Feed, by M.T. Anderson
Rating: 4 out of 5
Feed provides a haunting glimpse into what the future holds. Set in an America of the future, where citizens have feeds implanted into their brains and the planet is on the brink of collapse, the book follows the story of Titus, a rebellious teen who, through the course of the book, learns that actions have consequences, and even the simplest moment can change everything.
I struggled with this book when I first picked it up. In many ways, Feed reminds me of Catcher in the Rye (not my favorite book). This, coupled with the language Anderson has created, full of rich slang and an authentic voice, took some getting used to. But once I had gotten past the second chapter, I became immersed in the story.
The similarities to our own society were disturbing. The feed has been implanted directly into the brains of the majority of the population. The feed can be used to message a friend or watch a t.v. show or a movie. When you enter a store, ads flash through the feed. The feed even follows individual trends and maps out consumer identities, all to offer customized ads. Does any of this sound familiar?
Today you may find yourself at the dinner table, sending text messages or checking your email, watching YouTube clips on an iPhone or iPad, or sharing everything about your life through Facebook. In Feed, no specialized hand-held device is needed. The only way you can tell someone is using the feed is by their dazed, distracted look. And it’s completely normal. Gone are the days when these activities would be seen as rude. Gone is the sanctity of technology free dinners. And the scary thing is, I can see the Feed being invented in my lifetime.
I don’t usually read books like this, but I’m happy I gave Feed a chance. Not only was Anderson’s creation of voice outstanding and authentic, but his world building was honest and his message was clear. If you want a haunting read or a book that raises questions about the direction our society is heading, this just might be the book for you.