4 Down, 48 Left (52 Weeks, 52 Books)


The Binewskis are unique. A carnival family running the “Carnival Fabulon”, they breed their freaks instead of merely hiring them. Owner Al Binewski has his wife Lil ingest all manner of drugs and chemicals in order to produce their “special” babies – Arturo the charismatic Aqua Boy, Iphigenia and Electra, beautiful twins conjoined from the waist down, Olympia the not-freaky-enough albino dwarf and the extremely gifted but doomed Chick.

From cult worship to incest to charity by mutilation, Geek Love is a world where being a “norm” is to be a failure and to be a fabulous freak, is to be worshipped. Intercutting between the heydays of the “Fabulon” and Olympia as an adult, author Katherine Dunn takes her time showing us the Binewski children growing up, living fantastic, warped lives – remaining steadfastly human to the core – while gradually revealing the Binewskis’ inexorable dissolution into tragedy.

The book abounds with freaks, not just the Binewskis, but a whole range of characters who’ve been self-mutilated or surgically ‘corrected’. I guess the point Dunn is trying to make is how her heartbreakingly human characters (and the rest of us) have always been freaks inside, with or without looking “special”, that theirs’ is the human condition – twisted and tragic but always looking for love wherever they can find it.

Geek Love
(ISBN No: 0446391301) Check NLB Catalogue for item availability.

My next book will be Bibliophilia: A Novella And Stories by Michael Griffith.

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1 Response to “4 Down, 48 Left (52 Weeks, 52 Books)”


  1. 1 Jillian February 22, 2006 at 13:50

    Hi!
    Just put up a post (long overdue ;p) on Geek Love on our site. Permalink: http://dl.nlb.gov.sg/highbrowseonline/2006/02/jillian_and_billy_have_read_ge.html


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