'Geek Love' is the story of the Binewski family, who run an American travelling carnival . It is narrated by Olympia, a bald hunchbacked albino dwarf, middle child of the family.
The story is told in two interspersed parts; the first is set in a deliberately unspecified time in the past which can be estimated as some time between 1940s and the 1960s. Aloysius and Lilian Binewski, in order to revive the ailing carnival, decide to breed their own "freak show" by exposing Lilian to drugs, chemicals and radiation. The results are Arturo, who instead of arms and legs has flippers, Electra and Iphigenia who are conjoined twins, Olympia, and Fortunato (known as Chick), who has telekinetic powers. Olympia recalls the struggles that the children have growing up within the family, the carnival and in the wider world. Megalomaniac Arturo founds a cult in which his followers must have increasing portions of their limbs removed (with psychic surgical help from Chick). The twins start a career in prostitution, resulting in their pregnancy, and Ephy's eventual death.
The second part of the story is set in Portland, Oregon in the late 1980s. Now a radio presenter, Olympia (living under the name McGurk) is living in a building run by the now blind and partially deaf Lilian, and inhabited by Olympia's daughter Miranda, an art student and strip club dancer who has a tail. Both Miranda and Lilian are unaware of who Olympia is, and of their relationship to each other, but Olympia cares for them both without their knowlege. Miranda is approached my Miss Lick, who offers to pay for her to have her tail cut off in order that she can be judged on her merits as an artist, rather than as a sex object. Olympia, hearing this decides to befriend and then destroy Miss Lick so that Miranda can conserve the family's genetic legacy.