Summary: Son of Steve, Sean Conways' debut novella, sits somewhere between prose and poetry, has no characters except for Jesus and Elvis, and talks about pop culture and sex, creating a sense of suspension in time and space. It isn't surprising that Sean is a film-maker: the pages read like highly evocative scenes or snap shots that bring us back to something primal, beyond categories and labels. If we could bring literature back to its deepest roots, it would probably look a lot like Son of Steve.
There is no story, no characters, nor an ending. As a young filmmaker, Sean creates images, evokes scenes, drills a hole through our bored collective unconscious with a sense of timeless worlds, nameless individuals, and desacralized spaces where we can at last get to the heart of things. He IS the Son of Steve. (Summary from publisher - image from revengeink.com - review copy courtesy of publisher (DVD not included and not reviewed))
My Review: Let’s get one thing straight right off—you will hate this book. It is pretentious, disgusting, perverse, crass, disjointed, ugly, morally bankrupt, often unintelligible, and occasionally boring.
Now that we have that out of the way, there’s something to be said for a book that is pretentious, disgusting, perverse, crass, disjointed, ugly, morally bankrupt, often unintelligible, and occasionally boring. Son of Steve does, in fact, achieve that rare literary quality, a clear and honest view into the unhallowed depths of the author’s mind—and, I suspect, the minds of more of us than would care to admit it. If seeing things “as they are,” without whitewashing or rationalization, is a mark of insight and wisdom, then this book has more to offer than appears at first sight. In this view, the book’s major failing is that it doesn’t have the patience to let its material develop, or the restraint to sort the well-putrified wheat from the chaff of the author’s mental processes. In attempting to be honest, it often verges over into mere stream-of-consciousness reporting of minutiae.
To reiterate, none of this means that you won’t hate Son of Steve—but if you have the proper where-angels-fear-to-tread mentality, you may find it worth reading regardless.
Star Rating: 3 stars. Expect to be offended.
Sum it up: The demons of one man's mind, dried and pinned like bugs in a collection, but without any labels.