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Geek Love | [Katherine Dunn]

Geek Love

No one wants to be a victim, but most find the event too hypnotic to ignore. In order to save their traveling carnival from bankruptcy, the Binewskis are creating their own brood of sideshow freaks. Under Al's careful direction, the pregnant Lil ingests radioisotopes, insecticides, and arsenic to make her babies "special".
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Publisher's Summary

No one wants to be a victim, but most find the event too hypnotic to ignore. In order to save their traveling carnival from bankruptcy, the Binewskis are creating their own brood of sideshow freaks. Under Al's careful direction, the pregnant Lil ingests radioisotopes, insecticides, and arsenic to make her babies "special". As the oldest daughter, albino dwarf Olympia, puts listeners in the ring-side seat, her family's incredible drama erupts and spills over into the "normal" world.

Not for the squeamish or faint of heart, this brilliantly daring novel is shocking and delightful. Christina Moore's vibrant narration conspires with Katherine Dunn's evocative, energetic prose to shock us at seeing something of ourselves in these exotic characters.

©1998 Katherine Dunn; (P)1999 Recorded Books

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (293 )
5 star
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3.9 (158 )
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4.1 (148 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Cayora Denver, CO 08-22-09
    Cayora Denver, CO 08-22-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
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    "Shudderingly Good!"

    I admit I am biased about this book. I read it as a teenager and it was one of my formative experiences. However, I would not be so biased if it were not genuinely great. This is a novel which plumbs parts of human experience that are not usually dealt with so bluntly. For example, it has things to say about body anxieties that are almost unheard today. And it has one of the best portrayals of the concept of the horror of the ordinary that I have ever seen. It is what I point to when I want to explain that concept to people who have never felt it.

    Let me put it this way, I have read this book at least five times in the last five years. Then I downloaded this audiobook, and I have listened to it twice in the last two weeks. It is just that good.

    If you are not in the mainstream, if you are a freak, you owe yourself this book. Really.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Ames Roseburg, OR United States 08-11-09
    C. Ames Roseburg, OR United States 08-11-09 Member Since 2009

    Christine

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Unpredictable"

    This was a captivating book. I hated to arrive at work or at home because I would have to stop listening and get on with real life. The characters in this book were so abnormal, but they became a real family as time went on. Just when I thought it couldn't get any more strange, something else would happen. It was a little disconcerting at the very beginning, but once I got into it and really listened to the characters, not just thinking about how insane it was to manufacture a freak show, I enjoyed the book and the relationships very much. I do recommend this book.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dia Niwot, CO, USA 01-06-08
    Dia Niwot, CO, USA 01-06-08 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    "A Must!"

    I have been waiting for 3 years to get this book on Audible! I'm not into books about the circus or the people in them but this isn't a "circus" book. (If you've read "Water for Elephants" I consider that a book about the circus and not terribly interesting.) This book is about being human and how we treat others when all we see is the outward appearance and don't consider the person on the inside. Katherine Dunn has created a menagerie of characters that defy your imagination. They are so real yet your mind will shutter at the thought of their actual existence. I can't recommend this book enough to everyone who loves literature, great literature. I had my book group read this and they couldn't believe how much they loved it and how much we continue to bring it up year after year. If you ever saw or know about the Showtime series "Carnival," I recommend that as a tame yet wonderful companion. The only negative thing I have to say is that Katherine Dunn doesn't have a book for you to read after this!

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim Spokane, WA, United States 07-21-11
    Kim Spokane, WA, United States 07-21-11 Member Since 2009

    Addicted to audiobooks & podcasts. 5 Stars=I Loved It, 4 Stars=Enjoyed it Thoroughly, 3=Kinda Good, 2=Bad/Boring, 1=Complete Waste of Credit

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Bizarre - Captivating - Intense!"

    I just finished listening to this book and am missing it already - I loved the ending but I didn't want it to end! If you are squeamish or averse to foul language then prepare to be horrified - if you are a bit twisted and used to graphic detail then prepare to be horrified as well (in the best way possible!) The story is intricate and chock full of sub-plots that move along at a perfect pace with the overall plot line. The narrator does a great job of relating the personalities and feelings of the characters, although the male voices are a bit off (however it's hard to fault a female narrator for not being able to pull off deep male voices with great success). Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will definitely be checking out other titles by this author.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael kansas city, MO, United States 01-31-11
    Michael kansas city, MO, United States 01-31-11 Member Since 2007

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "sad.."

    great story.. it was hard to follow at time but only cause im slow.. got hooked and stuck it out.. good ending.. great book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracy Alberta, AB, Canada 03-05-09
    Tracy Alberta, AB, Canada 03-05-09 Member Since 2008

    Love a great book that stays with you long after you've finished it.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "I long for another Geek!"

    Excellent. There is more here than words, the author set the stage for deep searching into oneself, who really are the geeks? The choices of the parents in this novel and the results there of are so unconventional it is shocking, but written so well you find yourself siding with the characters. I enjoyed every word spoken by this terrific narrator, one of the best, she is a marvel!
    Bring on Geek II!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cheryl las vegas, NV, United States 03-02-11
    cheryl las vegas, NV, United States 03-02-11 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fun, Weird, and Original."

    Definitely worth the credit, very original. Tired of yet another zombie,werewolf, vampire book I was looking for something original. It is a fantasy twist with wit and heart. The protagonist is pathetic but lovable. The story entertaining and twisty. I enjoyed it. However a warning for the tender eared, a few moments of foul language and crudity are sprinkled in.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John New York, NY, United States 01-29-11
    John New York, NY, United States 01-29-11
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    "Love it!"

    i thought this book was brilliant, terrible, awfully, at times painfully brilliant. Ms. Moore has a lovely voice and tells the story beautifully.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    anniepaints Idaho USA 01-25-09
    anniepaints Idaho USA 01-25-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    27
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    "Loved this book!!!"

    I read "Dia's" review and it convinced me to get this book.
    I doubt if I would have considered using a credit for it without Dia's words to entice me..... so read that review and include a big "ditto" from me!
    Definitely one of my best reads of 2008. I have listened to it twice and will surely do it again.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laurie Bellingham, WA, United States 04-26-10
    Laurie Bellingham, WA, United States 04-26-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Intriguing story but not gripping"

    This book took me forever to finish. It was an incredibly different, and strange, book but it definitely dragged on in spots for me. Frequent time/plot changes didn't help. You'd get involved in the story of the main character's adult life issues with her daughter, and then it would go back to her childhood for hours, so hard to stay involved at times and tough to keep characters straight. However, very thought-provoking and a different way to look at life, but full of a lot of characters who were 'ugly' inside so at times hard to feel a lot of sympathy. Overall, I'm glad I listened to it, but I didn't feel good at the end.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
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