This is one of the most engrossing pieces of fiction I've read in years. Bought it for my girlfriend for Xmas a couple years ago on a whim, and by now it's been passed to everyone we can get to take it, we both have our own copies, and we highly recommend it to fans of bizarre modern fiction. I'd venture to say that fans of Chuck Palahniuk and his ouvre would definitely enjoy Geek Love.
I had no expectations of this book, and found it quite surprising. I enjoyed the overall concept and story, although parts of it were a bit more disturbing and bizarre than I would generally desire in a read. An intriguing look into an - albeit exaggerated - sub-culture.
Read this on my daughter's recommendation that she loved it; I found it initially very hard to accept the general premise or to empathize with any of the characters, but it did grow on me. Would not have been my choice if not so highly recommended.
I really enjoyed this book. It wasn't a "Nice" book, but the story was fascinatingly written, almost like watching a train wreck. You knew where it was going, but you couldn't stop looking. It was so well-written that at times I could have just strangled the characters for behaving the way you knew they were going to.
This was a National Book Award Finalist. It is the story of the Binewskis, a carnival family whose mother and father set out to breed their own exhibit of human oddities. The book throws light on our notions of the freakish and the normal, the beautiful and the ugly, the holy and the obscene. Family values in a different world.
I was ready to like the book from the beginning but it lost its momentum in the middle straight toward the end, where it wrapped up in a tidy few pages. I found it a frustrating end for an invested reader.
There were some small notes scribbled on the last page of my copy from its previous owner which I will quote here as part of my ditto: "When I was small, skinned my knees, and they were red and raw and seeping blood, and sand got in the wound, or medicine was applied to it. Reading this book is like a sore throat."
A wild, often horrifying, novel about freaks, geeks and other aberrancies of the human condition who travel together (a whole family of them) as a circus. It's a solipsistic funhouse world that makes "normal" people seem bland and pitiful. Arturo the Aqua-Boy, who has flippers and an enormous need to be loved. A museum of sacred monsters that didn't make it. An endearing "little beetle" of a heroine. Sort of like Tod Browning's Freaks crossed with David Lynch and John Irving and perhaps George Eliot
This audacious, mesmerizing novel should carry a warning: "Reader Beware." Those entering the world of carnival freaks described by narrator Olympia Binewski, a bald, humpbacked albino dwarf, will find no escape from a story at once engrossing and repellent, funny and terrifying, unreal and true to human nature. Dunn's vivid, energetic prose, her soaring imagination and assured narrative skill fuse to produce an unforgettable tale. The premise is bizarre. Art and Lily, owners of Binewski's Fabulon, a traveling carnival, decide to breed their own freak show by creating genetically altered children through the use of experimental drugs. "What greater gift could you offer your children than an inherent ability to earn a living just by being themselves?" muses Lily.
One of my all time favorite books. This is one I will never "swap", but I need to spread the love for it anyway. I read this book every couple of months, and it is always a delight. A must read for anyonr\e who enjoys reading about dysfuntional families.
This is one of my all-time favorite books. I love this book. The characters are so intriguing. Yes, it's a bit twisted, even perhaps "sick" but if you appreciate good writing, amazing storytelling, original characters, and best of all, carnies (who doesn't right??) then this is the book for you. Now, if only Tim Burton would make the movie of it like he was once rumored to be doing.
Geek Love is definitely a different book, so it is understandable as to why it received some of the attention it did. It is clearly well-written, has vivid description, and is unlike most other modern fiction. That said, it also leaves the reader feeling somewhat empty at the end, wondering why the book was so long and what point was being made. All in all, if you see this book lying around and have nothing else to read, it's worth picking up; however, it is not a book that is worth running out to the bookstore to buy and read.
This book has only gotten better as it has 'sunk in' over the weeks since I've read it. I picked it up because I've been reading a lot about apotemnophilia (individuals with this condition seek out voluntary amputation of limbs that they don't feel belong to their body) and I'd heard mention that this fictional work touched upon it. Indeed it does, peripherally, and the characters are brilliantly written, to the point where I found I missed them when the book was done.
This book is super compelling and complex. It takes you to another world that is both eerie and captivating. I highly recommend it if you enjoy exploring people's motivates to do bad things and if you don't mind escaping to a dark place.
I was first lured to this book by an author's recommendation, but it took me years after having the book to read it. Upon doing so I found it to be a very odd book with some good parts in it. I found the ending too short and the beginning too long. The story seemed less polished than the characters own intents would have presented. Aside from that, the book grabbed my fascination in a way many stories of alternative type groups do. I think any who like books which differ a little from standard subject matter would enjoy this book.
I /really/ enjoyed this book. The only thing I didn't like about it was how there didn't seem like there was enough being told. Like there were only the main bits and pieces being told of both the present /and/ the past in order to come to a (somewhat disappointing) conclusion.
Aside from that, this was a /fun/ book, the perfect light read (to me). I didn't feel sorry for them, I didn't feel invested in them, it was truly a freak show for me to watch play out. The only people I did feel any emotion for were the parents, who I hated... with a passion.
This is probably the most disturbing book I've ever read. As a parent, I was alternately appalled, horrified, disgusted, and mesmerized with the main character's parents. How could they? How could they??
The dense story unfolds to reveal a slow train wreck of a family and because Oly, the narrator, alludes to a tragedy early on, you know one will occur. Despite hating every character in this book, save one - all for different reasons - I still gasped to read what happened.
The contemporary time line involving Oly wasn't going to turn out well. You know that full well going into it. After all, it's Oly and she's been screwed up in the head by her family since she was born. You won't be disappointed.
What I didn't understand was how easily everyone bent to the will of Arty. Didn't they realize they could get out?? What he did to the twins made me angry and *almost* made me sympathize with them.
I think the creator(s) of the movie "Quid Pro Quo" probably psyched themselves up before writing by reading this book. Every single character seemed to be missing at least one very important part, despite many of them having extras. Not a one could truly be considered human, with the one exception of Chick. I cared about that kid. I didn't understand him, but he made me very sad.