Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn: Al and Lil Binewski own a failing carnival, which they revive by creating a family of freaks though chemical abuse during pregnancy. Not just standard drugs, but pesticides, radioisotopes, and more. The story is narrated by their daughter Olympia, a bald albino hunchback dwarf, who often bemoans her relative normalcy (you should see her siblings). It’s a fascinating look at not only carnival life, but how we view physical beauty in general. Do we really envy those who are completely normal, or those who proudly display their differences? The description is raw, shocking, and painfully vivid, but like a carnival freak show, you just can’t look away. You have to keep reading, to get a better look, to see what they’ll do next. This is not the sort of book that will appeal to everyone, or even most people, but I really enjoyed it. If nothing else, it was very different from most other things I’ve read.

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