I’m Starved for You – Margaret Atwood
Summary: In the not-so-distant future, a town called Consilience emerges in the United States. The world outside of the community has gone crazy, so people have voluntarily elected to join the community in order to serve their “voluntary incarceration” time on alternating months, switching off with other people accordingly. Everything is going along quite swimmingly, until Stan, one of the volunteers, discovers a note left in his house by the people that live there when he’s not there. Will he be able to return to his life of normalcy in the community?
Review: Margaret Atwood is one of my all-time favorite writers, so when I found out about this one, I downloaded it immediately. As always, Atwood delivered in I’m Starved For You, and the only thing that would’ve made it better is if it were novel length.
Consilience, the community Atwood imagined, is completely eerie, and like most dystopias, doesn’t seem completely out of the realm of possibility. Basically, the world had gone to hell in a hand basket and the prisons were overrun, so people are voluntarily going to prison to serve out their terms. I really liked that this system wasn’t even questioned, but rather, just accepted by the people within the community. They honestly felt like they were getting a better deal by living here, which might be the creepiest part of all.
The characters were rather dry at first, which fit perfectly with the world they were living in, and I really liked how Stan started evolving when he found the note. Maybe this insularly world isn’t as perfect as it seems. I also thought it was interesting that the characters never really gave much thought to the other people living in the house. I know I would wonder about the other occupants, but I can see why they wouldn’t; why would you need to wonder when everything is being taken care of and left just as it was when you left?
I’m Starved for You was a really great short story that will definitely make you think. If you enjoy dystopias, especially those that Atwood writes, give it a try.