Okay, FTS Readers! We are going to try our first ever giveaway on the blog. I just listened to the best audiobook, and I want to pass along the wealth. One lucky winner will get to own this audiobook. You can play it on a CD player or copy onto an MP3. Do you listen to audiobooks? They are supposed to be great for literacy and can really bring a book to life. The audiobook I listened to is Feed By M.T. Anderson. Now, the book is already fantastic, but the audiobook is something else. I have never listened to an audiobook like this before. Let me explain.
In The Feed, our narrator, Titus, lives in a world where the sign of being upper middle class is being the proud owner of the feed. The feed is attached to the brain and is like your own personal internet. The good thing? You are never without your portal to the world. The feed gives you a constant track of TV shows, news, information, and commercials for products. Sound familiar? The bad thing? The feed so consumes your thoughts that basically people have forgotten how to think for themselves. The word most often used by Titus is “thing” and “stuff.” His friends are all made out to be mindless bimbos and jerks that have to constantly be given more and more stimulation to feel anything.
The pivotal moment in our story comes when Titus’s friends go to the moon to hang out (“turned out to totally suck”) and meet Violet, a girl who didn’t receive her feed until she was six. She’s the equivalent of that kid at school that has just received cable TV and wears the same dress every day. The kids are fascinated by her and invite her to tag along. But when they are out dancing at a club, they are “hacked” by a man and forced to say the same words over and over again. To clear the system, the government decides to turn off their feeds and take them to the hospital. For the first time ever, Titus and his friends (except for one of the girls) is without a feed and very much lost without it. Titus forms a relationship with Violet during the hospital stay and the two become inseparable. Violet begins to challenge the feed and ask questions Titus has never thought of before. He begins to come alive, and this “pebbles in the water” type of disturbance begins to alienate him from his friends. Titus will have to choose who he wants to be, a mindless drone or an outsider who challenges the status quo.
So the really cool thing about this audiobook you get to hear the feed. In the book, there are many times where the author interrupts the story to write an excerpt that the feed is saying. In the audio track, they actually create the tracks, including songs with lyrics that are so bad they will make you puke. So you get to experience the feed for yourself.
The really scary thing about this book is that it was written in 2002, at least 7 years ago, and Anderson has painted a world that is creepy in its similarity to our own world. We now have Ipods and Iphones and portable devices that plug us into the world anytime, anywhere just like the feed. And also, the commercials on the feed do what Amazon and other marketing sites do, take our orders and make suggestions as to what we might want to buy next. It’s downright creepy.
Wake County owns the book in the system, but we do not own the audiobook. The contest is open to Wake County library card holders only. To win, just write a comment below. One winner will be drawn at random on Friday, October 9th, and will be sent to the Wake County library of your choice for pickup. Make sure you list a way to contact you in your comment. If you have a wordpress account, that will work.