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Geek Love: A Novel by Katherine Dunn
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Geek Love: A Novel (original 1989; edition 2002)

by Katherine Dunn

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4,2131011,183 (4.04)221
Member:richardderus
Title:Geek Love: A Novel
Authors:Katherine Dunn
Info:Vintage (2002), Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Read but unowned, RL Book Circle
Rating:***1/2
Tags:None

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Geek Love by Katherine Dunn (1989)

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» See also 221 mentions

English (99)  Swedish (1)  German (1)  All languages (101)
Showing 1-5 of 99 (next | show all)
A man, his wife, and their children, all freaks of nature, use the oddities of their physical makeup to their advantage. In the Binewski family are the dad Al, the mom Lil Crystal, the flipper-limbed Arty, the Siamese twin girls Elly and Iphy, the bald hunchback albino Olympia, and the outwardly normal baby Chick. There are also some bottled dead children. Binewski’s Carnival Fabulon travels throughout the US picking up other freaks as part of their show and influencing “norms” into admiring their way of life. Arty becomes the center of the family as he gains control of circus through his popular swimming act and through normal people who have their digits and limbs amputated to be admitted to the Arturans, his group of devoted followers.

This is a strange world in which being a “freak” character is the norm. Such a situation takes the stigma out of being “different” and makes you want to root for the freaks versus the “norms”. Perhaps. However, there is material in this book which might overtly offend some readers. Be cautious if you choose to read it. It is definitely the most bizarre novel I have ever read. Geek Love is to literature what John Waters is to film. It’s the kind of book that makes you say to yourself, “Ugh! This is so disgusting!”, but then you keep right on reading.

Check out the book title. Even the letters of the words in those words are abnormal! ( )
  SqueakyChu | May 5, 2015 |
Um...I can't seem to finish this. I am unsure why. It is not that I am so precious that I can't stand difficult plot situations--I am reading about the Donner Party (Let's LUNCH) right now and don't really have any problem with it. It might be the overwhelming sense of angry longing....
  Kelley.Logan | Jan 16, 2015 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 99 (next | show all)
Als untalentiertestes von fünf Wunderkindern aufzuwachsen ist nicht leicht. Als kleinwüchsige, bucklige Albina das gewöhnlichste von fünf Kindern zu sein, ist wohl mehr als nur „nicht leicht“. Binewskis. Zerfall einer radioaktiven Familie ist nicht nur die Geschichte einer Familie, die sich spektakulär von innen heraus zersetzt, sondern ein Roman, der ganz unauffällig wichtige Fragen an die moderne Gesellschaft stellt.
 
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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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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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