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Geek Love by Katherine Dunn
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Geek Love (original 1989; edition 1989)

by Katherine Dunn

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4,124981,219 (4.04)216
Member:varielle
Title:Geek Love
Authors:Katherine Dunn
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Geek Love by Katherine Dunn (1989)

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English (97)  Swedish (1)  All languages (98)
Showing 1-5 of 97 (next | show all)
Read this years ago, loved it then, and I hand sold many copies of it for years in our bookstores. ( )
  jphamilton | Sep 18, 2014 |
Grotesque like Chuck but not as well written. I felt like the author was using big words sometimes just to prove herself, I'm not fooled. Ending was flat and throughout the whole story, there was nothing to look forward to - No plot line that made me want to turn pages. I finished this book because the writing wasn't terrible and there were many interesting events. I really wanted to love this book but it wasn't working out for me, eventually I finished it just liking it but even then... barely. ( )
  yougotamber | Aug 22, 2014 |
This was such a strange, disturbing book. I'm glad I read it, but I'm also glad I'm finished reading it. I'm not sure I could recommend it - not sure anyone I know would like it. I"ll never read Geek Love again and I can't say I even really liked it, but the writing is truly phenomenal. ( )
  susanbevans | Jul 1, 2014 |
A carnival in daylight is an unfinished beast, anyway. Rain makes it a ghost. The wheezing music from the empty, motionless rides in a soggy, rained-out afternoon midway always hit my chest with a sweet ache. The colored dance of the lights in the seeping air flashed the puddles in the sawdust with an oily glamour.

I first read this maybe twenty years ago, and this was a more successful re-read than a couple of other old favourites that I read recently after an equally long gap, as this book had not been visited by the suck fairy. I find Oly quite annoying, with her hero-worship of her sociopath brother and her later friendship with Miss Lick, and Elly was by far my favourite of the Binewskis, as she was the only one prepared to stand against Arty's manipulation and growing power. Elly dragged her on, and snapped back at me, "You're just Arty's dog! He'd kill us all and you'd stand there holding his towel."

While I was reading the parts of the story set in the past, I would completely forget about Oly's later life, as it was so easy to get swept up in the weirdness of carnival life and the Arturan cult. Reading about Oly's attempts to save her daughter's tail, had me wondering about how similar Arturo's motives may have been to Miss Lick's. Her motives are completely transparent, but Arturo's were never as clear.

I had remembered this as being a fantasy book, but the only thing in it that is actually impossible is Chick's talent, although there are a lot of things so unlikely that it must surely count as magical realism. I am sure that the American government would have found a way to close down the Arturans long before that many people were reduced to just their head and torso. ( )
1 vote isabelx | Jun 7, 2014 |
It's like a darker, more bizarre version of "The Addams Family." ( )
  ptdilloway | Nov 21, 2013 |
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Epigraph
This thing of darkness I Acknowledge mine.
—Prospero, The Tempest 5.1.275–6
Dedication
For Eli Malachy Dunn Dapolonia
First words
"When your mama was the geek, my dreamlets," Papa would say, "she made the nipping off of noggins such a crystal mystery that the hens themselves yearned toward her, waltzing around her, hypnotized with longing."
Quotations
It’s interesting that when these individuals choose--and it is their choice always--to endure voluntary amputations for their own personal benefit, society professes itself shocked and disapproving. Yet this same society respects the concept that any individual should risk total annihilation in war, subject to the judgment of any superior officer at all and for the purposes ranging from a promotion for the lieutenant to higher profits for the bullet company. Hell, they don’t just respect that idea, they flat expect it. And they’ll shoot your ass if you don’t go along with it. (Arty)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375713344, Paperback)

A wild, often horrifying, novel about freaks, geeks and other aberrancies of the human condition who travel together (a whole family of them) as a circus. It's a solipsistic funhouse world that makes "normal" people seem bland and pitiful. Arturo the Aqua-Boy, who has flippers and an enormous need to be loved. A museum of sacred monsters that didn't make it. An endearing "little beetle" of a heroine. Sort of like Tod Browning's Freaks crossed with David Lynch and John Irving and perhaps George Eliot -- the latter for the power of the emotions evoked.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:18:44 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Aloysious and Lillian Binewski, proprietors of a traveling carnival, attempt to reduce overhead by breeding their own freak show, with tragic results.

(summary from another edition)

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