Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Geek Love: A Book Review (An Excerpt)

Like the Binewski's Carnival Fabulon, Geek Love by Katherine Dunn disturbs, shocks, and revolts. This is the story of the Binewski family, a family of purposely made freaks, told from Olympia's perspective, bouncing between her childhood in the traveling show to her adult life where she trails her grown-up daughter who isn't aware of her existence. Her daughter, Miranda, has a curly, foot-long tail.

Despite their appearances, the shocks and chills do not come from the Binewski children, except for the murdering, manipulative Arturo. Rather, it's the so-called "normal" people that make the reader gasp and cringe. While growing up in the carnival, Arty acquires a massive cult following. Known as Arturism, these people chop their limbs off, once piece at a time, until nothing but a torso remains. The limbs are then fed to the carnival tigers. As grown Olympia stalks her daughter, she meets Mary T. Lick, a wealthy woman interested in deformities. Eventually, Mary tells Olympia a secret: she pays attractive woman big money to mutilate themselves, like burning their skin away, sewing their vaginas shut, or removing their breasts.

While Dunn's descriptions are creepy, spot-on and poetic, this novel is far from perfect.

To read the rest of this review and discover why Kris Fossett thinks this novel is far from perfect, download Tainted Tea's Fall 2010 issue from Lulu. Click on the button below.

Support independent publishing: Buy this multimedia on Lulu.

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