Fantasy, sci-fi, Motorcycles, and my granddaughter. And I am a rail road engineer.
It's hard to see how anything could have made this book worse. The narration was mediocre, the story was nonexistent. Considering you are dealing with a Minotaur and the possibility of other mythical beasts, there is so much that could have been done with this story. Of all the things that could have been done to make this look better, the author used none of them.
I don't think I would've cast any good narrator for this story. I believe that this book would have been beneath any of them.
The only character in this book that was worth keeping was the dog. And he was killed off halfway through the novel.
In my long history as a reader science fiction and fantasy books there was a long period of years where I read upwards of 250 books per year. I have been an avid reader since I was a preteen. I'm now close to 60. Believe it or not, out of all the books I have read, both good and bad, this book was the most boring Thing I have ever read.The book centers around a Minotaur named M. He is neither intelligent, or adventuresome. He is not a good person. Nor is he a bad person. He is clumsy, socially inept and incredibly tiresome. For example; when his love interest has an epileptic fit in the middle of lovemaking, he simply gets up, leaves, and goes to work. He doesn't do this out of meanness, but simply because he is confused, and doesn't know what else to do. His current career is that of a line cook in a small Southern restaurant. He lives in a beat-up old trailer, drives a 20-year-old Chevy Vega, and gets confused by technology. Most of his communication skills consist of a series of grunts and or one-word replies. The narrator Is not much better. Watching paint dry would have been less painful. This book has been a profound disappointment. I could not even bring myself to finish it. All in all, I have seen corpses that were more lively than this book. I am extremely disappointed in Neil Gaiman for associating himself with this worthless novel.
This is a sweet, meandering story of a few weeks in the life of the immortal Minotaur. Very well written, very well performed.
The subtitle says "a novel" ... novels have plots, this doesn't. It meanders. It's more of a character study. It never explains the minotaur's history, just hints at it. In the middle of the book, Deadalus appears for 10 minutes and then disappears. I bought this book because of the really cool title and because it's a Neil Gaiman feature. I was so disappointed.
Great descriptions. Good dialogue.
Sometimes became a bit too poetic, though I enjoy that when reading,, can be difficult to follow when listening to an audio books .
This is powerfully read and has a few scenes of good insight/description, but in the middle, and beyond that, and at the end, I have no idea what it was about. I don't mean to come across as unintelligent or poorly read. I'm not.
I think this might appeal to the same sort of people who enjoy ambiguous stories which do not resolve and have no decisive action. Think English chick lit/romance novels -- nothing happens (crushingly boring!). Subtle like real Italian food in Italy -- appearing to the American palate as flavorless.
Interesting concept... for what purpose? Why write this story?
I don't regret listening to the story. It kept me awake and on the road up until the last few chapters, but I'll steer clear of this author in the future. There are many more fulfilling things out there to read instead.
wow, this is an amazing work of fiction. I picked it up on sale, but something this good is hard to put a price on. suffice it to say it's worth it if you pay full price. The thing I've always loved about good fiction, is that there is more truth in it than any non-fiction book you're likely to come across, and yes that's taking into account the fact that the main character is a minotaur.
This story is set in the south in what feels like the eighties, and reminds me quite a bit poetry i've read by Joe Bolton. I often suffer from feeling alone, and it usually hits me worst in a room full of people I know and love. listening to this book I know i'm not alone in what I feel. inertia and chance have a lot to do with how our lives unfold, and this concept is brought beautifully to bear in the form of the minotaur. the actions of the beast don't always make good sense, but that's kind of the point, he's a minotaur after all.
the narrator Holter Graham was excellent as well, and really brought the characters and the prose to life. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another book that he has narrated, or that the author Steven Sherrill has written. in fact the last hour of the book, I couldn't pull myself away. I hate books with a crappy ending, but this one did not disappoint. I could go on and on, but really quit reading this and do yourself a favor, buy the book.
I am an Australian woman who enjoys reading many different styles of books, from history to sci fi and mystery to poetry.
This book had an interesting premise and well drawn characters. However, it is one of those stories that are a bit like a small piece of ordinary chocolate, you listen to it, and like it but then forget about it.
Sherrill. Graham. Perfect!
M was my favorite. Simple M isn't so simple. Longevity has taken quite a toll on the ancient hero. 5000 years is a long time to "blend in with humans" who can't quite accept him as the "man" he longs to be.
Holter is one of my favorite readers. He excels with M's character. He just pulls it off like no one else could've.
Monster. Myth. Cook?
Like many others who wrote these reviews, I picked up this book because it was part of the Neil Gaiman Presents series. This is NOT for fans of traditional fantasy, and many people who expect traditional fantasy will find it dull or uninspired.
No doubt it is a great concept - the Minotaur lives on and works as a fry cook at a diner in North Carolina. This take on a modern mythical creature is certainly original, but my biggest problem with the Minotaur is that he is a very passive character, which sometimes made it frustrating to listen to. Unlike other current bestsellers of the literary fiction genre, such as Haruki Murakami, there is no grander sense of purpose, and the Minotaur often lets the worst side of life show itself by standing by while the action is happening to someone else. The author is aware of this - his prose is even critical, at times, of those who sit passively and let life happen to other people, but the Minotaur himself is rarely anything but passive.
It's hard to discern the point of this book, or parse the central themes. While other works of literary fiction are also hard to boil down, that is usually because they seem to have a greater sense of scale that moves beyond the prose. Here I didn't get any sense of some larger purpose or idea - the end just left me frustrated.
It's a beautifully written book, and if you're looking for something to read you could certainly do worse. But don't expect any kind of traditional fantasy - high, urban, or other.
I am very fond of Neil Gaiman's fantasy works and so was excited by his new venture: hand-picked stories and narrators that he felt were well worth a listen. The brief Audible excerpt of "The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break" sounded crisp and interesting, so I began the book with high expectations. Sadly, those expectations were far from met.
The notion of having the minotaur (yes, THE minotaur) in modern America, working in a rib house, certainly has grabbing power. The other characters in the story are aware of "M"s unusual nature, but it's clear that creatures such as he exist in this world, even if they are rarities. But to me, the book felt more like an existentialist investigation than anything else. Metamorphosis was not about a giant bug, and this story is not about the minotaur. The protagonist, it seems to me, could be almost any working stiff who by his choices never catches a break.
The story is not poorly written, but it takes itself perhaps too seriously, and I found it wearing rather than engaging. Fantasy can be an effective way of providing new insights as well as firing the imagination, but for me, this book failed to deliver on either of these fronts.