Geek Love Summary Õ 109

Characters Ù E-book, or Kindle E-pub ↠ Katherine Dunn

Evotion and murderous revulsion; as its members conduct their own Machiavellian version of sibling rivalry Geek Love throws its sulfurous light on our notions of the freakish and the normal the beautiful and the ugly the holy and the obscene Family values will never be the same. A true freak cannot be made A true freak must be bornWhen times were looking tough Al and Lil Binewski used their ingenuity along with some poisons and chemicals to come up with a way to keep their traveling Carnival alive breed their own main attractions First came Arturo born with flippers for limbs better known as Arty the Aua Boy Then Iphy and Elly conjoined at the waist who draw in the crowds with their song and dance numbers Next was Olympia the albino hunchback dwarf not special enough to warrant her own show but uniue enough to keep around to help behind the scenes and finally came Chick Sweet cherubic and utterly normal on the outside at least Told through the voice of Oly we follow the rise and fall of the Binewski clanMy God what a wild ride Jealousy greed murder cultism violence love loss revenge there isn't much this book doesn't cover Katherine Dunn does a beautiful job of describing the freakish surface details of her characters and the whole Carnival life while at the same time making each of them utterly human and easily relatable on the inside This is simply a coming of age story revolving around a family in a very uniue situation and is beautiful and horrifying and deeply moving all at once

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Geek LoveGeek Love is the story of the Binewskis a carny family whose mater and paterfamilias set out with the help of amphetamine arsenic and radioisotopes to breed their own exhibit of human oddities There’s Arturo the Auaboy who has flippers for limbs and a megalomaniac ambition wo. They thought to use and shame me but I win out by nature because a true freak cannot be made A true freak must be born Geek Love is an amazing book audacious moving beautiful substantive creepy upsetting tragic and dark So you think of yourself as different an outsider a freak in one way or another Well maybe you are but your differences would likely fade were you to compare yourself to most of the characters in this best selling novel from Katherine Dunn so best selling in fact that it has never been out of print And in addition to being a popular success it was a critical one as well earning a spot as a finalist for the 1989 National Book AwardA word of warning several actually for those who are familiar only with the contemporary meaning of the word “geek” Before the word had its DNA mutated to mean “an expert” particularly of the techie variety before serious people proclaimed that the geeks will inherit the earth the word referred specifically to carnival performers who engaged in the very un nerdy practice of biting the heads off live chickens for paying audiences Let's see a show of hands How many of you folks out there how many nerds in particular would be interested in returning to etymological roots and getting your McNuggets started the old fashioned way Not many But you in the back with your hand up Do me a favor please and read some other review Thanks Of course this was not a problem for Crystal Lil Somehow it did not freak her husband out that she got off on using her teeth to remove small heads from uivering bodies “When your mama was the geek my dreamlets Papa would say she made the nipping off of noggins such a crystal mystery that the hens themselves yearned toward her waltzing around her hypnotized with longing” Binewski’s Carnival Fabulon travels the Podunk USA circuit offering pedestrian locals a peek at the extraordinary The Binewski family will remind no one of Ozzie and Harriet More the Addams family sans the smirks In fact they may be the ones who put the nuclear in nuclear family Frustrated by the freuent loss of carnival performers Aloysius Binewski and his wife Lilian Hinchcliff Binewski the Crystal Lil of the geek mention above opt to craft their own applying measured doses of sundry illegal substances poisons and radioisotopes to ensure that their progeny emerge special The efforts that do not make it through to live birth or who meet an unhappy end soon after their emergence are displayed publicly in large glass jars The survivors include Siamese twins Iphigenia Iphy and Elektra Elly Arturo Arty the malevolent and megalomaniacal AuaBoy Fortunato Chick who manifests telekinetic power and Olympia Oly our narrator through this family saga Oly relates the tale of the family to us as an adult She makes a living as radio personality Hopalong McGurk which is a good venue if you are a bald albino dwarf with pink eyes a sweet voice and a hump Reading this book you will forget the boy who lived under the stairs and latch on to the girl who lived under the sink Oly’s needs are few but a connection to family is chief among them She is our insider observing and reporting the goings on that seem normal to her but maybe not so much to us What is normal anyway To you and me norms for the most part average height weight a typical number of standard issue limbs no particular magical powers we stroll the not very broad midway of the straight and narrow But to Olympia Binewski having a brother with flipper shaped limbs twins sharing one pair of legs among sundry other parts and a brother who can move matter with his mind and a sense of place defined by the nearest road sign defines normal I was full grown before I even set foot in a house without wheels Of course I had been in stores offices fuel stations barns and warehouses But I had never walked through the door of a place where people slept and ate and bathed and picked their noses and as the saying goes”lived” unless that place was three times longer than it was wide and came euipped with road shocks and tiresWhen I first stood in such a house I was struck by its terrible solidity The thing had concrete tentacles sunk into the earth and a sprawling inefficiency Everything was bigger than it needed to be and there were so many shadowed dusty corners empty and wasted that I thought I would get lost if I stepped away from the door That building wasn’t going anywhere despite an itchy sense that it was not entirely comfortable where it was Sometimes that family connection can be problematic Oly is in love with her brother Arty AuaBoy is exceptionally bright and tuned in to what works on audiences He expands his performance from a display of his unusual form to an interaction as he finds success answering audience uestions He builds this into a very big deal For a while he answered only generic uestions distilled from the scrawled bewilderments and griefs that piled up on the three by five cards Then he stopped answering at all and just told them what he wanted them to hear Testifying he called it And a cult is born Arturism in which the Admitted seeking to find the peace that Arty has persuaded them he possesses allow their bodies to be whittled a piece at a time Chick was thought to have been a dreaded norm when he arrived Al and Lily decided that as he was of no value to the show the proper course was to leave him at a gas station Turns out he has a special gift which manifests in the nick of time He is absorbed into the family and put to profitable use as soon as he is able to understand commands We follow the family as the children grow and as will happen sexuality swells the narrative mix Complications ensue These are not exactly the nicest people but Dunn offers nuanced portrayals of most of them We never really find out why Boston Brahmin Lily chooses the low road but we do see both the dark and the light sides of their children Or in the case of Arty the bright side illuminating his dark side Oly is a sympathetic character and you will have little trouble appreciating her concerns particularly when she is an adult Her role though is primarily as an observer Chick is like a wounded animal who despite his prodigious power suffers as he feels the pain all around him The twins have the same problems other twins experience on steroids There are a few outsiders who join the Fabulon and offer a perspective other than Oly’s The narrative follows two time lines The bulk is following the traveling Binewkis over a decade or so The smaller narrative is Oly as an adult living in a boarding house in which her mother and her daughter Miranda a Tempest reference if ever there was one resonant with the opening epigraph taken from that play reside In that stream Mary Malley Lick is a wealthy heiress who professes a desire to liberate young women from the burden of being attractive so they can make their way in the world on their merits Of course the very large and not very attractive Ms Lick may be using her great wealth to take beauty away from those who have it in a form of one percenter jealousy Oly takes an interest in her when Lick targets MirandaThe tales of love greed power envy powerlessness and rage seem the stuff of Greek or Shakespearean tragedy particularly those centering around Arty Hubris abuse of power fate and comeuppance are most definitely on display There are really two primary preoccupations of mine involved in this book One of course is this concept of the cult and the how come of that And the other was the long debate of nature vs nurture So those two things linked and seemed to be in an odd way part and parcel of each other I guess We are asked to look at uestions about the definition of normalcy Most of the time in literature the freaks want to be like everyone else Here the norms seem to pine for freakishness Dunn offers a fascinating comparison between the oddness of the Arturists and what society considers appropriate It’s interesting that when these individuals choose—and it is their choice always—to endure voluntary amputation for their own personal benefit society professes itself shocked and disapproving Yet this same society respects the concept that any individual should risk total annihilation in war subject to the judgment of any superior officer at all and for purposes ranging from a promotion for the lieutenant to higher profits for the bullet company Hell they don’t just respect that idea they flat expect it And they’ll shoot your ass if you don‘t go along with it At what point does cultishness do the needs of the pack become the norm In addition to the startling tale of the Binewskis Dunn demonstrates a particularly powerful and poetic command of language Here is a small sample The sky above Molalla was aching blue but I walked from Arty’s tent to our van in the same air I’d sucked all my life It was a Binewski blend of lube grease dust popcorn and hot sugar We made that air and we carried it with us The Fabulon’s light was the same in Arkansas as in Idaho—the patented electric dance step of the Binewskis We made it Like the mucoid nubbin that spins a shell called “oyster” we Binewskis wove a midway shelter called “carnival” There is plenty where that came from There is also serious structural craft on display as Dunn in this modern fable wields parallelism deftly particularly as applied to how people are formed and changed and the diverse motivations self and external involved in the formation of who we are and what we are capable of for good and ill There is a particularly poignant look at innocence in childhood vs adulthood Appropriately for a book that concerns freakishness Geek Love is notable for its packaging uick name five books that are renowned for their covers Right Dead air that’s what I thought Ok Ok Gatsby and we all have personal favorites but how many are really different and universally regarded as groundbreaking The Knopf wolfhound on the bound edge of the original hard cover printing somehow sports five instead of the usual four limbs And the letters used in the cover title are all mutations It was considered pretty daring cover art for the time One of the inspirations for the story took place in Portland Oregon The International Rose Test Garden in Washington Park is home to a wide variety of rose variations Dunn wondered how it might play out if people were applying genetic control to making people not in some sort of Aryan uest for perfection but in trying to design for different She was also inspired if the word can be used here by the awfulness of Jim Jones and puts some of Jones’s words into Arty’s mouth Dunn is from Kansas originally but her family moved around a fair bit when she was a kid She has lived in several European countries having her son in Ireland but lives in Portland now where she has become a renowned writer on boxingAs for film plans for Geek Love rights have been sold and sold again but now reside permanently with Warner Brothers who may or may not ever get around to producing it Geek Love has been continuously in print since its’ 1989 release In fact she earned money from it in the last year than she ever had before The author was given a contract for a second novel for a sum well into six figures But the book has yet to appear Perhaps it is in a glass jar somewhereYou don’t have to be a teenager or twenty something to appreciate the pull of Geek Love It is one of the most fascinating books I have ever read and I am well on my way to geezerhood Reading Geek Love may not alter your DNA give you unusual physical characteristics or make sleeping under the kitchen sink seem appealing But it will definitely alter your view of what is possible in literature will make you think about some core subjects in ways that might not have occurred before and will make you perk up whenever you spot one or of the many references to it that pop up in our culture from time to time like a travelling carnival It may be too out there for some readers but I suggest that if it feels that way to you take an excursion and go out there to see this amazing show It is one of the best freakin’ books ever Review posted – 12514Publication date – 1989EXTRA STUFFDunn’s FB page is maintained by Knopf not by DunnThere are many clips on Youtube to the 1932 movie Freaks When a character in GL is proclaimed One of Us it is a reference to the filmThe AV Club interview – Dunn uotes are taken from hereLitreactorcom piece on Dunn with a bit of interview What The Hell Ever Happened To Katherine Dunn – by Joshua ChaplinskyAn excellent piece in WiredCom Geek Love at 25 How a Freak Family Inspired Your Pop Culture Heroes A reading group guide from the Book Report Network

Katherine Dunn ↠ 9 Free read

Geek Love Summary Õ 109 ☆ Geek Love is the story of the Binewskis a carny family whose mater and paterfamilias set out—with the help of amphetamine arsenic and radioisotopes—to breed their own exhibit of human oddities There’s Arturo the Auaboy who has flippers for limbs and a megalomaniac ambition worthy of Genghis Khan Iphy and Elly the lissome SiaRthy of Genghis Khan Iphy and Elly the lissome Siamese twins albino hunchback Oly and the outwardly normal Chick whose mysterious gifts make him the family’s most precious and dangerous assetAs the Binewskis take their act across the backwaters of the US inspiring fanatical d. If David Lynch wrote a novel this would be it This novel is repugnant disgusting and baffling I loved it Who'd have thought that a book narrated by a bald female hunchbacked albino dwarf would be so beautiful The trials and tribulations of the Binewski family are shocking and sickening but yet you feel a strange attraction to this family of freaks This is one of the most original novels I've ever read I will never come across anything like this ever again Reading Geek Love is an experience that I highly recommend to everyone living or dead You'll feel sick with awe