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9 Reviews
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving, terrifying and hilarious, 22 April 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: FEED (Paperback)
MT Anderson's "Feed" is the best novel I have read so far this year - "The Catcher in the Rye" crossed with "Brave New World". Titus and his authentically horrible buddies are the way the world is going. It is a vision of hell.
The world of Feed is only one remove from our own; what seem like exaggerations at first are really too close for comfort to the way we live now. Anderson presents this nightmare society with devastating clarity, so that you can't help but see its seeds as you look around you today.
Please don't be put off by the (very plausible) futuristic slang or the inarticulate dialogue - the speech of people who have forgotten how or why to read, and who have no need of learning. Every so often Anderson - in the voice of Titus - produces an astonishing image, a piece of poetry in the midst of it all. His satires on advertising, fashion and corporate youth-speak hit exactly the right note.
Inside the satire is a love story - a tragedy - and like all the best tragedies, the plot has a wounding inevitability to it. I don't agree with the reviews who find the ending unsatisfying. It's the only possible ending because this is a novel about the horror of entropy: that things, and people, fall apart, gradually, unstoppably. There's the grain of hope that caring enough can hold back the tide, if only it is not too late. But perhaps, by the time Anderson's world comes to be, it already will be.
Did I forget to mention it's also very funny? Well, it's also very funny, and also very moving.
Like the Feed, this book sticks in your head and won't let you alone. Everyone should read it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking and moving, 5 Mar 2007
By 
Jeremy Walton (Sidmouth, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Feed (Paperback)
I picked this book up in a second-hand shop a few months ago, thinking it would be something in the cyberpunk mould of William Gibson, but not realizing it had been aimed at a teenaged readership. It doesn't take long to read, but it's stayed with me for a long time. I was reminded of The Catcher in the Rye, The Machine Stops, Shampoo Planet, A Clockwork Orange and Snow Crash.

By using what seems to be only minimal extrapolation from where we are, Anderson posits a future where all media, commerce and advertising is processed by a networked computer that's been embedded into your brain. The result is a non-stop flow of information (the feed) which is tailor-made to what its providers think you're interested in. In the case of the teenaged protagonists this is - as ever - music, film, fashion, celebrity news and soap operas, along with the functionality for mutual chat sessions. Because of the deep connection between the hardware and the wetware, the feed is also adjusted according to your mood: for example, at one point when a boy is tongue-tied in the presence of a girl he likes, it advertises a site which offers great chat-up lines. More interestingly, the way in which information is fed directly into the brain seems to have led to the loss of literacy, which is one of the reasons for the much-commented-on slang used by the characters (and the narrator). In the presence of limitless amounts of information, knowledge has become atrophied: anything (for example, the meaning of a word) can be looked up instantly, but people prefer to use this resource for shopping.

I found this notion to be incredibly prescient. Thus, when I arrived on the Amazon site, it told me about books and CDs I might be interested in, based on my earlier purchases and what I've said I already own; it emails me regularly with similar suggestions. The technology in this book doesn't seem that much further along. As you might have already guessed, the story is about someone who tries to resist the feed, in an attempt to think for themselves. You can probably also guess what happens next. But that's no reason not to read this excellent, thought-provoking and deeply moving book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wetware goes Teen, 21 May 2007
By 
A. Ross (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Feed (Paperback)
In this cautionary book, YA (Young Adult) author Anderson takes a familiar element of cyberpunk fiction and applies it to American teenage culture in the far future. In this vision of "wetware", brains can be directly wired to the internet, creating a streaming"feed" of audio, video, and text that operates as a kind of second level of consciousness. People can mentally IM each other across the room, and as their brains process what they see, they are bombarded with targeted advertising. We are introduced to this future via narrator Titus and his cohort of friends. They are archetypes of vapid teens, blindly following the latest fashion trends (and in this ultra-wired world, girls change hairstyles by the hour), purchasing the latest clothing off the feed, getting wasted at semi-legal "malware" brain-scrambler sites, and generally ignoring anything beyond their immediate superficial concerns.

When the group goes to the moon (kind of a mix of Las Vegas and Daytona Beach) for spring break, they encounter the dark side of the feed -- the possibility of getting hacked (since the feed is wired directly to their brain, this can have calamitous effects). Titus also meets and befriends Violet, a home-schooled girl who takes a shine to him and wants to join his circle of friends. It's not really clear why a girl as smart and allegedly beautiful as Violet would be interested in the nice, but not particularly bright or introspective Titus, but their relationship becomes the basis for Anderson's rather obvious anti-consumerist message. Violet is the bright alternachick who'd figured out that the feed's main purpose is to get people to buy stuff, while Titus is the nice, but not too deep dude who just wants to get along and have a good time. His inability to accept her inconvenient truth plays out plausibly, as Anderson wisely avoids any cheesy moments of realization or transformation. But this is undercut but all the characters' two-dimensionality and the story's overall lack of nuance.

There's a running background story about unrest around the world resulting from America's massive consumption, and some unexplained lesions that are appearing on everyone's skin, but Violet is the only one paying attention as the group does the standard teenage stuff. The book does a very convincing job of sketching the lives of future teens, with particular attention to language (for example, instead of saying "Dude!", people say "Unit!"). Chapters end with blasts of the feed, giving a keen sense of the barrage of marketing directed at the characters. Unfortunately, the teens who are most likely to read a dystopian semi-cyberpunky novel about the dangers of capitalism and consumerism are the ones least likely to need to hear the message.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 26 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Feed (Paperback)
Took a chance on the reviews with no regrets. Interesting sci-fi concept of what could possibly be in store for the future.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good warning of a possible consumerist and technological dystopia, 16 May 2014
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This review is from: Feed (Paperback)
Feed is written in the narrative of late teens in a world dominated by technology. A world were access to the internet is on the Feed, implanted in you're brain making you constantly connected to the virtual world.

A plausible future if consumerism and technology were to go on to dominate are lives even further. And capitalism was to be very unregulated. It is a dystopia so paints a very pessimistic of our future, I would like to think it would not come to this but I must say I would not be too surprised if the future was as Anderson paints it.

Despite liking the themes, and even the story line is good, but sad. It is written in future speak, and from the narrative of late teens. This limits the brilliance of the writing, it is pretty basic, but I understand that is the point.

Overall a very good book. If you liked; We, 1984 or Brave New World. I doubt you would regret buying it. 4/5
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5.0 out of 5 stars A very harrowing and scarily real version of what our dystopian future could be..., 12 Dec 2013
By 
A. Paradise - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Feed (Kindle Edition)
Finished reading this some 4 months ago and it still haunts me, more so each day infact as bits of tech news make the headlines making this book all the more prophetic. A must read for all.
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5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful, disturbing and prescient, 8 May 2013
By 
M. Notman "northernfag" (sheffield uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Feed (Paperback)
Dark and very unsettling, coldly and rather cruelly funny for much of the book, with a very sad and sudden ending. There are glimpses of the real world falling apart whilst the teenagers get on with being teenagers in a world of targeted advertising, sudden gimmicks and crazes, cheap thrills and mindless consumerism. A story for our age. Marvelous.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars About teenagers in the future., 12 Jan 2004
By 
C. Mitchell "erinart" (Southern England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: FEED (Paperback)
I was hooked on this book from the first page. The plot seemed quite plausable to me which helped me to believe it could possibly happen. Reading this has encouraged me to find other books by the same author.
I would recommend this for a teenager (I'm an adult and i enjoyed it) and for light reading for an adult.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book from Anderson, 21 Jan 2005
This review is from: Feed (Paperback)
When I finished this book I had to hand it to the author, for creating such a realistic future. (i love the sub-plot about America's relationship with the rest of the world, very relevant) So afterwards I decided to look for other books by the same author, and what did I find? Burgerwuss and other crap like that, it seemed that Anderson would rather take the safe route and write "cool" books for teenagers/young adults (whatever you prefer) instead of something a bit dangerous (at least in the current political climate) or maybe Anderson thinks young people don't understand satire. Oh dear I seem to have strayed to far from the the point, reviewing this book. Feed is an excellent book, one I have read more than once and I do believe it deserves five stars. READ FEED!
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Feed by M. T. Anderson (Paperback - Feb 2004)
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