Steven Isn't Normal. By Marco A. Vásquez. ISBN:13: 978-1888205510 $22.95.
Steven isn’t normal. But, then again, nobody is. Still, ask anyone, and they’d tell you that Steven is retarded--because he is. Steven is a retard by definition and by practice. Mostly, he is a retard by circumstance. It’s an epithet given to Steven by his community: his neighbors, his peers, his family. It is a title that has been embedded in his psyche--a designation that has dictated his absurd existence. This absurdity is exemplified by his determination to fulfill his quest: the killing of his mother. Steven is convinced that his mother is plotting the elimination of the one thing that Steven holds dear: his bottle collection--the hundreds of bottles, from which he has meticulously removed the labels--which he has perfectly sorted and aligned against a secluded wall near the railroad tracks. On his journey, Steven’s chaotic family history is revealed, as Steven encounters an array of grotesque characters that, in their efforts to reinforce the label that burdens Steven, they exhibit their own retardation that has been, until then, successfully camouflaged and ignored by their own complacency.