Nomy's Reviews > Geek Love

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn
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Dec 23, 2007

did not like it
Read in January, 1995

i hated this book and i try not to be offended that so many people i know liked it. basically it was too insanely triggering to me to get any enjoyment out of it whatsoever. i generally don't really enjoy people using metaphors taken from other people's experiences, and this happens a lot around amputation. since amputation is something i have actually experienced, and has impacted my life in ways i can still only begin to understand or describe, there is nowhere for me to go with a book like this. this is a tale of parents' profiting from the manipulation of their children's bodies, the horizontal abuse between siblings, the feelings of entrapment as "freaks"/disabled people who can't leave their family, and cult status of one of the children who convinces followers to amputate their limbs. what should i take from this, other than the fact that people are entertained by the freak show still. there can be no dialogue between my experiences and those of the characters - they are trapped in the reality of the author's imaginings. i can't look to them for survival skills, just a reflection of the confines i already feel in the world.
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Comments (showing 1-11 of 11) (11 new)

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Winered200 hey, spoiler! Awfully rude!


message 2: by Nomy (new) - rated it 1 star

Nomy you have got to be kidding me


Winered200 Cheer up!


message 4: by Nomy (new) - rated it 1 star

Nomy no way


Winered200 I actually like your review even though I enjoyed the book. Do you think that Dunn has been able to capture any "correct" feelings on the subject?


message 6: by Nomy (new) - rated it 1 star

Nomy I'm not sure. I read it a long time ago. other people who grew up in abusive families have told me that they could relate to it. but no I don't think she captured anything having to do with disability or bodily difference very accurately.


message 7: by Nat (new) - rated it 2 stars

Nat Thanks.


Jille With all due respect, I don't think she was trying to capture the "reality" of abuse or amputation, but rather create a fantastical world full of despicable, proud circus freaks and convey an atmosphere of horror. These characters are obviously not real, and the story is so incredibly twisted -- to read it expecting to relate to any of them seems to be missing the point entirely. However I could understand how, due to its horrific nature, one could be so turned off by it that they simply hate the book. I , however, loved it for its completely out-there characters and plot.


Jille With all due respect, I don't think she was trying to capture the "reality" of abuse or amputation, but rather create a fantastical world full of despicable, proud circus freaks and convey an atmosphere of horror. These characters are obviously not real, and the story is so incredibly twisted -- to read it expecting to relate to any of them seems to be missing the point entirely. However I could understand how, due to its horrific nature, one could be so turned off by it that they simply hate the book. I , however, loved it for its completely out-there characters and plot.


message 10: by Damien (new)

Damien Browning The problem I found with this book is that I simply couldn't find any human emotion throughout it. I could not relate to any of the characters in any way. Did you feel that way as well?


Barbara I agree with Jille' somewhat, it wasn't about the amputation. It was about the zealotry that let Arty convince these people that what they needed to do was remove their limbs to be enlightened like him. It was his twisted manipulation, and he got off on getting away with it.
It was full of human emotions, but they were....wrong. Twisted into something else. The main point was all these things were driven by love, just not a love 'norms' can understand. I do have mixed feelings aboutn the grown up Oly story, but the circus years are all right. I do agree with someone else above that said the fire scene got short shrift but other than that it was beautifully written. Not everyone feels the same but I don't have to like the people in a story to enjoy the story or get something from it. You can learn more from damage than from perfect.


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