Family Reading Hour: “Feed”

November 16, 2009 at 4:43 pm | Posted in Book Blather, Fiction, Young Adult Fiction | 2 Comments

What are those things that gang aft agley?  That’s right, “the best laid plans of mice and men!”  You’d think my ambitious plan to read with my new family for at least an hour a night would fall through, wouldn’t you?  Well, ha!  Because it’s been sixth months now and we’re still going strong.  Books like M. T. Anderson’s 2002 YA novel Feed are a large part of the reason.

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Feed is a spot-on satire of our materialistic, media-obsessed culture.  It’s amazing how prescient Anderson was, considering that seven years ago texting and Twitter were not the phenomena they are now.  Satire can wear a bit thin, but this book has an emotional depth and a thoughtful message that make it a truly rewarding read.

Now for our FRH experience.  We found this book howlingly funny.  There would be a couple of scenes a night when we were all laughing so hard we had to take a break.  I did the protagonist’s voice in a sort of Bill and Ted surfer accent, and we were just falling over dying.  We’ve been going around calling each other “Unit!”  This was also the first book in which we were interested in and responded to the discussion questions.

Okay, now I have to share a reality moment.  Noelie was walking around on the couch, as she likes to do: she calls her own name over and over when she wants to be picked up.  She got excited in a tense moment of the plot and started flapping her wings really hard.  Suddenly she slid off the couch and landed on Spike the Reading Assistance Dog.  She was scrabbling around on his side with her scratchy talons, still madly flapping, until she slid off into the dog bed.  She stood there, looked up at his inquisitive snout, touched him on the nose with that big black beak, and made a big smooch sound.  It went so well that now she keeps peering down into the dog bed, like she’s trying to figure out how to get back in.  Most likely, she is.



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  1. I really liked “Feed”, though it bothered me that so many adult readers felt the need to compare it to “1984” just because it’s also dystopian. It wasn’t a perfect book, granted, but it deserves its own respect and not just the “teenage “1984”” label.

    • Agreed!

      My brother and I read a lot of utopian and dystopian novels together in junior high and high school. 1984 honestly didn’t come to mind once while we were reading Feed.

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