Ashlie’s #CBR5 Review #22: Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

Geek Love is the most fantastic book I have ever read. In this instance, I don’t mean “the best” I mean “the most remote from reality.” Not going to lie: as a geek I totally judged this book buy its cover in that I found the title intriguing. The book came highly recommended from my favorite member of the Literary Disco Podcast team, Rider Strong, as he said it is one of his favorite books. And I mean, if Shawn Hunter recommends it, I sort of owe it to my fifteen year old self to give it a look.

I made it through, similar to the way you would have to continue on if you are stuck in traffic beyond a horrible wreck with no detour routes: impatiently, gritting my teeth, and through clinched eyes. In this book, the Binewski family owns and operates a traveling circus, but this doesn’t have the charm of your average Barnum and Bailey. The children have been genetically engineered by their father to become circus freaks, who are the main attractions. This book is twisted and compelling and often horrific as the family goes from a simple circus to a religious cult under the thumb, or fin rather, of their controlling and psychotic son. The book is non-linear as one of the children is retelling the sad history of the family as a retrospective, while trying to make amends for her sin as well as, the the sins of the whole family.

It is bizarre, sad, painful, and creepy. I’m sort of glad to have read it, because you really have no see it to believe but I won’t ever be revisiting it: once is enough.

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