I picked up ‘Feed’ by M.T. Anderson last time I was at the secondhand book store after seeing it mentioned in ‘Writing Irresistible KidLit’ by Mary Kole.
The end of school was fast approaching so I knew I wouldn’t be able to dive right in, but I placed ‘Feed’ on my desk ready for those brief moments of downtime (aka the kids are asleep and the husband is gaming.)
I finally picked it up last week and tried to get into it… and failed. I’ve only managed seven pages and I can’t bring myself to struggle through any more. This is (almost) a first as I try very hard to get to the end of each and every book I start reading. (My only other failure-to-finish books being ‘Gerald’s Game’ by Stephen King and the infamous ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ by E.L. James.)
What is the problem with ‘Feed’?
Well, it won an award (Los Angeles Times Book Prize) and is held up as an example in Mary Kole’s excellent book on writing, there are also many good reviews to be found so other readers have enjoyed it. I’m not saying it’s a bad book. I can’t even say if it’s a good story or not because I haven’t made it far enough in.
MY problem with this book is the language used, I can’t follow it! Maybe if I gave it more time and spent that little bit more energy figuring it all out, I would understand what the author is trying to say and enjoy the story. But I don’t want to do that. When I pick up a book I want to fall into that other world, I want it to welcome me with open arms and show me all of it’s charms. I don’t want to feel like I’m studying.
‘Feed’ is set in a future where humans have a ‘feed’ directly into their brains which tells them what they like, what they should buy, what they should think. The main character is a teenage boy named Titus and the opening scene has Titus and his friends heading to the moon for a vacation. Sounds pretty interesting so far, yeah? The back cover of the book tells me that things change for Titus when he meets a girl who wants to fight the feed. It sounds great! I really wanted to read this story and see what happens, but to me the language used is so convoluted I just couldn’t get in to it.
The MC is a teen, so he uses slang. The problem is that he uses future world slang which means nothing to me, so I read a few lines and then have to decipher what it means. Which to me, feels like this:
We were all going to *made up word* but then she *made up word* and that was really *made up word* so then we just *made up word*.