Saturday, April 18, 2009

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn -- A Recommendation -- by Melanie

Lil Binewski, born a Boston aristocrat, was in her time the most stylish of geeks. That is to say she made her living by biting the heads off live chickens in front of a Carnival audience. This she gave up for doting motherhood, because she had her fairground- owning husband had a money spinning idea. Throughout each pregnancy Lil gobbles pesticides, experiments with drugs and douses herself with radiation to ensure that she prodcues infants grotesque enough to keep the turnstiles clicking. She does. Arturo the Aqua Boy is a limbless megalomaniac, Electra and Iphigenia are musically gifted Siamese twins with a penchant for prostitution and Fortunato is possessed of stange telekinetic powers. Their story- by turns shocking, tender, touching and cruel- is narrated by their sister Olympia. She is a bald, hunchbacked, albino dwarf.


  1. I do not recommend this book to just anyone; it must be approached with an open mind and a willingness to accept a world view vastly different from your own. With that in mind, I suggest everyone give this title a chance.

    The Binewski children are all carnival freaks but live in a world where their oddities provide them with a means to provide for themselves and thus they see their apparent disabilities as strengths. The main plot of the book involves a shift of power from Al Binewski to his son Arturo the Aqua Boy (a shift that goes mostly unnoticed by Al) as well as sibling rivalry between the Binewski children. Things such as incest, cults, telekinesis, prostitution, lobotomies, and tail-fetishes will no longer surprise you once you finish this one. It's a bit of a shocker, but I can't help but love it.

    Rumor has it that Tim Burton and Johnny Depp may be working on making the movie soon...

  2. Melanie, do you own this book? If so, can I borrow it? Perhaps this summer when you visit? ;)


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