THE GEEK by Craig Nova


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The geek is a sort of half-human offal-eater in a carnival which an American drifter Boot escorts back to Samos, partly as entertainment for the local rubes, partly in the interests of the opium-smuggler who's finally arranged for Boot's landlady to switch to a cash crop. All these manipulations have a great deal to do with the islanders' indebtedness to Boot after he has proved himself--despite an advanced case of alcoholism--a sharper, better fellow than they, after he's acquired fifteen hundred of their money that he can't seem to get off his guilty hands. Between all that honor of his, his inadvertent entanglement with the dope and some exhibitionistic acrobatics with an American chick who's passing through on her way to nowhere, the burden of charisma forces him down into the gutter with the original geek, where we leave them decapitating live chickens with one scrumptious bite. It's all a little vague, as well as puerile and ugly, since the characters never express themselves clearly. Nova hasn't quite mastered the declarative sentence either, but this is his second novel, so he must be trying.

Pub Date: Sept. 17th, 1975
Publisher: Harper & Row