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Bloody Shambles

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Pale Fire: A Poem in Four Cantos by John Shade
Vladimir Nabokov, Brian Boyd
Pale Fire
Vladimir Nabokov
Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground New Edition
Michael Moynihan, Didrik Søderlind
Under Stones
Bob Franklin
The Erotic Potential of My Wife
David Foenkinos, Yasmine Gaspard
A Corner of White
Jaclyn Moriarty
Winter's Bone
Daniel Woodrell
Progress: 99 %
Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders
Neil Gaiman
The Beetle
Richard Marsh
Wreck This Journal
Keri Smith
Feed - M.T. Anderson So, here's the review I wrote about 25% of the way through:There are some YA books that could easily be interchangeable with adult fiction. This is not one of them. This is clearly "a message for the kids". And that message is: The internet is making you all stupid, inarticulate, illiterate drones and you should all be sitting down to a nice family meal after a good long play outside and murgh! You kids get off my lawn!Feed is NOT THIS. It is SO not this. And I've never been happier to have been proven wrong.What Feed IS, is a brilliant, memorable exploration of consumer culture and American society. It is also a beautiful, tragic, poignant love story. Above all, though, it is warning. While governments and corporations are taking over every aspects of our lives by stealth, we need to resist. Take a look at what's going on with America's TransPacific Trade Partnership, and tell me this isn't happening as we speak: https://www.eff.org/issues/tpp Okay, lecture over. The book isn't all doom and gloom. There is plenty of wit, humour and charm to this story. While the main character, Titus, comes across at first as childish and "not the quickest bunny in the centrifuge", you soon find yourself empathising with him despite his shortcomings. Anderson's characters have depth, despite the cartoonish feel of the dialogue. Ah.....the dialogue. It's tempting to put the book down early in protest against the over-the-top slang - but please don't. The slang IS an integral plot device, it is satirical and not a writer's attempt to sound cool and appeal to the YA market. If you're thinking, "This has all been done before", so was I..... at first. But Anderson explores some more subtle issues in Feed, like: What happens when corporations not only analyse your personality in order to market to you, but CHANGE and simplify your personality to make you easier to market to? At what point does convenience become learned helplessness? At what point do you stop dismissing events that take place outside your own country, and start asking why the missiles of the world are all pointing at you? And this: When did buying something become synonymous with "winning"? While reading the book, I had one of those auction shows on the tv in the background. There was one chilling moment when I overheard a man bragging about how fantastic he was feeling because he fought a hard fight and came out victorious..... in an auction. All he did was spend more money than someone else, but in his mind he had won some victory. I shuddered.If you're tempted to curl up in the foetal position after having read this book, try to remember - this only happens if we let it. Technology can be, and should be, a force for knowledge, freedom and a better quality of life. It can still be that, but we have to protect our own autonomy along the way. Understand how the technology works, and how it is manipulated by others, and that goes a long way toward "resisting the feed".