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Feed by M.T. Anderson
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Jul 05, 2010

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bookshelves: fiction, audio

I have mixed feelings about this book. In fact, I have kind of unclear feelings about this book.

Some of the imagery/ideas are haunting. But I think for the most part, the execution was off for me. The satire was just TOO over the top ridiculous. A clothing store named Weatherbee & Crotch? Really?

It's hard to talk about this book without spoilers, because I feel like the end is when it all comes together and feels worthwhile; yet, paradoxically, the ending is really unsatisfying. I did get the sense that it was SUPPOSED to be unsatisfying, but that wasn't always enough to save it.

I listened to this on audio, and it did allow for the neat touch of being able to HEAR ads/info that were on the feed. They were mostly annoying and cheesy, but I again, I gather they were supposed to be.

SPOILERISH STUFF AHEAD:

For those who did read this, I'm wondering how you felt about Titus. It's a risk, writing a narrator the audience isn't going to like. But I also felt uncomfortable with my frustration, because it's like, he's just a KID, so of course I shouldn't expect him to be as reasonable/mature as my adult self. Except, I clearly did expect that, because the way he just completely drops the ball (both in terms of passing up a chance to break away and in failing to be an even halfway decent romantic partner) really bothered me. I think we're supposed to see the world as too powerful to rebel against, the situation too much for a teen to handle, and his too-little-too-late effort at the very end as a tiny hopeful sign. But I mostly felt annoyed at him. And the juxtaposition of the realistically flawed character against the overdone world (with the silly names and slang) didn't always jive for me. There were moments, though. You really felt the painful awkwardness of his relationship breaking down, for example.

Reading other reviews it seems like there are mixed feelings about this, but I personally rather liked how little details about the world are just dropped in casually; it's horrifying to see how the characters just accept things like the fact that sea creatures have to be enclosed in some kind of protective casing to actually survive in the ocean, for example. On the same note, though, I wanted MORE of these details, and less of the slang and the navel-gazing. In some ways I wonder if he doesn't give teens enough credit. I know it's satire, but man, they are shallow to an almost goofy extent. Yet. Yet yet yet. I keep coming back to how it is pretty ballsy to make a futuristic satire that's more about the characters/relationships than the world, and then to make the characters kind of suck.

It's got me thinking, at least.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Lauren One of my comm college students read that last year. He was uber pissed at the way it ended. Was it funny??


Robina To be fair, I know someone who taught this and a lot of the kids were like "The feed sounds awesome!" So maybe he is actually giving them enough credit. :/


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