Paperback Ý Geek Love Epub â

Geek Love 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—assetAs the Binewskis take their act across the backwaters of the US 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


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    Warning this review contains spoilers Read or don’t read it accordingly I had a schizophrenic reaction to this book On the one hand it had a profound impact on me than books—even some truly great ones—usually do On the other hand I thought it was sloppily edited and Dunn’s prose ran the spectrum from sublime to clunky and ridiculous The good Geek Love has a handful of the most memorable characters you’ll ever find Arturo the Aqua Boy is deftly handled a megalomaniacal little turd whose true gift is not his freakish nature but his incredible powers of manipulation His slow seizure of power behind the scenes at the Binewski Fabulon and his exploitation of his followers after the inception of the Aruturan amputation cult are handled perfectly Elly and Iphy the Siamese twins are also done well especially after they blossom into sexual maturity Dunn could have easily fell into trite cliché when she has the two conjoined girls bicker and fight but their personalities are rich enough that it’s never an issue Throw in lesser characters like the Bag Man and Dr P both of whom are hard to stomach for different reasons and you have a virtuoso ensemble cast I also admire the way the reader’s ideas about Al and Crystal Lil as parents changes slowly Aside from dosing his willing wife with bizarre drug cocktails in order to sire a brood of freaks to populate his carnival Al seems like a model father at the beginning of the book but our view of him changes as the book progresses The story of the Binewski children and the fiery demise of everything they know is mind blowing To quote the blurb on the back cover this book “throws its sulfurous light” on the notion of what’s normal and what’s freakish not just in terms of outward appearance but in our heads as well To say that Geek Love is often unsettling is a rank understatement but the book holds its dark thrall not by describing the physical deformities embodied by the characters but by forcing that unflinching view inward In that regard Geek Love feels epic and important The Bad Dunn needs an editor with a big red pen and the balls to call her on the carpet when her writing gets way to precious She has a real tendency to over write Often she makes a nifty turn of phrase only to bury it with another paragraph of useless description and clunky metaphor While the overall effect of the novel is pretty marvelous on the sentence level Dunn is sometimes a hack I was also disappointed in the way Chick’s inferno was described Dunn doesn’t think twice about spending four or five pages describing say the horse Arty has lopped off at the knees She’ll write an entire paragraph about Miss Lick cooking popcorn or Chick cleaning Arty’s tank But the climax of the novel gets barely a page and leaves readers scratching their heads A bigger editing problem is the whole frame story of the now adult Oly and her quest to save her secret daughter’s literal tail The whole Miss Lick saga adds nothing to the book and drags it down It seems added on in an attempt to make the book seem sophisticated what with the chronological shifts and simultaneous story telling The novel would have been much tighter and stronger had it focused on the story of the Fabulon The Bottom Line This is a book that flirts with being truly great but only ends up being pretty damn good