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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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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    436
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    228
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    115
  • 2 Stars
    42
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    48

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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    435
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    153
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    58
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    17
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    12

Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    363
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    170
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    94
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    33
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    32
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  • Overall

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.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • 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!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Kim
  • Spokane, WA, United States
  • 07-21-11

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.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Ethan
  • Beaverton, OR, United States
  • 08-26-16

Amazing

This is a beautiful book, and the narrator is fantastic. Loved it. Absolutely loved it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Creepy, dark and delightful

Would you listen to Geek Love again? Why?

Yes, because I like things with a kind of sinister, dark edge. This book is not for the squeemish- it goes through just about every social taboo that families try to avoid.

What did you like best about this story?

This book explores the darker side of human nature. The amazing ability for a father to exploit his children in a most merciless manner. He would be the craziest stage parent ever and would definitely have his own reality television show today.

Who was the most memorable character of Geek Love and why?

I tried to see the situations through the mothers eyes. She allowed everyone around her to exploit or abuse her children but at the same time saw herself as a loving and protective mother.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Dia
  • Niwot, CO, USA
  • 01-06-08

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!

13 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

skipped around a lot.

Narrator was fantastic. The jist of the story was definitely original and interesting but it did skip around in present and past a lot.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Chillingly Compelling Novel

What made the experience of listening to Geek Love the most enjoyable?

This was one of the best books I have ever read. The reader was unbelievably intuitive and added so much to the experience.

What did you like best about this story?

What I liked best was that I had never read anything like this in my entire life. It was brilliantly told, written and read. What else could a reader ask for.

Which scene was your favorite?

All of the scenes relating to the "seduction" of Ms Lick by Ole.

If you could rename Geek Love, what would you call it?

I wouldn't dare touch the name

1 of 1 people found this review helpful