Ahoy there me mateys. I have been wanting to read this book for a long time. I know that I just read another book about implants but an audio copy of this was in the hold of a local library and so I commandeered it. From Scalzi’s BrainPal in the Old Man’s War series to Guppi in we are legion (we are bob) to multiple books in the hold like the red by linda ngata and hot-head by simon ings waiting to be read – I have always been fascinated about the pros and cons of having an implant in me head and being continuously connected to a feed.
I can’t say that I liked this book and was in fact thinking about making it walk the plank. But it was one of those books that I really enjoyed thinking about after the fact. I have been pretty much continuously pondering the concepts of this book over the last two days.
One reason is because the audio book was just so well done. I had tried to read this book before and never could get into it. But the idea of the feed fascinates me and so many people loved this one. So I gave the audio book a shot. I think this be one of the experiences where the audio book enriched me enjoyment.
Ye see, I actually disliked every character – especially the main narrator. I disliked what society had become. I disliked that there really was no plot. And yet listening to the slang and language of the characters and how the feed was portrayed felt so realistic. The commercials and advertisements were just amazing. Excellent production values. Horrible products. It is a future I never want to live in but I think the author did a fantastic job presenting a plausible possibility. I can’t stop thinking about the writing.
In this version of our future, the world is a toxic wasteland, the corporations own everything, and the feed’s main purpose seems to be to control the populist with a consumer driven culture. The feed tells everyone what to buy, listen to, and almost how to feel.
The main story-line follows Titus and a girl he meets on the moon named Violet. The young people are out at a club when their feeds are hacked and they are without the feed until it gets fixed. Only Violet’s feed can’t be fixed properly. This book explores the consequences of a malfunctioning feed, Titus’s conflicting thoughts about Violet and her non-standard ideas about the feed, and some of the larger ideas and problems of a feed-driven society.
It had quite a shift of me own in perspective. I went from thinking the book was awful immediately after I finished reading to enjoying the thoughts after the journey and finally growing to respect the author’s work. I will likely never re-read this again because I still don’t like it but I love the way it enriched me brain. Arrr!
Goodreads has this to say about the novel:
Identity crises, consumerism, and star-crossed teenage love in a futuristic society where people connect to the Internet via feeds implanted in their brains.
For Titus and his friends, it started out like any ordinary trip to the moon – a chance to party during spring break and play with some stupid low-grav at the Ricochet Lounge. But that was before the crazy hacker caused all their feeds to malfunction, sending them to the hospital to lie around with nothing inside their heads for days. And it was before Titus met Violet, a beautiful, brainy teenage girl who has decided to fight the feed and its omnipresent ability to categorize human thoughts and desires. Following in the footsteps of George Orwell, Anthony Burgess, and Kurt Vonnegut Jr., M. T. Anderson has created a not-so-brave new world — and a smart, savage satire that has captivated readers with its view of an imagined future that veers unnervingly close to the here and now.
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