I am very perplexed by this book. It took me over 100 pages to get into it. And in fact it was only when one of the Binewski's was injured by his younger brother that I started to take to it.I must say I was really into the characters, they were so oddly demented that their total unbelieveableness evaporated away. And this is my major problem with the book. The writing and story feels flimsy in comparison to these beings who cast shadows that would make mountains jealous. And perhaps this is an unfair complaint, as I have no idea how anyone could have constructed a narrative that would have been up to containing the Binewski family. So I am not singling out Dunn here, but it does not stop me from having wanted more from this book. It reminds me of that movie where Phillip Seymour Hoffman not only plays Capote, but simply becomes him. He was so transcendent in the role, the film itself was an afterthought and a disappointment. Nothing could withstand the impact of his performance. Likewise, nothing could withstand the hugeness, the uniqueness, the audacity, the insanity, etc etc of the freak show that is/was the Binewski family.While reading this, I told a friend this boiled down to the high concept of a mix of X-men and Easy Rider, if the mutants were side show carnival freaks and if Dennis Hopper was a Napoleonic megalomaniac with a thing for his sister/s and not prostitutes or pot. After finishing this, I am know this in no way captures the whole of the book, but I am more than happy to assert this in a Campbell's condensed soup sort of way.It is told from the perspective of the last surviving Binewski child. And like all first person narratives you have to weigh reality with this character's perspective. But since this book is basically about distilling the reality of an equally unreal traveling carnival, one does not doubt her as an unreliable narrator, as such. But her perspective, her love for her brother Artie does make you wonder just how much she leaves out to paint this rather vile human in a better light than the rest of the world would have. I am not saying she captures him with awe inspiring worship, she does not. Her words slaughter him and make his megalomania seem so horrific that you anticipate his assassination must lie on the next page. It just must. But I still wonder if her love for him colored his antics in a more positive way than others saw him. As I am just sure he was far more evil and cunning than her disturbed picture of him showed.I also found the "notes for now" chapters to be disjointed. Not so much as a narrative device, as I think they performed their task in that way well, but stylistically. They showed no difference in voice or style from the rest of the book which captured 20+ years ago. I found this odd and fairly unbelievable. In these chapters, Oly, the narrator, is describing her day to day breathing and not memory, yet they are presented in the exact same tongue. Highly unlikely....So I loved the characters. Would love to read more about so many of them, major and minor (and since others have said they will haunt you long after the book is over, I expect to see them in my dreams). But the book itself was a bit disappointing.