'Geek Love' by Katherine Dunn, is one of my favourite novels. At times, not an easy read, often a darkly funny read, always a very moving and compassionate read. And this year marks the 25th anniversary of its publication. Over at Wired, Caitlin Roper writes with wit and insight about this very odd book:
Full Story: HEREGeek Love knocked me out, too. Reading it for the first time at 16, I couldn’t shake it from my brain—I didn’t want to—even as I tore through other novels. It was that glorious age when reading isn’t an escape, it’s your actual life; when everything outside of books becomes suffused with the stories you’re soaking in. I recognized something in Geek Love that I’d always loved in comic books, the idea of a character’s strangeness as the source of her strength. Like the members of the Justice League, or the Fantastic Four, the Fabulon freaks are all misfits, each with a singular skill. As a kid, I wanted to have some special power—invisibility, especially; I wanted to be like everyone else, but also, somehow, secretly special and indomitable. In Dungeon Master, an early role-playing videogame I’d played on the Atari computers in middle school, you began the game by choosing your characters and their special talents. I loved the idea of selecting magical powers, of building a unique persona from a menu of skills and capabilities. The Binewskis, these incredible freaks, and their demented familial struggles helped me feel better about my own family problems, my own powerlessness. The book inverted the cold adolescent truth that what makes you different curses you.