The Minotaur Takes A Cigarette Break Paperback – 28 Apr 2003
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|Paperback, 28 Apr 2003||
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"A wry, melancholy, beautiful first novel." (Guardian)
"This is the most surreal slab of realism you will read all year. Unique and rather wonderful." (Arena)
"Sherrill is a beautiful writer . . . he finds the drama to keep you reading, your heart in your mouth, to the conclusion's defiant roar of hope." (Daily Telegraph)
"Exceptional . . .Steven Sherrill uses M as the vehicle for a finely observed and compassionate portrayal of humanity in all its guises." (Irish Independent)
"Sherrill's narrative, with its dreamlike pace, shows myth coexisting with reality as naturally as it does in ancient epic." (Publisher's Weekly) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From the Inside Flap
Five thousand years out of the labyrinth, the Minotaur finds himself in the American South, living in a trailer park and working as a line cook at a steakhouse. No longer a devourer of human flesh, the Minotaur is a socially inept, lonely creature with very human needs. But over a two-week period, as his life dissolves into chaos, this broken and alienated immortal awakens to the possibility for happiness and to the capacity for love. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
The writing here is lyrical but not overdone. There's a beautiful balance struck between pathos and world weariness. The minotaur cuts a tremendously sympathetic figure, carving steaks and fixing engines as he observes the people around him bustling and chatting. He yearns to be included, but his inarticulacy and overwhelming shyness keep him on the sidelines.
When a pretty young waitress joins the bar grill where he works, he struggles to act upon the very human feelings stirred in his ancient heart.
This is an absorbing read and I recommend it very, very strongly.
The style is sparse andelegant. Not a word is wasted and I enjoyed ever single one of them.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This idea had the making of an interesting short story or novella, but is a tedious read. Nothing is really explored, explained or resolved. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Greg
A character you can identify with, warts and all, captured in rich prose that keeps you turning the pages and opens your eyes to the people around you.Published 16 months ago by Skinvaldo
Why was the main character in this novel a Minotaur, as opposed to a human, as it appears to have no special Minotaurian characteristics? Read morePublished 17 months ago by Malcolm Bigg
A very strange and heavily descriptive story. I could almost smell it and feel his pain and frustration. Great read.Published 22 months ago by Hilary
A wonderful sideways look at America , a complete surprise, well written and a great diversionPublished on 12 July 2014 by Charles MacKinnon
There is little more that needs to be said about this superb novel than that if he had written no more than this, Steven Sherrill could have rested content that he had produced a... Read morePublished on 5 July 2013 by Barton Keyes
This is a very interesting book that kept me enthralled. For anyone at all into Greek mythology it is a must I suggest.Published on 26 April 2013 by M. Harvey
It may appear an unusual premise to have a minotaur who has survived since time immemorial working as a line chef in 20th century America as the central character for your novel. Read morePublished on 9 Feb. 2012 by N. A. Spencer
Seeing the title, I wouldn't have chosen this book. However, I am a member of a bookchat group and it was the given "read of the month".
I was amazed at how much I enjoyed it. Read more