Saturday, May 2, 2009

Book review of "Feed"

My review of Feed by MT Anderson

Everyone keeps saying this is a futuristic/dystopian satire - which it is, don't get me wrong - but before reading this book, I had no idea what it was actually about. So here's a summary with plot in mind:

Titus meets Violet on the moon, and finds himself instantly drawn to her. While partying, someone hacks their feed – a constant stream of media, music, and advertisements sent straight to your brain – and Titus ends up recovering with Violet in the hospital. There Titus learns that Violet is somewhat of a nonconformist. She's homeschooled, her father teaches dead languages, and she didn't get her feed until she turned seven.

The rest of Titus' friends think that Violet is weird. He thinks she's unique, despite her urgings to "resist the feed" and her regular lamentations about their dying world. But then Violet really does start acting weird. Why does her feed keep malfunctioning? What if it can't be fixed? Titus loves Violet, but her last wishes may be too much, even for him.

My basic impression was, decent enough book, but what's the point? It was a richly drawn universe and kudos to Anderson for giving his teen characters such authentic, futuristic voices (this includes quite a lot of swearing); but there wasn't much meat to the plot.

The characters never address the problems with their current lifestyle or the feed. Their relationship is lukewarm to start with, and ends with a shrug. Nobody changes. Nothing is added to, affected, or made any different. I got the sensation of being partial to a three-month window of Titus’ life.
I do have to admit that I’m not a real fan of dystopian. Did I enjoy it while reading? Yes. Would I read it again? No. Technically, this book had a great voice, a decent plot, left no subplots hanging, and is probably a very decent dystopian. But if you dislike books with sad endings, I wouldn’t recommend it.

I’ll give it three out of five stars.

This is a slightly revised version of my original review, which you can read here at Goodreads. By the way, don't forget to comment on Cindy Pon's interview if you want one of her authentic chinese-brush bookmarks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It sounds interesting, I'll have to check it out!

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