Thursday, November 06, 2003

I do read too, I swear...

In my froth over Average Joe I forgot the Carnivále-related book recommendation I was going to make.

Back when Side Show, a musical about real-life conjoined twins the Hilton Sisters was about to start previews on Broadway, I read an entirely misinformed post on the net that said the show was based on Katherine Dunn's Geek Love.

My first thought when I read the book was, "How is anyone going to make a musical from this??" (This was before I met Faustus, who is the only person I know who could probably pull it off.) My second thought was, "This is the most fucked up thing I've ever read and I love it."

Without giving anything away, I'll just say that Geek Love begins with husband and wife who run a carnival. When business is in a slump they come up with the brilliant plan to have the mother ingest all kinds of horrible things while pregnant, in an attempt to breed their own freak show. It works, and their offspring include a boy with fins and twin girls who share everything below the waist. You can imagine how well that works out! The novel is narrated by the most "normal" of the children, an albino dwarf with a hump. Oh, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the musical Side Show.

All this Carnivále-watching got me thinking about the book again. Unfortunately, I told Boy he absolutely had to read it and loaned it to him before I decided that I absolutely have to read it again. Still, I tell you all that you must read it too, especially if you want another look into 1930s carnival life. And really, who doesn't?

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