Sunday, March 25, 2012

Audiobook Review: Feed (This book is still unit!)

Anderson, M.T.  (2002).  Feed.  Cambridge, MA:  Candlewick Press.

300 pages (5 hours, 1 minute audio book)

Appetizer:  Titus and his friends went to the moon for a good time and while it was kind of fun since he met a girl named Violet, it wound up sucking because some of their feeds were hacked.  But after that, Titus's life isn't quite the same, a fact he has trouble dealing with.

The feed is--essentially--an internet connection in most people's heads, complete with advertising, chats and viruses.  Through Titus's voice, M.T. Anderson reveals a possible future in which skin legions are becoming cool, the English language is diminishing, schools are run by companies and consumerism is a requirement.  Although only written in 2002, some of Anderson's predictions feel as though they are only several years or decades away from becoming realities.

The audiobook was a fun read.  The ads that are sprinkled throughout the novel are brought to life with actual jingles and all of the comments made from the President sound vaguely George W. Bush-like (dating the book a little).

This week my students had the choice between reading Feed and Brave New World.  As I was re-reading Feed though, I thought of an even better book pair:  Feed and A Walk to Remember.  No, seriously.  The different ways that the protagonists deal with the declining health of their girlfriends is fascinating.

When we discussed the book, my students didn't seem to enjoy Feed as much as I thought they would.  But it became apparent from our discussion why they were resisting the text:  It was scary.  Aspects of the scary dystopian future were a little too familiar.

Frankly, that just makes me even more impressed with Anderson's Feed.

Dinner Conversation:

"We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck." (p. 3)

"I guess if I'm honest?  Then I was hoping to meet someone on the moon. Maybe part of it was the loneliness of the craters, but I was feeling like it was maybe time to hook up with someone again, because it had been a couple of months." (p. 5)

"Link and I were chatting about the girl, like I was going, She is meg youch, and he was going, What the hell's she wearing?, and I was going, Wool.  it's wool.  Like from an animal, and then Calista did her own chat to us, which was, If you want to hear about an animal, what about two guys staring with their mouths wide open so they look completely Cro-Magnon?"  (p. 21)

"She was on the moon all alone.  Here it was, spring break, and she was on the moon, where there was all this meg action, and she was there without friends.  She said she just walked through the crowds and watched, and she saw all these great things that way.  She said she was there to observe."  (p. 28)

"She took me up to a huge window.  We stood in front of it.  Outside the window, there had been a garden, like, I guess you could call it a courtyard or terrarium?  But a long time ago the glass ceiling over the terrarium had cracked, and so everything was dead, and there was moon dust all over everything out there.  Everything was gray.
Also, something was leaking air and heat out in the garden, lots of waste air, and the air was rocketing off into space through the hole, so all of the dead vines in the garden were standing straight up, slapping back and forth, pulled toward the crack in the ceiling where we could see the stars.
"Whoa," I said.
"Isn't it beautiful?"
"It's like...," I said.  "It's like a squid in love with the sky."
She was only looking at me, which was nice.  I hadn't felt anything like that for a long time.
She rubbed my head, and she went, "You're the only one of them that uses metaphor."
She was staring at me, and I was staring at her, and I moved toward her, and we kissed.  The vines beat against each other out in the gray, dead garden, they were all writing against the spine of the Milky Way on its edge, and for the first time, I felt her spine, too, each knuckle of it, with my fingers, while the air leaked and the plants whacked each other near the silent stars." (pp. 62-63)

Tasty Rating:  !!!!!


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