Google+ If You Like Books: Feed by Mira Grant

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Feed by Mira Grant

If you like: zombies * reporting * technology

Feed is a different kind of outbreak story. Instead of taking place in the immediate aftermath, it takes place decades later. Zombies are a part of life in the new world, and appropriate precautions are in place. Feed follows the exploits of a group of bloggers, led by siblings Georgia and Shaun, who report from the campaign trail alongside the front-runner for president. Many outbreak stories leave the origin of the disease to the imagination of the reader, but not Feed. Here it is spelled out with clinical accuracy. The specificity adds to the horror, as the potential of every person and every animal over 40 pounds is well known.

Though zombies play a large role in Feed, the primary story is the state of politics in the United States, and the potential conspiracy guiding it. Georgia and Shaun put the news and the truth above all else. Conspiratorial actors become much more virulent in a zombie-infested world. Terrorism is also a wholly different concept. A suicide bomber in the present presents one sort of challenge; in this future potential victims become potential threats instantaneously. This world takes xenophobia to a new extreme—anyone that you are not in constant contact with is someone to be feared. Creating a sense of hope and a positive future in a political campaign in these circumstances is nearly impossible. Is it better to lead with fear, or to inspire constituents to leave it behind and live in a new paradigm?

Feed is a refreshing take on the zombie genre. It seems like zombies are everywhere these days, but most stories take place in the immediate aftermath of an outbreak. The long term planning and survival techniques in Feed present a different view. This dystopian future makes dying even worse, because once you are dead you become a liability to your family, and instead of grieving they must take action against you. Reanimation reframes many of the perspectives about death that are common place today. Should you allow your loved ones to hold on until they are completely changed, or end their life while they are still the person you loved? At the same time, the day-to-day lives of many people are not too different from the present. People are not living a nomadic existence, hoping to survive until the morning. Instead society continues on a in a new, restructured way. In spite of the bleak future, there is hope in Feed.

If you want the truth, no matter the cost, read Feed.

Grant, Mira. Feed. New York: Hachette Book Group, 2010. Kindle Edition.

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