This off-the-wall, extraordinary book will encourage the reader to think laterally and suspend belief.
Five thousand years on from the myth, the Minotaur - now known as M to his colleagues - is alive and well and living in America. He has a job as a chef in a busy, fairly up-market restaurant in North Carolina, lives in a caravan park, has learnt the art of motor mechanics, acquired excellent cooking skills and watches as the world goes by.
Nothing seems to disturb the humdrum, day-to-day existence of M as, on a daily basis, he works, takes a bath, combs the bovine parts of his body, carefully treats the line where his body becomes man, manicures and polishes his horns, repairs his clothes, cleans his shoes, keeps his old car going, and makes interminable lists of things to do. The Minotaur has become a creature of habit - predictable and unsurprising.
However, we gradually realise that, even though most of M's emotions are suppressed - for example, he does not allow himself to feel guilty about those he killed and devoured in ancient times - he is very capable of liking, even loving. This latter is developed carefully, with surprises and setbacks, as Sherrill sensitively and sympathetically develops a heart-rending portrayal of loneliness in all its forms. Being different makes M an outsider - his horns get in the way from time to time, he likes to eat raw onions, he is socially gauche - yet he yearns to be accepted.
M does not necessarily like all that he sees or enjoy all that he does but recognises that the world will continue to turn so he may as well get on with life. An immortal beast, living through millennia, adapting his dress from togas through to modern-day jeans, liked by some, ignored or, worse, loathed by others, never really able to form relationships because he is so different to those all around him, he is a sympathetic character brilliantly evoked.
This is an extraordinary book, born out of an extraordinary idea but one which works very well and should be read by all those who like a challenging and thoughtful read.