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Feed Paperback – July 17, 2012

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Editorial Reviews Review

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

In this chilling novel, Anderson (Burger Wuss; Thirsty) imagines a society dominated by the feed a next-generation Internet/television hybrid that is directly hardwired into the brain. Teen narrator Titus never questions his world, in which parents select their babies' attributes in the conceptionarium, corporations dominate the information stream, and kids learn to employ the feed more efficiently in School. But everything changes when he and his pals travel to the moon for spring break. There Titus meets home-schooled Violet, who thinks for herself, searches out news and asserts that "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." Without exposition, Anderson deftly combines elements of today's teen scene, including parties and shopping malls, with imaginative and disturbing fantasy twists. "Chats" flow privately from mind to mind; Titus flies an "upcar"; people go "mal" (short for "malfunctioning") in contraband sites that intoxicate by scrambling the feed; and, after Titus and his friends develop lesions, banner ads and sit-coms dub the lesions the newest hot trend, causing one friend to commission a fake one and another to outdo her by getting cuts all over her body. Excerpts from the feed at the close of each chapter demonstrate the blinding barrage of entertainment and temptations for conspicuous consumption. Titus proves a believably flawed hero, and ultimately the novel's greatest strength lies in his denial of and uncomfortable awakening to the truth. This satire offers a thought-provoking and scathing indictment that may prod readers to examine the more sinister possibilities of corporate- and media-dominated culture. Ages 14-up.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 299 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; Reprint edition (July 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763662623
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763662622
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (442 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,682 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Jessica Ferguson VINE VOICE on January 28, 2004
Format: Hardcover
M. T. Anderson has written a refreshing science fiction novel in a genre that has recently relied largely on fantasy and far less on science. He has created a not-to-distant future world where everything is accessed via a "feed" that is implanted directly into the brain. An internalized internet, the feed even allows for "chatting" so there is little need to speak if one chooses not to and true reading is nearly obsolete.
While the narrator, Titus, lives in a world that is still identifiable to those of us in the 21st century - school (although it is trademarked), parties, music, driving, dancing, and drinking - there are also unfamiliar and extreme aspects like an electronic drug substitute, standardized lingo, disposable tables, and extreme consumerism. Even this tightly controlled future however, is peppered with resisters, and Titus' own girlfriend suffers horribly from her feed when it malfunctions due to a combination of having it implanted late in life (when she was 7) and being hit by a "hacker".
Perhaps because it is a young adult novel, Anderson just barely skims the surface of the economic, political and environmental tensions of the feed and its consumer culture. He does not, however, wimp out in building believable, dimensional characters and relationships.
Anderson has created an intriguing read about a world that is so close you may be reading about the first "feed" in the newspaper tomorrow.
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51 of 56 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Imagine instant-messaging your friends in your mind. Imagine all those obnoxious computer pop-up ads happening right in your brain. Imagine retailers knowing precisely what you've ever bought, your favorite color, your shoe size. Imagine liking it. This is the scary, weird world described in M.T. Anderson's "Feed". Titus and his friends are average middle-class American teenagers of the future. They take for granted the weird convergence of technology, corporate intervention, and mind-control they live with known as a feed. Enter Violet; a girl Titus meets on spring break, a girl who wants to 'fight the feed'.
There are important and compelling issues raised in this novel about advertising, privacy, conformity, individualism and technology. It's a book that demands discussion, explanation and consideration. Unfortunately, I think that much of it may be over the heads of its teenaged target audience. Readers who need things spelled out may be challenged by this book because significant aspects of the setting (and what a grim future it is) are implied, or only mentioned in passing. I think few teenagers will be satisfied with the ending. And fewer still will probably spend much time thinking about the issues in the story after they've put it down. It's too bad that the profanity and few mild references to sexual situations will keep this book out of most classrooms, because it's really a story that deserves to be discussed, especially by young adults.
I do recommend this book for advanced and thoughtful teen readers. Sci-fi fans in particular will enjoy it. Other readers should appreciate the accurate portrayal of teen dating, cliques, jealousies, insecurities and friendships. I hope the larger, more important themes of the book will be grasped as well.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Laura Lynn Walsh on November 20, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is a not-to-be-missed look at a not too distant future, where technology has been taken to the next degree. Implanted in the brain when a child is just an infant is the Feed, a link to an on-line world with instantaneous hype.
Take a trip to the moon, and the Feed automatically clues you in to where the "in" places are to go. The Feed knows your buying preferences, your entertainment preferences, how to plug the latest fashion to fill your every want and it knows how to generate your next "need". This is consumerism on steriods.
And, speaking of steroids, there is a trip to the tissue farm, where filet mignon is growing in the fields.
The dialog is so real; the consumerism is so possible; the degradation of the global environment is so near. This book paints a picture of a world that is truly more frightening than horror stories.
All of this is ingeniously included in a boy meets girl story of seemingly normal adolescence.
Scariest of all: it seems almost inevitable.
An outstanding effort by M. T. Anderson.
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103 of 125 people found the following review helpful By N. S. VINE VOICE on October 7, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I was enlisted earlier this year by a college professor to share my expertise with her online children's literature class. Two weeks ago, just before I left for BookExpo, one of the students asked me:
"It seems that you like reading very much, maybe you can share with us why do you enjoy it so much? I really would like to know."
The beginning of my response was:
"A great book can take me off to a different world or bring me closer to this one. Frequently a great book will grab me by the throat and slam me against the wall..."
FEED, the latest book by M.T. Anderson, did all of those things to me--and more. In fact, at the moment it feels as if my nose is pulverized and askew and that the skin covering my shoulder blades scraped away when I slid down that wall and landed hard on my bottom.
I woke up long before dawn--from a mildly bad dream related to a part of the story I read last night--and quietly slipped out to my desk to finish the rest of the book.
FEED is a dark, futuristic satire. It's a tale both intense and extreme that pokes fun at our disposible, consumeristic society, at our communications revolution, at the increasing role of corporations in our education systems, and at the diminished vocabulary skills among those people who consistantly resort to a particular four-letter word as the adjective of choice in any given situation.
You may not enjoy reading a book that spews like a rapper or slams into you as if you've taken a left turn into a mosh pit, but the profound messages in FEED clearly make it the cautionary tale of the year.
The story begins on the Moon, where Titus and his friends have gone for spring break. He and his buddies all have Feed, which is an online computer implant typically installed shortly after birth.
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