Mark Reads ‘Feed’: Chapter 6

In the sixth chapter of Feed, the End Times crew discusses their first impressions of Ryman, and we learn exactly what caused the zombie outbreak to happen. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Feed.


Oh my god.

“Do you remember the guy who tried to kill George Romero with the zombie pit bulls?”

“That’s an urban myth, Buffy. It’s been disproven about ninety times,” I said, continuing to pace. “George Romero died peacefully in his bed.”

I love that this is a thing that’s in this book. I really do. Actually, it’s just great in general that Mira Grant openly acknowledges the master and creator of zombie horror in the way she does because he’s used to explain how the world was able to survive. In a way, it’s a neat way of acknowledging how fiction can be important. I mean, I don’t think that’s the intended reason why Grant included Romero in her series. I think it’s hard to talk about a zombie apocalypse without bringing him up. But in this case, he’s elevated to the status of a natural hero because of what he created.

Anyway, this chapter deals with something that I knew would have to come up eventually, and, like the End Times crew, I was shocked that Senator Ryman brought it up so early into this journey. I figured that the team wouldn’t have 100% free access to everything in Ryman’s life, nor would they be able to publish articles or videos about everything they witnessed. Ryman is still running a campaign here, and he’s got to look out for his own interests. But his request wasn’t as monumental as I expected either. Actually, I found it to be rather reasonable: he didn’t want his wife Emily to appear in footage or stories all that often. Through this, I learn a new element of the zombie society: there are terrorists who bomb zoos. They’re like reverse animal rights protestors. Also:

They call themselves “pro-life,” but what they really are is pro-genocide.

I see you, thinly-veiled criticism of pro-life groups. (Well, intended or not, it still sort of works that way. High five, Grant.) Anyway, I am once again inclined to trust Georgia’s judgment here. I’m seeing events through her eyes, and she believes Senator Ryman. I think that the team and Ryman will clash again in the future about what can and cannot be published, but I get the feeling that Ryman really does respect what the bloggers are doing. It couldn’t have been easy for him to make such a request less than half a day after he met these people, so it must mean a lot to him.

When the chapter transitions to the team inside the van, I was in awe at the way the three of these bloggers work. They’re dynamic is just downright impressive. They almost feel like they’re finishing each other sentences; they understand their roles so well that the conversation is exhilarating to read. Obviously, that’s a credit to Grant, who was able to distill these three characters’ personalities down enough that I could understand them so early on in the book. And I love snappy and quick dialogue. The End Times time is like a well-oiled machine once they get going. Even when they have to discuss the dreaded idea of censorship, they’re all so in sync that it takes them twenty sentences to come to an agreement. Twenty! INCREDIBLE. I cannot wait to see them in action on the field.

The last portion of this chapter addresses the origin of the Kellis-Amberlee virus, and bless you, Mira Grant, for coming up with such a clever and damning backstory for the zombie apocalypse. It’s as much a damning indictment of misguided protestors as it is a criticism of the lengths by which the media will go to report the “truth.” And I get that Georgia is particularly perturbed by this because she’s so determined not to make the same mistake in her own reporting. She knows that it’s really Robert Stalnaker’s fault for reporting a rumor and indirectly inspiring a group to set Dr. Kellis’s cure for the common cold into the general populace. That’s the real tragic irony of all of this: the cure for the common cold and the cure for cancer created zombies. That is so fucked up, y’all. That act of political terrorism changed everything, and I like that Grant acknowledges that things like the death penalty, animal rights activism, and abortion become totally different social ills because of zombies. Oh god, she thought of everything, didn’t she? THIS IS SO FASCINATING! I am seriously so stoked to read more.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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