**This is from a published article I wrote for my college’s newspaper.**
Awakening Our Society: A Review of the Kindle Single
A new form of literature for the new generation
This month (March 2012), bestselling author Margaret Atwood released her first Kindle Single titled “I’m Starved for You” through with the digital publishing company Byliner. E-singles, which are digital novellas, have grown in popularity since the launch of Amazon’s Kindle Singles in January 2011. Although less than 30,000 words, “I’m Starved for You,” efficiently tells a gripping story about a married man struggling with his obsessive desire for another man’s wife. From the start, the e-single raises compelling questions such as “what kind of world is our society becoming?” and “how will we try and fix the problems we have created?”
The e-single, set in the not-so-distant future, takes place in a dystopian community called Consilience. Stan, the protagonist, and his wife Charmaine have agreed to live in Consilience, giving up their free will in exchange for safety and a better life in a sort of Lockean social contract. In this repressive and controlled society, everyone has an assigned Alternate, a person with whom they switch positions with every month. During one month a person inhabits their house and works in the town, and during the next they become the prisoners of the community prison “Positron” with this cycle continuing month after month. The purpose of this: to alleviate the problems our society has created, such as high unemployment rates and overflowed prisons. As explained by Ed, one of the masterminds behind Consilience’s creation, “You can’t eat your so-called individual liberties, and the human spirit pays no bills, and something had to be done to relieve the pressure inside the social pressure cooker.”
“I’m Starved for You” is characteristic of Atwood’s captivating writing style, including flashback scenes and an open-ending reminiscent of her international bestseller “The Handmaid’s Tale.” “I’m Starved for You” has all the right plot combinations; it makes the reader reevaluate the things that society considers important, leading the reader to realize that no society can be truly perfect. This along with its short length makes it a great read for people, especially college students, who love a good read and yet do not have the time to read a full length novel.
However, this e-single lacks a neatly tied up ending, something that is rarely found in Atwood novels. Furthermore, the short length of this novel has its drawbacks. There is not enough time for further character development; the story seems to end just as the reader begins to connect with and learn more about the characters. There are many questions that are left unanswered, and while it is good to allow room for further conversations, too much speculation can result in a very confused reader.
In a press release, Atwood stated, “The inspiration for ‘I’m Starved for You’ is, as usual with my ‘speculative fictions,’ real life. This is a story that imagines what might happen if certain present-day trends continue.” And imagines it does, creating a world that is utterly dystopian and set up for failure. “I’m Starved for You” proves that e-singles, which can be often read in one sitting, may just be the new wave of digital short-literature our technological and fad-obsessed society needs.
**This is a 100% honest review**