Friday, February 11, 2011

What Do You Mean You Never Read "Feed" by M.T. Anderson?

Feed by M.T. Anderson
Submitted by: Pat

Besides having one of the best first lines in any novel ("We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck."), Feed by M.T. Anderson is as chilling, ironic, and distressing a cautionary tale today as when it was published in 2002, perhaps more so.

Sometimes it feels like we are just a step or two away from the world that Titus and his friends inhabit, one in which the "feed" is implanted in the brains of children at birth so corporations can directly advertise into their minds in real time (imagine pop-up adds in your mind, based on your consumption patterns!) or the government can subpoena a person's memories. 

After Titus meets a strange girl named Violet during Spring Break on the moon, their feeds are interrupted by an anti-feed hacker at a party.  They are hospitalized and during that time begin a friendship.  When their feeds are restored, Violet begins to express revolutionary ideas about resisting the feed, ideas that Titus and his friends simply can't fathom.  

Events unfold rapidly, with Titus questioning Violet's actions and everything about his life.  I don't want to sugar coat it—this is not a happily-ever-after kind of story.  But this National Book Award finalist has stayed with me for nearly ten years and feels more relevant now than on first reading. Be warned—and check it out!

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