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Feed by M.T. Anderson

Feed (original 2002; edition 2012)

by M.T. Anderson

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3,4753831,530 (3.8)231
Authors:M.T. Anderson
Info:Candlewick (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Dystopia, Science Fiction, Satire

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Feed by M. T. Anderson (2002)


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Much like the titular “feed” that dominates the lives of the adolescents featured in this story, Anderson’s novel fluctuates between two goals—it is both a cautionary satire against the dominance of pervasive, continuous media saturation of our everyday lives and a poignant tale of doomed adolescent romance.

Set in a future America where citizens decide when the sun will rise and set in their self-contained suburbs, teenagers vacation on the moon, and no one exists unless a marketing conglomerate can construct a profile of you based on your online activity (especially your shopping habits), Feed tells the story of Titus and Violet, two adolescents who meet while vacationing on the moon. While there, their feeds (in this future America, you see, nearly everyone is hard-wired to the Internet via an implanted feed) are hacked by a cyber-vigilante. Although Titus and most of his friends recover from the cyberattack, Violet—whose feed was implanted when she was at an advanced age and whose parents had to settle for a low-budget feed—suffers more grave consequences.

Although the neologistic slang that Anderson invents for his characters takes a bit of time to master, his satire of our contemporary obsession with staying “cyber-connected” at the expense of genuine human connection is bitingly clear throughout the narrative. One could criticize the literary merits of this work by pointing out that the minor characters are not very well developed and that the plot shifts its focus about two-thirds of the way into the novel from satire to melancholy and tragic romance, but the argument might also be made that these features of the novel occur by design to emphasize the dehumanizing effects of all-pervasive technology.

An overall quick read, Feed provides much fodder for the conversation about the relative benefits and drawbacks of technology that seems to develop at an increasingly exponential pace. ( )
  jimrgill | Sep 16, 2015 |
Dystopian life isn't so bad, even though high ambient radiation levels cause everyone to breakout in weeping skin lesions, the world's forest are gone, and the lakes are burning- you can still buy anything you want from the banners on your feed AND have it shipped instantaneously to you wherever you are! Feed by M T Anderson warns of a corporate greed so visceral that all humans voluntarily choose to have an electronic monitor implanted in their brains allowing for ease of communication, but also allowing for corporate assessment of everything one buys, communicates, and thinks. Different from the genre, the storyline is not dominated by the manipulative power of the government- this is a free society...as long as you have the money to afford to buy the things that make survival possible despite the inability of the earth to support it. The novel generates lots of questions about who is really in control and why citizens allow themselves to be manipulated by the massive corporate entity feednet- is it just to get the best deals on the newest styles at Weatherbee & Crotch? Not for young readers, coarse language and almost-sex scenes make this science fiction story more appropriate for older young adult readers. ( )
  MzzColby | Aug 13, 2015 |
Wow. This one blew me away. Every bit of this story resonated deeply and I now see prototypes of the Feed everywhere. The novel's implications complicate my parenting decisions with which I struggle daily; I could totally relate to Violet's father!

A must-read for anyone who can handle it (the almost inarticulate slang of the future can get really annoying), but I recommend the audio only. ( )
  engpunk77 | Aug 10, 2015 |
Think A Clockwork Orange meets I, Robot and you're on the right track to grasping the concept of Feed. If you've ever read or watched A Clockwork Orange, you'll remember the made up language/slang called Nadsat which was so complicated that a glossary was included at the back off the book. Feed isn't quite that difficult but it does take a meg long time to get used to (that was a little example there). As veteran readers of the blog will know, I am fascinated (or you could say horrified) by the theory that technology will one day destroy humanity as we know it now. One could even argue that it's already well under way. What M.T. Anderson has done is look at how corporations and the media have shaped our culture and what might happen if we surrender fully to it. This is a worst case scenario (at least I hope it is) of what happens when we cease asking questions and nourishing our natural curiosity. What if we were all tapped into the media and each other in such a way that we soon became mere vessels for corporations to exploit? Would life find a way? Find out by reading Feed and letting your imagination run wild. ( )
  AliceaP | Jun 9, 2015 |
YALSA Outstanding Books for the College Bound; BBYA 2002. RGG: Sci-fi. Boring and confusing.
  rgruberhighschool | May 1, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 383 (next | show all)
Subversive, vigorously conceived, painfully situated at the juncture where funny crosses into tragic, ''Feed'' demonstrates that young-adult novels are alive and well and able to deliver a jolt. The fact that it is a finalist for the National Book Award is in itself a good sign.
FEED is laugh-out-loud funny in its satire, but at the same time it is absolutely terrifying.

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
M. T. Andersonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baker, David AaronNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To all those who resist the feed-M.T.A
First words
We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck.
"Everything we've grown up with the stories on the feed, the games, all of that it's all streamlining our personalities so we're easier to sell to."
You know, I think death is shallower now. It used to be a hole you fell into and kept falling. Now it's just a blank.
But we have entered a new age. We are a new people. It is now the age of oneiric culture, the culture of dreams.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Titus and his friends are typical middle class teens sometime in the far future. They go to School (TM) which is owned by the big corporations. But mostly they listen to their feed, a smart Internet connection directly connected into their brains. The feed knows what they like, it knows what they want and it knows the coolest thing of the moment. The feed markets products to them constantly and also allows them to have private chats with anyone else any time. Then one night Titus meets Violet, a girl a little off the grid. She didn't get a feed until she was 7 and mistrusts the marketing. Amusingly, her father is a professor of dead languages, like Fortran and Basic. Then one night a hacker protester infects their feeds and they learn something about life without the feed.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0763622591, Paperback)

This brilliantly ironic satire is set in a future world where television and computers are connected directly into people's brains when they are babies. The result is a chillingly recognizable consumer society where empty-headed kids are driven by fashion and shopping and the avid pursuit of silly entertainment--even on trips to Mars and the moon--and by constant customized murmurs in their brains of encouragement to buy, buy, buy.

Anderson gives us this world through the voice of a boy who, like everyone around him, is almost completely inarticulate, whose vocabulary, in a dead-on parody of the worst teenspeak, depends heavily on three words: "like," "thing," and the second most common English obscenity. He's even made this vapid kid a bit sympathetic, as a product of his society who dimly knows something is missing in his head. The details are bitterly funny--the idiotic but wildly popular sitcom called "Oh? Wow! Thing!", the girls who have to retire to the ladies room a couple of times an evening because hairstyles have changed, the hideous lesions on everyone that are not only accepted, but turned into a fashion statement. And the ultimate awfulness is that when we finally meet the boy's parents, they are just as inarticulate and empty-headed as he is, and their solution to their son's problem is to buy him an expensive car.

Although there is a danger that at first teens may see the idea of brain-computers as cool, ultimately they will recognize this as a fascinating novel that says something important about their world. (Ages 14 and older) --Patty Campbell

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:26 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

In a future where most people have computer implants in their heads to control their environment, a boy meets an unusual girl who is in serious trouble. So says Titus, a teenager whose ability to read, write, and even think for himself has been almost completely obliterated by his "feed," a transmitter implanted directly into his brain. Feeds are a crucial part of life for Titus and his friends. After all, how else would they know where to party on the moon, how to get bargains at Weatherbee & Crotch, or how to accessorize the mysterious lesions everyone's been getting? But then Titus meets Violet, a girl who cares about what's happening to the world and challenges everything Titus and his friends hold dear. A girl who decides to fight the feed.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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