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4.4 out of 5 stars
16
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 3 May 2017
Great book. I heard about this through a friend, and after reading it feel it's one of those great books that didn't get as much recognition as it deserves. The opening pages are some of my favorite to any book: we are immediately thrust into the narrator's strange world via his strong voice and use of dialect/neologisms that work to cement the strange dystopic future setting of the novel. Probably described as YA for the novel's voice and adolescent narrator, like all good YA books it transcends the YA genre and explores many interesting and broad-reaching themes.

Published in 2002, when the internet was yet to invade every corner of our lives as it does today, this book truly felt visionary and premonitory, particularly with it's prediction of how advertising would track our every movements and filter into all aspects of our lives. A brilliant read, not without flaws, but any flaws the book may contain did not bother me in face of the great strength and force that the novel delivered.

Absolutely recommended.
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on 19 March 2017
My 13 year old son loves it. He keeps insisting that I must read it as well (I will, I promised him).
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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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on 22 April 2003
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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on 30 April 2017
Started reading and its almost impossible to read because of all of the forced "like"s and slang. Really wouldn't reccomend for anyone over the age of 5
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on 30 July 2016
3.5 stars.

I listened to this as an audiobook and what really struck me and irritated me was how stupid the language was. The way Titus and his friends spoke really drove me up the wall, to the point where I considered just abandoning it. It was just too much. However, I decided to carry on and I found myself actually beginning to enjoy it.

Feed is a dystopian novel set in the (surprisingly) not so far future, where people are connected to the Internet using microchips that they pay for to be implanted into their brains when they’re young. This is called The Feed. The Feed is what really sold this book to me because I just found it so interesting, sort of reminiscent of 1984 or Black Mirror, where people are completely controlled by technology and always watched. An aspect I really thought was clever by the author was the feature within The Feed with the ‘you may also like’ when someone bought something, which reminded me so much of Amazon. I suppose that it’s quite scary to be able to identify with this book.

I had a slight issue with the characters. For me, there were too many and other than Titus and Violet, they weren’t very well developed. Because of this, I was only really able to connect with Titus and Violet and I can’t really remember all of the others’ names. However, Violet’s character was brilliantly done so kind of made up for that. I loved her complex view of delayed gratification and her ideas about fighting the feed. She was badass in the quiet sense, doing things with her brain. She also had flaws that made her extremely likeable. She was my favourite character and her relationship with Titus was unique and enjoyable.

The plot, I felt, was solid up until the end of the book. I needed more resolution, perhaps a sequel, but I understand why it was left like that (maybe we’re too far gone to be resolved) and I loved the last sentence.

Overall, a good read that may be better listened to rather than read because of the extra Feed features on the audio (e.g. music and realistic broadcasts during Feed intermissions).
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 21 May 2007
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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on 16 May 2014
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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on 8 May 2013
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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on 8 September 2016
It took me a few starts to get into this book, because the language is that of the future youth from whose point of view the story is told. But despite their frenzied yet shallow existence, Feed tells a tragic story of young adults lost in their own limited experience, unable to break out of it. Great story.
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