Saturday, July 25, 2009
Geek Love by Katherine Dunn
My greatest find, a worn-out well-read copy of Geek Love by Katherine Dunn. The cover and typography is misleading though, at first you might think it was a cyberpunk novel, something William Gibson might churn out. But hell no, this is a 100% macabre page turner. This isn't some bloody mess or gore or Clive Barker.
Something worth its merit, Geek Love has well-developed characters and an intriguing plot-driven tale, a noteworthy house drama mind you that delves on deformity and the worst of sibling rivalry.
Bought it for 75 pesos, something like a dollar and ten cents, loved every page of it!
A taste of the prose!
Some Spoilers below:
Do not read beyond this point if you haven't read the book!
I guess I felt really disappointed for Oly. I expected some strong turnaround and resolved from her character in the end. I just so wanted Oly to confront her daughter and let her know the truth about the family, the Arthurians, her tail. I wanted Miranda to have a good look at her midget albino mother - accept or reject her on the spot. Perhaps it would have been more cataclysmic and satisfying to see whatever Miranda's reaction was. Instead of having Oly go down with Mary at a swimming pool showdown with a newspaper cut-out to unravel the details of her demise. I think its a weak cop out for the novelist. And a bummer for me!
On Chick, it was predictable in a graphic novel kind of way that Chick would blow the hell out of everyone. It felt like King's Firestarter or the final apocalypse in The Stand (Or well some recent hollywood CGI effects movie) But the book was written in the early 90s, I guess going up in smoke isn't as cliche and common as it is now.
Arthur Binewski remains the strongest character in the book. His megalomania, cunning and cutthroat manipulative ways do leave an indelible mark post-read.
I am just glad Katherine Dunn wasn't afraid to explore all the possible territories for this dark modern fairy tale, redefining our sense of perversion. I couldn't just stop reading and visualizing the Bagman, Iphy and Elly's sexual and overt nature, Dr. P's self-mutilation, etc. The book has a very David Lynch feel to it, the reverse norm and familial ties, the onslaught of carnies that come and go, can hold their very own story threads.
Those who like their stories dark, this one is the primo variety :)