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Book Reviews of Geek Love

Geek Love
Geek Love
Author: Katherine Dunn
ISBN-13: 9780446391306
ISBN-10: 0446391301
Publication Date: 8/1993
Pages: 355
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.

3.9 stars, based on 135 ratings
Publisher: Warner Books
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

50 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Geek Love on
Helpful Score: 8
I expected to like this because dark and quirky usually appeals to me. Instead, I found this grim and the characters hateful.
reviewed Geek Love on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
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.
reviewed Geek Love on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
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.
reviewed Geek Love on
Helpful Score: 3
If you like quirky characters -- this book is for YOU! Follow a bizarre family's carnival life. You can't turn away from them.
reviewed Geek Love on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
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.
reviewed Geek Love on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
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.
DesertShaman avatar reviewed Geek Love on + 203 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
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.
TinaT avatar reviewed Geek Love on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This is the best book I've read in years. Massively entertaining for those with a darker, more morbid sense of humor. Definetly not for the squeamish! But absolutely hilarious and enthralling.
Chakitty avatar reviewed Geek Love on + 67 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
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
reviewed Geek Love on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
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."
CraftyTJ avatar reviewed Geek Love on + 381 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
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.
reviewed Geek Love on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This is a twisted story. Lots of dark humor and tragedy
sugarkane avatar reviewed Geek Love on + 27 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
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.
drkgoddess avatar reviewed Geek Love on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
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.
swingsistert avatar reviewed Geek Love on + 78 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book was... interesting. I couldn't get past the second chapter, it was rather disturbing.
reviewed Geek Love on
Helpful Score: 1
It's a bit of a weird, slow burn. And then eventually, evolves into something different entirely and incredibly messed up. And I'm not one to think something is messed up. It's worth a read.
alleigh avatar reviewed Geek Love on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
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.
reviewed Geek Love on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Geek Love is the story of a family bred to be "freaks". This a really different story and can be a little slow at times, but definitely worth sticking with.
reviewed Geek Love on + 79 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This was an unexpectedly good book. Slow to start but I enjoyed it.
reviewed Geek Love on + 25 more book reviews
One of my favorite books of all time!!! Characters that are portrayed are ones that I will never forget! Will never swap this one!
cemeterygates avatar reviewed Geek Love on + 29 more book reviews
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.
merina avatar reviewed Geek Love on + 31 more book reviews
Very odd book, good but off the wall! I read it about 10 years ago and I still think about it fairly often.. kinda scary!
reviewed Geek Love on
This story of an odd traveling circus family, I couldn't put it down. Although a little disturbing this book is a great read.
author-wwiinovel avatar reviewed Geek Love on + 21 more book reviews
Some might call the subject matter of Geek Love controversial, even objectionable, but there is no doubt that the skill with which this compelling novel, though admittedly unpleasant at times, is absolutely mesmerizing. Once I began to read it I had to finish it as soon as possible. It turns out that although the story is set in the world of carnival, the story is more about family relationships and the nature of man. Not to be missed by discriminating readers.
reviewed Geek Love on
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.
reviewed Geek Love on + 29 more book reviews
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.
hippysilverware avatar reviewed Geek Love on + 7 more book reviews
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.
reviewed Geek Love on + 3 more book reviews
Absorbing, inventive, compelling, satisfying, and very very strange.
Naiche avatar reviewed Geek Love on + 91 more book reviews
I was hoping for a bit more of the title - people with non-normative bodies and minds seeking love and joy. Instead this is an endless slog of cruelty, abuse, and othering.
reviewed Geek Love on + 8 more book reviews
This was a charming and wonderful book. I've recommended it repeatedly.
twosey avatar reviewed Geek Love on + 52 more book reviews
I found this novel very difficult to read. The author seemed to be going more for shock value than any deeper meaning.
reviewed Geek Love on + 6 more book reviews
This book revolted me and drew me in at the same time. Great characters!
MissyRose avatar reviewed Geek Love on + 32 more book reviews
I had high hopes for this book, but it fell short of my expectations. The beginning kept me interested, but I lost interest in the last half of the book.
reviewed Geek Love on + 20 more book reviews
What a great book! I entered a strange new world when I opened "Geek Love" and I hope I never recover...
eyeroll20s avatar reviewed Geek Love on + 3 more book reviews
this book was a little hard to get into, but i definitely recommend it. you can't go wrong with carny folk.
reviewed Geek Love on + 2 more book reviews
This book should be called FREAK LOVE. I'm humored enough by it though!
reviewed Geek Love on + 9 more book reviews
A fun, interesting, compelling read. A great book to take with you on the beach!
perryfran avatar reviewed Geek Love on + 1157 more book reviews
This was really a bizarre story about the Binewski carny family who operate a traveling show called Fabulon. It was pretty unremarkable until the patriarch of the family, Al, decides that he and his wife, Lil, could manufacture a family of freaks by using drugs, insecticides and radioactivity. This results in the production of Arturo (Arty), the aqua boy, who has no limbs but does have short flippers he can use in water. Then comes a set of Siamese twins, Elly and Iphy, who are joined at the spine and have two sets of arms but only one set of legs and genitals. Then there's Olympia (Oly) who narrates the story and is a dwarf with a hunched back. And finally there is the outwardly normal but telekinetic Chick who really is the most powerful of the lot. The story takes place sometime in the past and is told mostly during the family's time running the carnival but it also tells of when Oly is older and she is living with her aged mother and her daughter, Miranda, in a rundown hotel.

I enjoyed the first part of the story but as it progressed, it became very dark and disturbing. Arty has an act that draws people to it and for some strange reason, the people want to be just like him. This results in a cult called Arturans who like their prophet, have pieces of themselves amputated to transcend appearance. Arty's pride and jealousy eventually brings an end to the carnival.

Overall, I was quite mixed on this one. Like I said, I did enjoy the beginnings of the novel and the bizarre carny life but as it progressed toward the Arturans and limb amputation, I just wanted the story to end. I know a lot of people highly recommend this novel but it really wasn't for me.
reviewed Geek Love on
A disturbing but still fscinating read.
reviewed Geek Love on + 88 more book reviews
This book is a bit different but very interesting at the same time.. always keeps you guessing what's next..
reviewed Geek Love on + 6 more book reviews
Best book I've read this year! Loved it!!!
reviewed Geek Love on
One of my all time faves. I have read this book five or six times and it is still entertaining. Not for the easily of offended...
chrysanthemum avatar reviewed Geek Love on + 65 more book reviews
there's some inbreeding going on.......
iowhen avatar reviewed Geek Love on + 10 more book reviews
Gruesome tale of a family of freakish performers. Full of surprises!
Leigh avatar reviewed Geek Love on + 378 more book reviews
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.
reviewed Geek Love on + 23 more book reviews
I couldn't get into it.
reviewed Geek Love on + 39 more book reviews
Had to read this in college. Not really my type of book, but some other people I know LOVED this book. Maybe you will!
FosterAdopt avatar reviewed Geek Love on
a fascinating read, I really enjoyed it!!
reviewed Geek Love on + 35 more book reviews
another great book by the author of Truck!
reviewed Geek Love on + 151 more book reviews
Fun piece of fiction.