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.
At times I really realize that I need to branch out and read more books that are A) written for adults, and B) considered more "literature" (whatever that's really supposed to mean :P). Anyhow, this was one of those books, and after picking it up at the library book sale in Davis, the lady ringing up my giant stack of books paused to glance at the book, then back to me. "You know, my daughter loved this book, but I hated it!" she told me. I grinned, surprised at her reaction, and made some random comment about how I'd have to see how it struck me. Well, honestly, I think I fall more onto the side with the blue-haired lady who rang up my purchase...
See, I just couldn't get behind any of the characters. They all kind of irked me, especially Arty, who I couldn't understand why anyone was going along with At All! Much less, why the MC, Oly, loved him. He was a monster. Some of the minor characters, Chick & the twins especially, were interesting, but then it all just kind of wound apart and left me wondering why I was bothering. Other thing I generally like in my books? Some kind of end goal--it doesn't have to be big, but there needs to be something that's being worked toward or I'm going to wonder why I'm bothering.
Anyhow, the concept of this book is fantastically original and interesting, but I honestly didn't care for it much.
Have you read it? Thoughts?