M. T. Anderson
Feed Cover



I have a complicated history with the sub-genre "Cyberpunk." I loved Little Brother by Cory Doctorow, and did not understand Neuromancer by William Gibson. So when I stumbled on this novel by M.T. Anderson, I shelved it as something I would be interested in reading in the future and went on to read (or try) Feed by Mira Grant one of the worst books of all time.

Well I finally got around to checking this novel out and Boy I am sorry I did not read this novel sooner, and frankly instead of Mira Grant's. This novel actually brought me to tears at the end. I mean it a couple of real tears squeezed out of my eyes.

In looking at other reviews of this novel there were complaints about the language of the teen characters and how it was barely English, which down in the comment section quickly became a critique of today's teens writing and speaking style. Well guess what all you 40 to 50 somethings out there complaining about the way today's teens talk, and write, what do you think our parents and grand parents were saying about us in the grand days of "Valley girl and Surfer Lingo" we peppered our entire teen years with. I myself peppered my everyday speeches with "totallys", "Likes", "Mans", "Dudes" (and the short-lived Dudettes)among others. Every generation goes through this. Now I will get off my soap box and admit I also found it hard to bare at first.

I the reader is willing to get past the language, the story itself is so heart-wrenching as to be almost unendurable. The two main characters, Titus and Violet, are two of the most tragic characters I might have ever read, and what comes most to my mind was "Romeo and Juliet" not because of the similarities to the storyline, because they are tentative to say the least, but because the personalities of the two characters are so similar. Bear with me as I explain.

In Shakespeare's play, Romeo is a spoiled and entitled rich boy who is lets be frank, is more than a little shallow. Although touted as one of the great romances, lets not forget that at the beginning of the play Romeo is pining for the true love of his life, Rosaline, oh yeah, That's right, our "star-crossed lover-boy was jonesing for some other piece-o-tail when we are introduced to him. And this totally reminded my of Titus from Feed. He was skipping through life on a shallow pillow of obliviousness.

Juliet, on the other hand seemed to be a young girl who has been sheltered by her overbearing family all her life (I have to wonder if They had not been in such a rush to you know, marry and kill themselves, would they have just broken up in 6 months?). Violet was definitely just looking to experience a normal life. But because she was raised by "Intellectuals" she is just different from Titus and her friends, but she wants to fit in and it was painful to see her failing time and again. Meanwhile she is dealing with he repercussions of the cyber-attack at the beginning of the novel basically alone.

What keeps this novel from being just another sci-fi teenage angst romance, is the amazing setting. Titus and Violet fall in (and out) of love amidst the background of a failing society. Where rampant consumerism is so pervasive that it has effected all aspects of life by the constant use of "the feed" hard wired into the brain. I listed to the audio version of this novel produced by Penguin Random House Audion Publishing Group and read by David Aron Baker, and the way this recording handled the little vignettes of the feed were inspired. It made the overwhelming nature of the how the characters must have been experiencing the feed all the time just a little more real for me.

All I am going to say about the ending was, sad, so so sad.....

I can not recommend this book more strongly. I wish I could give it more than 5 star.