Good Day, Bookworms!
I hope you all had a fantastic weekend! We had our first snow of the season here, and I did some Christmas shopping. It was all very festive, minus the slick roads. Nobody likes a slick road.
In addition to traversing treacherous terrain (say that five times fast) I managed to finish reading Geek Love by Katherine Dunn. The Binewskis are a family of carnival folk. Desperate to create their own brood of travelling human oddities, Al and Lil Binewski employed the help of amphetamines, arsenic, and radioisotopes during each of Lil’s pregnancies. Prenatal vitamins were way too normal for their tastes. Their resulting children were certainly unique. Olympia, our narrator, is an albino hunchback dwarf. Her sisters, Elly and Iphy, are conjoined twins and piano impresarios. The eldest of the children is Arturo. He’s got flippers for limbs and an ego beyond comprehension. Chick, the baby of the clan, while outwardly normal, possesses a strange and wonderful gift that makes him a valuable and dangerous asset.
I went into this book expecting a quirky, fun read. I got quirky in spades, but fun was in shorter supply. Geek Love is a novel unafraid of delving into the darker side of human relationships. Every time I thought things couldn’t get any more bizarre, they did. Just when I thought I was getting a grasp on the message Dunn was trying to get across, it slipped right through my hands. This book kept me guessing, that’s for sure. What it also did was make me uncomfortable.
The physical abnormalities didn’t phase me. The embracing of their deformities as assets made me rather fond of the Binewskis. The fact that Al and Lil resorted to dangerous measures to provide themselves with a meal ticket skeeved me out, though. It’s hard to know how much the children’s personalities were influenced by chemicals ingested in utero and how much was a result of their unusual upbringing, but mental health is not the Binewski family’s strong suit. Because Arty. Whoa.
I can’t say that I LOVED this book, but it certainly made me think. I would highly recommend Geek Love to anyone who enjoys a darkly quirky read. If unusual confrontational situations appeal to you, and you’ve got a soft spot for carnivals, give Geek Love a try!
In the spirit of embracing our own oddities, let’s talk. What’s something unusual about YOU that you’ve chosen to embrace? Talk to me, Bookworms! Let’s be weirdos together!
*Purchases made through links on this site produce a small commission for your friendly neighborhood blogger. Your support is appreciated!*