Christmas is a time for family, and if you spend one with the Binewskis, you'll never look at the family unit in the same way again. Told through the perspective of a bald, albino, hunchbacked dwarf, this story introduces us to a cast of carnival freaks that only a family could love. Funny, horrific, tragic, and ultimately moving, Geek Love is sure to keep you wondering just how far this author will take you. Her ability to capture human emotion, and place it in this strange and imaginative world, makes this novel fall into the category of the unforgettable.
Recommended by Nate, Powells.com
As a teenager who often felt alone in my weirdness, reading Geek Love changed EVERYTHING for me. Discovering this story of a circus family that purposefully experiments with drugs and chemicals to create children (and therefore performers) with physical deformities rocked my world! The idea that weird could be considered good, that uniqueness was a gift, and that differences should be celebrated? Well, that was mind-blowing. Fast forward many years and this book is still incredibly affecting. The writing is straightforward but extremely skilled, and the story and characters are complex and fascinating. There are so many weighty themes crammed into this relatively simple tale, from power to fate to hubris to identity to rage to love, all explored with intelligence, wit, and empathy. Sometimes a creepy horror story, other times a tale of unrequited love, this book will surprise you, push your buttons, and hopefully, make you feel like a mind-blown teenager again. Recommended By Leah C., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
is the story of the Binewskis, a carny family whose mater- and paterfamilias set out with the help of amphetamine, arsenic, and radioisotopes to breed their own exhibit of human oddities. There's 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 family's most precious — and dangerous — 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 never be the same.
"Page after page she shocks us....A Fellini movie in ink." San Francisco Chronicle
"Wonderfully descriptive...the comic exploration of the peculiar...gives Geek Love its main success: that and Ms. Dunn's tremendous imagination." New York Times Book Review
"What elevates this work is Dunn's controlled, matter-of-fact narrative, her skillful character development, and her relentless insistence that we address these people and their concerns in human terms. Highly recommended." Joseph M. Levandoski, Library Journal
"Wonderfully descriptive....Dunn [has a] tremendous imagination." The New York Times Book Review
"Unrelentingly bizarre.... perverse but riveting....Will keep you turning the pages." Chicago Tribune
About the Author
Katherine Dunn was a novelist and boxing journalist who lived and worked in Oregon. She is the author of three novels: Attic, Truck, and Geek Love, which was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Bram Stoker Prize. She died in 2016.