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Toad
Toad: A Novel | Katherine Dunn
3 posts | 2 read | 1 reading | 4 to read
A previously unpublished novel of the reflections of a deeply scarred and reclusive woman, from the cult icon Katherine Dunn, the author of Geek Love. Sally Gunnar has been in love, has been mad, has been an agent of destruction, has been spurned; and now she has retreated from the world. She lives in isolation in her small house, where her only companions are a vase of goldfish, a garden toad, and the door-to-door salesman who sells her cleaning supplies once a month. From her comfortable perch, she broods over her deepest regrets: her wayward, weed-hazy college days; her blighted romance with a scornful poet; a tragically comic accident involving a paper cutter; a suicide attempt; and her decision to ultimately relinquish a conventional life. Colorful, crass, and profound, Toad is Katherine Dunns ode to her time as a student at Reed College, filled with the same keen observations, taboo-shirking verve, and singular characters that made Geek Love a cult classic. Through the perceptive Sally, a fish out of water among a cadre of eccentric, privileged young people, we meet Sam, an unwashed collector of other peoples stories; Carlotta, a free spirit who nevertheless fails to escape the deception of marriage; and Rennel, a shallow, self-obsessed philosophy student. With sly self-deprecation and mordant wit, Sally recounts their misadventures, up to the tragedy that tore them apart. Through it all, Toad demonstrates Dunns genius for black humor and irony, her ecstatic celebration of the grotesque. Daring and bizarre, Toad is a brilliant precursor to the book that would make Dunn a misfit heroeven fifty-some years after it was written, its a refreshing take on the lives of young outsiders treading the delicate lines between isolation and freedom, love and insanity, hatred and friendship.
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gossamerchild
Toad: A Novel | Katherine Dunn
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This book is going to be a difficult one, I can tell, but her prose is stunning. If you've ever read Geek Love and enjoyed it I think you'll like this one. She writes about the absurd and grotesque, so she's not for everyone. But this entire page just struck me as really powerful.

The photo is bad, I realize that now.

#currentlyreading

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Toad: A Novel | Katherine Dunn
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#NetGalley #AudioARC

While this is not Geek Love, there's a certain beauty in the bleak, brutal writing. Toad is a slow-moving look into Sally's life as she navigates her way through a wide range of situations. This read is depressing and Dunn doesn't shy away from some pretty grotesque descriptions about bodily functions and personal hygiene.

The sadness infects all aspects of this book, but Dunn's writing is superb and unforgettable.

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Toad: A Novel | Katherine Dunn
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