A gripping novel of madness and despair now available in paperback for the first time
Happy Birthday Jess chronicles the creation of a monster: Jess Olivas, a Mexican American boy raised by his grandmother in northern California. In a society where survival of the fittest is the key, young Jess Olivas shyness and sensitivity become a malleable and vulnerable disadvantage.
Transformed into the perfect victim by his grandmother, a religious fanatic, and the teachings of his parish priest, Jess is progessively abused and brutalized. At eighteen, he marks his coming of age with the savage rape of a prostitute, the only person who loved him, and an attack that maims the parish priest he both hated and feared. Jess is sentenced to thirty years behind prison walls in what becomes a labyrinth of unending horrors.