Publisher: Abacus Books
Published: Originally published 1989 / My copy published in 2015
Pages 499 Pages
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 Aquaboy, who has flippers for limbs and a megalomaniac ambition worthy 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–asset.
As the Binewskis take their act across the backwaters of the U.S., inspiring fanatical devotion 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.
Thanks to Poppy from little, Brown UK and Abacus for sending me a copy of Geek Love to read and review.
Well, where do I begin? Geek Love was like nothing I’ve read before and I have to say that’s probably a good thing. You know the story is going to be weird, right from the get – go, but sometimes you need a little weirdness in your life and Geek Love certainly gave me enough to last a very long time.
Olympia is the narrator of the story and she tells you all about her family – her freak show family. Her brothers and sisters all have something unusual about them, her sisters are Siamese twins, her brother has finns and her younger brother has the power to move objects, Olympia herself is a albino dwarf with a hump – all a little strange. What’s more strange is that there Mother purposely subjected herself, during pregnancy, to drugs and other illegal things, hence the children’s deformities.
Most of the time I did find Geek Love liberating, fun and unusual, other times I was a little freaked out. Olympia was infatuated with her brother and you could even say she loved him and not in a sister and brother kind of way – it was little situations like that, that made me think ‘what the?’. However, is it the ‘what the?’ feeling that makes the story so much more enjoyable? I’ll let you decide.
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