Geek Love: A Novel (Vintage Contemporaries) (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

This book is a wild ride. Dunn means the word 'geek' here in its original sense--yes, as in the person who bites heads off of chickens at the circus--as she paints a family portrait of the Binewskis, carnival-owners and performers. There's conjoined twins; Arturo, the meglomaniacal Aqua Boy; Oly, the hunchback dwarf with a golden voice; and Chick, the seemingly 'normal' child. The San Francisco Chronicle called it "A Fellini movie in ink" and I agree. Riveting, shocking and so, so good. 

— From Devon D. Staff Picks


National Book Award finalist

Here is the unforgettable story of the Binewskis, a circus-geek family whose matriarch and patriarch have bred their own exhibit of human oddities (with the help of amphetamine, arsenic, and radioisotopes). Their offspring include 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.

About the Author

Katherine Dunn was a novelist and boxing journalist who lived and worked in Oregon. She is the author of three novels: Attic; Truck; and Geek Love, which was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Bram Stoker Prize. She died in 2016.

Praise For…

“A Fellini movie in ink. . . . Geek Love throws a punch.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Wonderfully descriptive. . . . Dunn [has a] tremendous imagination.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Like most great novels, this one keeps the reader marveling at the daring of the author.” –Philadelphia Inquirer

“Unrelentingly bizarre . . . perverse but riveting. . . . Will keep you turning the pages.” –Chicago Tribune

Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9780375713347
ISBN-10: 0375713344
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: June 11th, 2002
Pages: 368
Language: English
Series: Vintage Contemporaries