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discuss Geek Love by Katherine Dunn, at Light Horse Tavern

  • Mar 17, 2013 · 11:30 AM
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Another month goes by... the book for March is Geek Love by Katherine Dunn, suggested by Gene.

We have a reservation for 10 at Light Horse Tavern, the venerable institution ... here's a link to the brunch menu!

Review via Google Play:

from Kirkus Reviews

Review: Geek Love

Like a collaboration between John Irving and David Lynch, this audaciously conceived, sometimes shocking tale of love and hubris in a carnival family exerts the same mesmeric fascination as the freaks it depicts, despite essential structural flaws. In language as original and fantastic as her story, Dunn (Attic, 1970; Truck, 1971) tells the tale of Binewski's Carnival Fabulon, an unremarkable traveling show until patriarch Aloysius decides to breed his own freaks. Using drugs, insecticides and radioactivity, Al and his wife Crystal Lil, sometime geek, produce Arturo, a thalidomide child; Elly and Iphy, beautiful Siamese twins; Olympia, the novel's narrator, an albino hunchbacked dwarf trained as a barker; and the outwardly normal but telekinetic Chick. With overtones of classical tragedy, Olympia relates Arturo's growing power: first over his sisters, who vie for his love, then over the entire show, and finally over the many followers of the cult of ""Arturism,"" who, like their prophet, have pieces of themselves amputated to transcend appearance. (Arms and legs become lion food; hands and feet, fodder for ""transcendental maggots,"" ironic souveniors of Arturo.) Arturo's pride and jealousy combine with the arrival of a failed assassin, now a freak himself, and with the twins' sideline of selling ""norms"" unique sex, to bring the show to a flaming end. Although the framing story--years later, Olympia schemes to save Miranda, her daughter by Arturo, from a perverse philanthropist--is poorly integrated, and the novel sometimes judders along, this is captivatingly original stuff. With wit and poetry, Dunn rede-fines the limits of the acceptable.

Book links: goodreads | AmazonGoogle Play

Short one! num pages: 368

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  • Anna

    It was great to meet you all. Thanks for the various posting of book titles and fan art!

    March 22, 2013

  • Rita H

    Great conversation, interesting people, good food and an enjoyable book - what more could you ask for?

    March 22, 2013

  • Susa

    Hi Sue, thanks for organizing our book brunch - really enjoyed the book, the people and the conversation!

    March 18, 2013

  • Sue C.

    Thank you for sharing book recommendations! Enjoyable discussion today, thanks for coming.

    March 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great fun. Nice choice. Fascinating conversation. Pleasure meeting everyone. Looking forward to the next one.

    Some of the books mentioned, 2666 (Roberto Bolano), kind of long at nearly 900 pages. Also wrote The Savage Detectives (much shorter). Excellent writer, in my opinion.
    For some really "weird fiction", check out Caitlin Kiernan, Neil Gaiman, China Mieville or of course, Lovecraft.
    For some non-Marquez magic realism, Louis de Bernieres. Happy reading!

    March 17, 2013

  • Sue C.

    Yes, I suppose so. I'm still reading the book but is still very surprising, or even shocking :) I'll try to pick summaries with less spoilers next time.

    March 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Just read the review... when I first read this book I had absolutely no idea what it was about. This review I think unfortunately has some spoilers :( - oh well...

    March 16, 2013

  • Anna

    Looking forward to meeting and chatting.

    February 25, 2013

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