Geek Love

by Katherine Dunn | Other |
ISBN: 0375713344 Global Overview for this book
Registered by humberts-doll of Springfield, Missouri USA on 9/30/2004
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19 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by humberts-doll from Springfield, Missouri USA on Thursday, September 30, 2004
From the back:
"'Geek Love' is the story of the Binewskis, a carny family whose mater- and paterfamilias set out-with the help of amphetamine, arsenic, and radioisotopes-to breed their own exhibit of human oddities. There's 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."



10/25/04
I just finished this yesterday, and it was a little hard to get into at first. I thought the premise was interesting, but I was initially disoriented and had no idea where the author was going with this. But once that became more clear, it moved so quickly that I didn't want to put it down. I think this is one of those books that some people will love and others will absolutely hate. My own reaction was more neutral. If it hadn't been so well written and imaginative, I might not have liked it as much. It's much darker than what I usually read, and there are places where you have to put reality aside and just follow the story. The only major thing that didn't fully convince me was Oly teetering back and forth between loyalty and hatred of her brother. There were times when I just wanted to slap her and say, "Wake up!"

Journal Entry 2 by humberts-doll from Springfield, Missouri USA on Sunday, October 24, 2004
This is now a US bookray. The list of participants is below, and the last person in the ray should pass the book on in some BookCrossing manner after reading it.

The participants in order:

1.)KarenZero
2.)squirrel818
3.)SqueakyChu
4.)Sunshinedreem
5.)Morianna
6.)hak42
7.)Mokona
8.)twinkpuddin

9.)spaceystacey received

Journal Entry 3 by humberts-doll from Springfield, Missouri USA on Monday, November 15, 2004
Sent off today to KarenZero.

Journal Entry 4 by wingAnonymousFinderwing on Sunday, November 21, 2004
Looking forward to reading this one - thanks for sharing the book, humberts-doll!

KarenZero

CAUGHT IN BROOKLYN NY USA

Journal Entry 5 by KarenZero from Maplewood, New Jersey USA on Sunday, November 21, 2004
whoops - that was meant to be ME, not "anonymous finder"...sorry!

Journal Entry 6 by KarenZero from Maplewood, New Jersey USA on Monday, December 06, 2004
Even though the subject matter was quite disturbing at times, I really enjoyed this book. The writing was particularly vivid and the look at manipulation and cults was pretty interesting. I definitely liked the book a lot, although I can see how some might be turned off by it! I think it would make an interesting film, though it would be impossible to fit everything into two hours.

thanks again for sharing the book! I will pass it on to the next person as soon as I get her address.

Released on Thursday, December 09, 2004 at about 2:00:00 PM BX time (GMT-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada) at Controlled Release in Controlled Release, Controlled Release Controlled Releases.

RELEASE NOTES:

Journal Entry 8 by squirrel818 from Tafton, Pennsylvania USA on Tuesday, December 14, 2004
received in the mail today. i will read it asap. thanks!

Journal Entry 9 by squirrel818 from Tafton, Pennsylvania USA on Friday, December 31, 2004
This book was so wonderfully bizarre. I loved the characters, artie reminded me a little of an evil valentine michael smith. thanks so much for sharing!

Released on Friday, January 07, 2005 at about 10:00:00 AM BX time (GMT-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada) at a fellow bookcrosser in Rockville, Maryland USA.

RELEASE NOTES:


Journal Entry 11 by wingSqueakyChuwing from Rockville, Maryland USA on Saturday, January 15, 2005
Got it! I'll start reading it this week.

Thanks so much for starting this bookray, humberts-doll.

Journal Entry 12 by wingSqueakyChuwing from Rockville, Maryland USA on Sunday, January 30, 2005
This has to be the strangest book I've ever read, bar none. It's not a book for everyone because some of the language and actions can be quite offensive. I found, in reading reviews of this book, that people who were offended by it tended to stop reading it in the middle. People who were not offended by it continued through the end and realized how interesting this book was.

It's very hard to describe. For me, it's an adventure. It's like something a psychotic John Irving would write. Katherine Dunn to literature is like John Waters is to film. Does that give you an idea yet?

I thought the story was very well written and provocative in that it caused me to think about how we distinguish between what is "normal" and what is "freaky". It made me reflect on how we view people who are different than ourselves and how we try to fit into the norm if we are freaky or fit into the freaky if we are normal. To get this idea across, the author turned the whole concept of "geek" on its head by making "freaky" the norm. And that was just the beginning...

Great quote from this book:
“There are those whose vulgar normality is so apparent and stultifying that they strive to escape it. They affect flamboyant behavior and claim originality according to the fashionable eccentricities of their time. They claim brains or talent or indifference to mores in desperate attempts to deny their own mediocrity. These are frequently artists and performers, adventurers and wide-life devotees.”
“Then there are those who feel their own strangeness and are terrified by it. They struggle toward normalcy. They suffer to exactly that degree that they are unable to appear normal to others, or to convince themselves that their aberration does not exist. These are true freaks, who appear, almost always, conventional and dull.” (Arty in Geek Love by Katherine Dunn)

Thanks, humbert's-doll, for sharing this book and providing me with such an extraordinary reading experience!

For fun--Listen to this interview with the author:
http://wiredforbooks.org/katherinedunn/

This book was mailed to Sunshinedreem in Frederick, Maryland. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 13 by sunshinedreem from Frederick, Maryland USA on Wednesday, February 02, 2005
I just received this in todays mail, thanks! I do have two other rings ahead of it, but I should be able to get to it very soon! I'll journal again when I start reading :)

Journal Entry 14 by sunshinedreem from Frederick, Maryland USA on Thursday, February 10, 2005
I tried reading this one last night, the story sounded so much like something that I would really enjoy! I only managed to get through the first 20 pages or so but I really just can't get into this book! I think I"m going to go ahead and pass this on to the next person, and maybe try to read it again at another time so I don't hold up the ring for too long struggling to get through this one!

I hope everyone else enjoys this more than I did!

Journal Entry 15 by sunshinedreem from Frederick, Maryland USA on Thursday, February 10, 2005
I'm putting this in the mail to Morianna tomorrow, enjoy!

Journal Entry 16 by Morianna from Houston, Texas USA on Friday, February 25, 2005
Just received this. Perfect timing as I just finished the first draft of my own book, during which I did almost no reading, and am more than ready for a good read. Can't wait to get started! I have a trip this weekend (research for said book) that won't allow much reading time, but I'm going to take it just in case. Will definitely get to it Monday, if not before.

EDIT 3/28/05 - I've finished reading the book and will be sending it on to the next person. For now, I'll say that I thought it was fascinating and will be back later to give a more thorough review.

REVIEW:
I've thought many times about how to approach this review. I don't want to impact the adventure for future readers, but I do encourage everyone to keep reading, even when the book takes you out of your comfort zone, because taking you beyond what you are used to is part of why this was such a challenging and interesting read.

For me, Geek Love was both difficult and delightful. The characters both fascinated and repulsed me. I suppose that I should have hated them, but I didn't. Sometimes, I started to understand them. This inner dichotomy is, in my opinion, part of the strength of this book. The author took me places I had never been before and showed me a world where everything was twisted but still solid, so that the characters became real as I read about them. While I think it would be a stretch to say that I really liked this book, I did enjoy the challenge it presented to my usual way of thinking. I am glad that I read this book.

Journal Entry 17 by hak42 from Durham, New Hampshire USA on Monday, April 04, 2005
I received the book today. I should be able to get to it soon.

EDIT 25 April 2005:

I agree with Morianna, it's definately worth getting through once you start. It's a book that needs to be thought about, definately not just a "quick read and then move on" kind of book.

EDIT 27 April 2005:

Sent the book off to the next person on the list today!

Journal Entry 18 by Mokona from Clinton Township, Michigan USA on Saturday, May 21, 2005
I received this earlier this week, and Bookcrossing wasn't working for me...then I just started reading.

This was an odd book. Started off strange, ended strangely, and the middle was somewhere in between. Definately not a light subject, and not a light novel. It took a while to get into it, and later in the book it was a little too deep (the whole Arturan "cult"). The concept was intresting and ironic, but it seemed to go overboard with it.

I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it.

Thanks again for sharing this novel!
PMing twinkpuddin for an addy & I will mail out ASAP.

Journal Entry 19 by Mokona at To next on list in Mailed, Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Saturday, June 11, 2005

Released 13 yrs ago (6/11/2005 UTC) at To next on list in Mailed, Bookring -- Controlled Releases

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

Sorry I took so long getting this out to the next person. Mailed to twinkpuddin this morning.

Thanks again for sharing this book, humberts-doll! :)

Journal Entry 20 by twinkpuddin from Seattle, Washington USA on Thursday, June 16, 2005
Received today and will start right away!

Journal Entry 21 by twinkpuddin from Seattle, Washington USA on Tuesday, June 28, 2005
I thought this was a great read. At times disturbing, but I still didn't want to put it down. It's an interesting look at normal vs freak and the concepts of cult and family.

Have PM'd spaceystacey and am waiting for address to send on.

Journal Entry 22 by twinkpuddin from Seattle, Washington USA on Friday, July 01, 2005
Dropping in the mail today! Enjoy.

Journal Entry 23 by spaceystacey from Bridgeton, New Jersey USA on Friday, July 08, 2005
Just received this bookray in the post today. Will be reading behind the bookrings that are currently in my possession. I am looking forward to reading this one.

Well this one took me a great deal of time to get into at first. I have started it many, many times just to put it down again after the first chapter or so. I picked it up again this weekend and this time...WOW...it really is quite a page-turner. I really wanted to read more about all the quirky/Freaky characters.

Offering in the forums as a bookring May 2008


ORDER OF THE RING:

1. mellonhead journalled.
2. Librarylion journalled
3. deadsteen journalled
4. sunfi journalled
5. jubby Australia journalled.
6. ArabellaFigg UK international -05/27/2009 received, journaled as read now
7. Snofferol South Africa 08/25/2009 received, journaled as read now
8. LeishaCamden Oslo, Norway international March 10, 2010 had the book now.
9. SillySilhouette USA mailings only
10. Supertalya

Journal Entry 24 by mellonhead from Austin, Texas USA on Tuesday, May 20, 2008
The book arrived yesterday. I can't wait to start it. Thank you spaceystacey!

ETA: 7/12/08-I read this while at a conference in Boston. It was a tough read. I didn't enjoy it, although it is a good story because it keeps sticking in my head. I was fascinated by the family dynamics. I'm sending it out to Librarylion on Monday.

Journal Entry 25 by mellonhead at -- Controlled Release in Austin, Texas USA on Saturday, July 12, 2008

Released 10 yrs ago (7/14/2008 UTC) at -- Controlled Release in Austin, Texas USA

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

to librarylion

Journal Entry 26 by librarylion from San Jose, California USA on Sunday, September 28, 2008
Received through the bookray from mellonhead...and am fascinated by it so far! It's an interesting premise, and is also taking some unexpected twists and turns midway. An good mirror to hold up and make us wonder what truly is freakish?

Finished on 10/8
I'm not sure if I can say that I enjoyed this book as much as survived it, and have come out better for it. I thought that Katherine Dunn was going to give us a peek at the "freakish" life of this non "norm" family, but instead pulls us right into the depths with them, and those depths sink very low. However, as foreign as their lives seemed at times, there were sudden glimpses of the familiar...which was scary!

I'm sending this on to deadsteen... Enjoy!

Journal Entry 27 by deadsteen from White Plains, New York USA on Monday, October 27, 2008
Arrived.... will start very soon.

I am slightly embarrassed that I still have this book. I am reading it, but apparently VERY slowly (which is not the way I usually operate. Too many distractions, I guess. I will either finish it in the next 2 weeks or send it on (I am going out of town for a few days in early Feb, and if I have not finished it when I get back, I will send it out anyway).

Journal Entry 28 by deadsteen from White Plains, New York USA on Saturday, January 31, 2009
I finally finished it. This is probably the most bizarre book I have ever read. It was dark and twisted but it certainly got me thinking about certain things. What is normal, how do people get sucked into cults, why do we feel uncomfortable when confronted with somebody who is different (not normal), what are our limits when we are bound to someone through love?

I'm glad I read it, but I'm really not sure if I enjoyed it. I think I agree with librarylion, who "survived it." Everytime I was sure the story had reached its bizarre zenith, there would be yet another twist or turn. I found myself rereading at points becuase I couldn't believe that was where the story was going.

Well, I am glad I finally finished and I will PM the next person on the list.

Journal Entry 29 by sunfi from Alexandria, Virginia USA on Sunday, February 15, 2009
Received in the mail yesterday. I have 6 rings ahead of this one so it will probably be the end of March before I will be able to send it to the next reader. Thanks tospaceystacey for including me in the ring and deadsteen for mailing this to me.

Journal Entry 30 by sunfi at -- Mail or by hand-rings, RABCK, meetings, Ohio USA on Sunday, March 29, 2009

Released 10 yrs ago (3/30/2009 UTC) at -- Mail or by hand-rings, RABCK, meetings, Ohio USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

I just couldn't get into this one, I gave it 50 pages or so. This is on its way to jubby now. Happy Reading!

Journal Entry 31 by jubby from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Monday, April 06, 2009
Received in the post today - thank you.

Journal Entry 32 by jubby at Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Thursday, May 21, 2009

Released 10 yrs ago (5/19/2009 UTC) at Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Well, I got a bit further then the last reader... but I still didn't finish it.

I read the first 100 pages, and rather enjoyed it, but then put the book down to read a reading group book (Someone knows my name by Lawrence Hill), so when I finally made it back I had lost my enthusiasm. And, I had held onto the book for far too long, so posted it on to the next reader.

May they enjoy the book in their own good time.

Thank you for sharing this book with me.

Journal Entry 33 by ArabellaFigg from Hull, East Yorkshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Book arrived this morning thank you jubby. I have a lot of bookrings at the mo, but will start reading it as soon as poss.

Journal Entry 34 by ArabellaFigg from Hull, East Yorkshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, July 15, 2009
I finally finished this book, like a few others I can't really say that I enjoyed it. It wasn't what I was expecting, and was a little disappointed.
I will pm snofferol and post the book on as soon as possible.

Journal Entry 35 by ArabellaFigg from Hull, East Yorkshire United Kingdom on Thursday, July 30, 2009
Posted to Snofferol this morning.

Journal Entry 36 by Snofferol from Tshwane - Centurion, Gauteng South Africa on Tuesday, August 25, 2009
It arrived today, I think I'll start reading this tomorrow. I'll journal once I'm done.

Journal Entry 37 by Snofferol from Tshwane - Centurion, Gauteng South Africa on Thursday, October 15, 2009
Finally finished this. Wow. That was one of the most intense things I think I've ever read. The only other books that ever affect my general mood outside the world I'm reading like this are Stephen King's books- I haven't shut up about this the whole time I've been reading it. As a story, it is genuinely well crafted in its intent to horrify and disturb, and it goes places that fascinate in a morbid and inevitable way, but overall it certainly wasn't the best written narrative I've ever read. There's a lot of little side-long plot things that could really have gone entirely, and some weirdness in general plot and character development. The ending, also, kinda let the story down. But as I said, there's enough awesome and distressing ideas in here to make it well worth a read. I'll probably invest in a copy of my own, since I'm sure I'll be wanting to re-read this sometime. I'll get it in the post at the end of the month once I get paid. Thanks for the opportunity to read it!

Journal Entry 38 by LeishaCamden from Alna bydel, Oslo fylke Norway on Wednesday, March 10, 2010
This book was in my mailbox this afternoon when I got home from work. Yay! I'm really psyched about reading this book, it seems like a very original and unusual work. I've already started reading it. :-)

Journal Entry 39 by LeishaCamden from Alna bydel, Oslo fylke Norway on Sunday, April 11, 2010
I've finished this book by now, of course. :-) I absolutely loved it. :-) Here are some further thoughts.



I will PM the next reader for their address and get the book back on the road again asap.

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