There are times when I enjoy a book, but I don’t necessarily feel like it’s appropriate for its target audience. That’s how I felt after listening to the audio edition of Feed written by M. T. Anderson, first published in 2002. The cover says this book is suitable for those 12 and over. I honestly feel like this book is more appropriate for young adults and older than it is for a tween audience.
First of all, without giving too much away, if you’ve ever watched the 2006 movie, Idiocracy and then imagined this book having a “love child” with Kurt Vonnegut‘s 1999 book, Cat’s Cradle: A Novel, and “Social Media” playing the role of the midwife…yeah. That’s Feed in a nutshell.
If you HAVEN’T seen the movie, Idiocracy, here’s a clip: (*Warning: Adult Language/Situations. NOT suitable for young viewers.*)
In the story, Feed, we see the results of “natural selection,” a dumbing down of human species. The language used in feed is similar, if not worse, than the language used in Idiocracy. (You may lose I.Q. points within the first few chapters.) My favorite scene in the book is when the family is sitting around the table explaining to their guest, Violet, why the last forest needed to be cut down…to make room for an oxygen factory.
I don’t think I could read the paper or digital copies of this dystopian novel. I feel like this story was probably more entertaining in an audio format. Periodically, it breaks into commercials to help give the illusion that you are listening to the “Feed” being broadcast inside the main character’s head. The narration was really well-done. It did sound like commercials and kid show snippets being played.
All things considered, I enjoyed the audio edition of this story. If you’re interested in a feel-good/happy story, you may want to look elsewhere.