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Geek Love (1989)

by Katherine Dunn

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,0901611,591 (4)264
Fantasy. Fiction. Literature. HTML:National Book Award Finalist â?˘ Here is the unforgettable story of the Binewskis, a circus-geek family whose matriarch and patriarch have bred their own exhibit of human odditiesâ??with the help of amphetamines, arsenic, and radioisotopes.
Their offspring include Arturo the Aquaboy, who has flippers for limbs and a megalomaniac ambition worthy of Genghis Khan . . . Iphy and Elly, the lissome Siamese twins . . . albino hunchback Oly, and the outwardly normal Chick, whose mysterious gifts make him the familyâ??s most preciousâ??and dangerousâ??asset. 
As the Binewskis take their act across the backwaters of the U.S., inspiring fanatical devotion and murderous revulsion; as its members conduct their own Machiavellian version of sibling rivalry, Geek Love throws its sulfurous light on our notions of the freakish and the normal, the beautiful and the ugly, the holy and the obscene. Family values will nev
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» See also 264 mentions

English (158)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (160)
Showing 1-5 of 158 (next | show all)
A very strange book indeed! The subject matter isn't for everyone, and some will find it repelling. I did become very attached to the characters. And the story went well beyond the main subject, exploring cultural oddities, fascination with the grotesque, what is normal, family dynamics, unconditional love, group behavior, charismatic leaders, and on and on. ( )
  jemisonreads | Jan 22, 2024 |
Self-avowed bookworms will likely relate to the following dilemma. I always feel a slight sense of shame when I think back on a book that I ranked as 4 or 4.5 stars a couple years earlier but can barely recall the plot or any characters. My hunch is that this won’t happen with “Geek Love.” The incredibly strange storyline, built around a cast of bizarre characters (we’re talking about a hunchback, conjoined twins, a boy with flippers for hands and feet, among others) will most certainly stay with me beyond the 2020s. The themes are compelling. Dunn nudges readers to ponder the question of what is normal and to explore unusual family bonds. In the case of the Binewski family, a troupe of carnival performers, their “contact with norms (normal people) was in dashes and flashes.” I can understand why many readers were turned off — even repulsed — by some aspects of this peculiar saga. But it worked for me, keeping me engaged, curious and even morbidly entertained for the most part. So why not a 4.5 or even 5 star rating? “Geek Love” seemed to lose its footing in the final chapters. Candidly, I was ready for the story to end at least 50 pages before its dramatic conclusion. But when this strange yarn finally ended, the literary journey was time well spent. ( )
  brianinbuffalo | Dec 23, 2023 |
This book was so NOT about angsty teen love (which is why my high school self picked it up), but rather about a family of genetic freaks and their love for each other. I'm really glad that it turned out to be the latter instead of the former because otherwise it probably wouldn't be worth remembering. As it is this is a very, very good book, one that randomly pops into my thoughts even though I haven't read it in years. ( )
  blueskygreentrees | Jul 30, 2023 |
I found this book incredibly boring. When I wasn't reading it I wasn't wondering what was going to happen. I realized that if something happened to the book and I couldn't finish it that I wouldn't even be upset so I figured it was time to return it to the library.
  LynnMPK | Jul 1, 2023 |
Geek Love by Katherine Dunn (1993)
  sharibillops | May 20, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 158 (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.
 

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Katherine Dunnprimary authorall editionscalculated
Mailhos, JacquesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mustieles, JordiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rodrigues, Aulyde SoaresTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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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Wikipedia in English (1)

Fantasy. Fiction. Literature. HTML:National Book Award Finalist â?˘ Here is the unforgettable story of the Binewskis, a circus-geek family whose matriarch and patriarch have bred their own exhibit of human odditiesâ??with the help of amphetamines, arsenic, and radioisotopes.
Their offspring include Arturo the Aquaboy, who has flippers for limbs and a megalomaniac ambition worthy of Genghis Khan . . . Iphy and Elly, the lissome Siamese twins . . . albino hunchback Oly, and the outwardly normal Chick, whose mysterious gifts make him the familyâ??s most preciousâ??and dangerousâ??asset. 
As the Binewskis take their act across the backwaters of the U.S., inspiring fanatical devotion and murderous revulsion; as its members conduct their own Machiavellian version of sibling rivalry, Geek Love throws its sulfurous light on our notions of the freakish and the normal, the beautiful and the ugly, the holy and the obscene. Family values will nev

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