Wednesday, September 3, 2014

'Geek Love'

When I learned that the new season of 'American Horror Story' would be titled 'Freak Show', I immediately knew what book I had to reread.

Of course, it was 'Geek Love' by Katherine Dunn.  If you haven't read it, and you're a lover of 'American Horror Story', you HAVE to give it a try.  It's uncomfortable, it's angry, it's frustrating. But it affects you like no other story. Even 'House of Leaves', which is pretty bizarre in its own right.  Portland author & poet Katherine Dunn once wrote an advice column ('The Slice') in the '80's for 'Willamette Week', a newspaper published in Portland, Oregon.  I eagerly read it, just for her writing.  She was brilliant.  And she still is.

'Geek Love' is the story of a family of circus freaks.  The Binewskis breed (via the use of drugs and toxic chemicals) their own exhibit of human oddities: Olympia (the narrator), an albino dwarf; Arturo the Aquaboy, a man with the ambition of Genghis Khan; the conjoined twins, Iphy and Ellie; and Chick, the psychic 'normal appearing' brother who can move objects with his mind.

Olympia has a life-long devotion to Arturo, a fish-man who knows no limits, a man who takes over the operation and demotes his father to less-than-zero. But Olympia has a secret, a secret that lives close to her.  A secret that does not know how close she is to this family of circus freaks.

Author Katherine Dunn
Filled with joy and sorrow, fatalism and confusion, 'Geek Love' is a story that is a good accompaniment to the soon-to-be fourth season of 'American Horror Story'. Every time I read it, I am amazed at the flow of the story, at the love Dunn feels for each of her characters.

It is weird.  It is strange.  It's a classic.


It. Is. Wonderful!

'Geek Love' by Katherine Dunn, can be found everywhere!  Check your favorite independent bookstore and your local  library!

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