won't be to people who look for a clearly defined goal and its optimistic, happy resolution and the end.
The book looks big, but I read it in 5 hours and I know faster readers who can do it in less.
on July 4, 2004
I have read many books over my 17 years of life and I would have to say that Feed by M.T. Anderson is one that I would recommend to everyone.
I do not write reviews, so to write this on my own accord should show how powerful this book really is. I was literally blow away by it. This is the first time I have read a book by M.T. Anderson and was delightfully surprised by the emotions this book can cause.
It takes place in the future, how far away I am not sure, but still it brings to life teenage society to a very fine point. It is has first person narrative that was weird at first but one gets used to it fast.
At the end of the book there is a reader's guide and a conversation with the author which I found very helpful to understand where the auther is coming from and the weight that this book has to our every day life.
I will from now on look at advertising in a new light and beware of what it is truely trying to do.
I found it meg cool and ironically funny so...read it and understand why!!!
on May 23, 2004
I just read "Feed" last week and it was, as some readers have said, "interesting". It really makes you realize how vulernable we are to what companies tell us to think. If Abercrombie says, "Jump", half the teenage population is up in the air. As another reviewer commented, I didn't like Mr. Anderson's writing style. It was too immature I thought. I guess because it's Titus saying it, but I'd be interested to see if all his work is in this formatting. Another problem I had with "Feed" was that the main character really wasn't likable. Titus is a moronic, sex-crazed, naive, jackass who has probably never had an original idea in his life. I couldn't identify with him because he was just so stupid and it frustrated me. I liked Violet, although at first I found her pretensious. The whole idea is very creative and thought-provoking though as people don't go to "real" school, dance on the moon, and seem to shop constantly. Their feeds control their lives and since they never seem to think for themselves or actually learn or remember anything, the entire human race is basically incompetent. To get an example, Titus says something along the lines in one of his conversations, "Why do we need to know what battles George Washington fought in during the Civil War?" The end is chilling though. Everything must go.
on May 14, 2004
Like 1984, Feed is in the not so distant future where everyone has the "feed" implanted in their brains at a young age. The feed is like an internet connection in your head always on, gathering information about what you like and advertising specifically to you. You can "chat" with your friends without speaking, watch TV. while in School™, and take vacations on the moon.
Titus, a typical materialistic teen meets home schooled Violet, who thinks for herself, tries to buck the system, and whose feed is malfunctioning and killing her.
The story gives glimpses into the larger world of the teens, the sores on their bodies made cool by stars from the feed environmental disasters, political uprising, but mainly focuses on the purchasing and partying of the teens in the group... sound familiar?
The author uses his own slang: "unit" for dude, "meg" for mega cool and peppers sentences with "like" which is like, soooo annoying it causes you to notice it in your own speech. If you can get through the first two chapters and get used to the lingo you will love this book and it will scare the pants off you with its foreshadowing.
on May 3, 2004
For anyone who has pondered the power and influence of consumerism, this novel shows how corporations and consumerism leads to a disturbing future. Feed is set in the future who almost everyone has the internet built into their heads. So every experience and every emotion is accompanied by screen from the feed trying to sell things to the people.
Titus, the narrator, begins the novel as a shallow, superficial teenager. He hangs out with a group of even more shallow and superficial friends, who are mostly concerned with fashion, which changes every day with the help of the feed. While this group is hanging out on the moon, they meet Violet. Violet is the opposite of Titus. She is aware of resistance movements in the world and isn't into the feed as much.
The story is really about Titus who doesn't really understand Violet until the very end of the book. They become a couple after an experience with a hacker on the moon. Violet's feed is not as good as everyone else's because her feed was installed late and so her "chip" doesn't fit as snugly as others. Her family was poor and couldn't afford it. Throughout the book, Violet takes him on a mental adventure, teaching him values that he doesn't quite understand. There are conflicts between Violet and Titus's friends. Consumerism is so powerful with the feed that anything can turn into a fashion. Because there is so much pollution, people have developed lesions, so the feed turns having lesions into a style. One of Titus's friends took it to an extreme and Violet found it repulsive. The conflict between his friends and Violet tears Titus apart. Violet doesn't recover from the hacking experience on the moon and slowly deteriorates. During this time, Titus because less and less attached to Violet. Only at the end of the book does Titus become aware of the dangers of consumerism and more aware of where Violet has been coming from.
I rate this book five out of five stars. It's my favorite book. The main reason is that the theme is very powerful today. Teenagers play right into corporations' profits. We buy and buy and buy without thinking of the consequences. It's a deep and important message. The future in this book is scary. The seas are dead, the earth is crowded, and the air is toxic. Corporations are in control. It makes you think.
I really enjoyed way it was written. It is in first person,. It's written in the language of a teenagers in the future. So instead of saying "hey man" he says "hey unit" and instead of saying "getting high" they say "going into mal" which means "malfunction" of the feed (which they do on purpose by going to a website). The whole book is written this way. Even though it's in the future, the writing style reminded me a real teenagers' talking.
This book is written creatively. It's catchy. And it is about important themes for teenagers.
on April 30, 2004
This is a complex little book, I must say. What else can you call a book that combines blatant anti-consumerism, realistic situations, and an apocalyptic story line?
It is difficult to say precisely what this book is about. The style of storytelling does not really permit it. If pressed, I would say it is a novel of the end of a decadence, and a remarkably timely one, at that.
Basically, everyone has these computers implanted in their heads at a very young age. The computers give you news updates, let you communicate with others, and, foremost in the lives of the main characters, allow you to watch shows and shop. But they computers have unnatural side effects. They cause loss of memory and mental functions, such as creativity and the ability to use metaphors. Also, they cause lesions to appear on the skin of the user, which gradually grow larger.
The use of a sort of futuristic, post-modern slang is very effective. The use of the term "unit" instead of "man," for example. This is also why I couldn't bring myself to give the book a five-star rating. The f-word is used at least five times... per page. That's a minimum. I understand why it's there. It's the future, so of course it's not as bad a word. And it is effective. It lends a mean, hard edge to it that would be lacking if it was not there. Still, if this bothers you, give this book a miss. I mean it. It didn't bother me so much, but, seriously, if it bothers you, or if you don't want your child reading that sort of thing, don't read it.
All in all, though, it's a fascinating, frightening peek at a future one can only hope does not come to pass. Meg scary.
on March 28, 2004
I enjoyed reading the novel Feed, by M.T. Anderson very much. Reading this novel had many positive effects on me. It taught me to respect and care for your friends and family. It also taught me to appreciate what you have. This novel had many themes and overall was a very influential read. I learned much from this book while I enjoyed reading it.
The characters of the novel Feed were very interesting and realistic. While the novel was of the science fiction genre, I would say it could also belong to the realistic fiction genre. The characters deal with very life-like problems and were very believable. My favorite character was Titus, as he reminded me of myself. Our personalities were very much alike, having a sense of humor while being mature and intelligent. The author did an excellent job of creating the characters of the novel as they are just like you average, every-day teenagers. M.T. Anderson wrote this novel as if he, himself were one of the characters.
The novel Feed, was very interesting throughout. The author was able to maintain the reader's interest the whole time. Something exciting, interesting, or strange would happen at a dull moment sparking the reader's interest even more and making them want to turn to the next page. This novel was very intriguing as it is an extraordinary aspect on the future. Just the main idea of the novel will keep you reading because it allows the characters to do incredible things that we thought a computer was needed to do.
I learned much from reading this novel. I learned to respect and care for my friends and family and also to appreciate what I have. After reading this novel, I gained a new philosophical view on the future. I would recommend this novel to anyone who is curious about what the future may be like. This novel should be read by students in years to come. It is a very interesting and intriguing book. I learned much from and enjoyed this novel. It was a fantastic read.
on January 28, 2004
M. T. Anderson has written a refreshing science fiction novel in a genre that has recently relied largely on fantasy and far less on science. He has created a not-to-distant future world where everything is accessed via a "feed" that is implanted directly into the brain. An internalized internet, the feed even allows for "chatting" so there is little need to speak if one chooses not to and true reading is nearly obsolete.
While the narrator, Titus, lives in a world that is still identifiable to those of us in the 21st century - school (although it is trademarked), parties, music, driving, dancing, and drinking - there are also unfamiliar and extreme aspects like an electronic drug substitute, standardized lingo, disposable tables, and extreme consumerism. Even this tightly controlled future however, is peppered with resisters, and Titus' own girlfriend suffers horribly from her feed when it malfunctions due to a combination of having it implanted late in life (when she was 7) and being hit by a "hacker".
Perhaps because it is a young adult novel, Anderson just barely skims the surface of the economic, political and environmental tensions of the feed and its consumer culture. He does not, however, wimp out in building believable, dimensional characters and relationships.
Anderson has created an intriguing read about a world that is so close you may be reading about the first "feed" in the newspaper tomorrow.
on January 20, 2004
I'd heard good things about this book, so I was willing to give it a try even though I was less than impressed with the same author's vampire novel, Thirsty.
Feed, however, deserved all its buzz, plus more. This book is a piece of brilliance. In this dystopian novel, you'll hear echoes of Holden Caulfield, as well as bits of Minority Report and language worthy of writers like Douglas Coupland and Francesca Lia Block, but M.T. Anderson still creates a world that is at once unique and frighteningly familiar.
The invented slang and the culture from which it has sprung are pitch-perfect, and the tone of the writing rides a fine line between absurdly funny and darkly horrifying. The futuristic world described in the book is exhausting, sickening, ridiculous, seductive and brokenly beautiful. The fact that it is, more or less, the world we live in today, makes this the most terrifying book I've read since Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale."
This book is for people who like to think and who are willing to examine their lives. Such people -- no matter how young they are -- will be able to handle the occasional curse word that pops up in the book.
I couldn't put this book down. It's a fast read, and worth rereading. I felt the ending was a little "light" and disappointing, but the ride that gets you there is unique and unforgettable.
on January 1, 2004
I give books a certain amount of credit if, after reading them, I find myself unduly influenced by their message in my daily life. Take "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" for example. Read that book through and then try to watch a pageant on your own without remembering the book's fantastically written scenes. Good writing engenders creative thinking. So a large amount of cred should fall on M.T. Anderson's "Feed". Though it admittedly has a number of strikes against it, I challenge you to walk around a mall or watch television after reading every word of this beautifully thought out book cover to cover. If you don't, consequently, find yourself trapped in the eerie uber-consumerism of this modern day and age, then obviously you were only skimming this clever little novella. And I wouldn't be able to blame you. Anderson has undertaken a very difficult task. First of all, this kind of message has (to some extent) been done to death. Yes yes yes, the world is full of too much advertising and consumerism. Yes yes, it's bad. We know. Thank you. Second, he has placed his book in the future and has invented a kind of futuristic slang that, while interesting and consistent (Mr. Anderson never errs or disobeys his own rules) is nonetheless difficult to get into. Some readers are going to have difficulties dealing with people calling one another "unit" (an upgrade on our currently popular "dude") or saying things are "meg" this and "meg" that. It is meg annoying at first (see?), but keep at it. Read on and this brave little new world becomes incredibly interesting. Here, humans that can afford it are wired directly to the internet. Forget having the web on the brain. Now the web is IN your brain, controlling the human body's daily functions and activities.
Today, teens hungry for futuristic sci-fi can have their fill with such titles as "Jennifer Government", but I give this book, in particular, a lot more credit. The author takes this world to its obvious extreme, making a girl who is a poor consumer into a victim of corporate medical care (or in this case, poor tech support). More importantly, the author never loses sight of certain facts. Our hero is undoubtedly rich and his moneyed family allows him a greater amount of leeway with things like school trips and purchases. His poorer girlfriend suffers from living in a world where consumerism has been literally wired to the brain. It is this character that will readily point out that many Americans do not have access to "the feed", their name for the internal internet link. The poor are always with us. They just don't advertise their existence particularly well. This book is basically the adventures of a very average joe schmoe who doesn't really care for international strife (of which there is quite a lot) or anything particularly unpleasant (his girlfriend's physical collapse being an excellent example). And how different is this charming young man from most Americans today? His is a world where the feed, in Homer Simpson's words, "Isn't afraid to tell the truth. That everything's just fine". Parents please note, this book is chock full of swearing. If that bothers you, fine. But if it doesn't, I commend you. The book will make anyone reading it think. For that reason alone, I recommend it to anyone and everyone.