There is nothing inherently wrong with this novel. You may really enjoy it. It just wasn't to my taste. At times while I was listening to this book I thought to myself 'I don't really like this book'. I'm a keen reader of books on the art of writing and so I really wanted to work out why I didn't like it. It's cohesive and obviously written with skill but I felt the descriptions to be overworked. So much so that they really made an already slow pace even slower. I can appreciate that this is a device to emphasise the Minotaur's frame of mind, his difficulty with articulating his thoughts and feelings but I prefer a lighter touch.
I loved Neil Gaiman's "American Gods" and Susanna Clarke's "Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell" and for me what makes them great is the combination of humour and seriousness.
I enjoyed the reading by Mr. Graham -- his range of voices were good including his portrayal of the Minotaur. The writing by Mr Sherill is also very good, with interesting and evocatave descriptions of people and surroundings. However, though the Minotaur has lived through 5000yrs of history, he has (or provides) little insight into his coworkers, his surroundings, or humankind. In general, the book chronicles a couple weeks in the life of a tired old freak who has lost his meaning for life but doesn't appear to be too bothered about it. Perhaps at the edges of his consciousness he notices, but there is little to draw me into caring much about the Minotaur or his life. He is a fantastical creature capable of touching you and me, but living an unexamined life -- hardly worth living, and at the risk of being too harsh, worth reading.
I sure would. Completely immersed in the story. Can't explain why - not much "interesting" happens. But the author has a sharp eye for the details of life, character and events and nothing is trivial. The title is programme: "xxx takes a cigarette break" - who would think to write a book on somebody taking a cigarette break? Even if it's a Minotaur.
There's many of them. All the moments described in detail, closely scrutinized but never boring.
Just imagining M as a dinner partner. Nah, the conversation wouldn't exactly flow. "How's the roast?" "Mmm" - "Anything interesting happen today?" "Mmm"
There were moments that didn't feel entirely "true" to me, slightly construed. Thus "only" 4 stars. But It's an excellent book nevertheless.
Hopeful mythical realism
I think its the growing sense of horror that comes from the last chapters as the minotaur's life spirals once again from his immortal grasp and looks to spiral into disaster. What follows is so touchingly hopeful that it remains with you for some time.
When i don't notice a man doing a woman's voice I know the narrator is good. when he does it perfectly
It would either be M himself, because this being would be a wonder to behold or it would have to be sweet, gullible Kelly.
Favorite author: Alexander McCall Smith Favorite narrator: Gerard Doyle Favorite listen : Burton and Swinburne Trilogy
The Premise of the story was great. I think that everyone has felt like the Minotaur at some time in their life.
Maybe catcher in the rye or even twilight. There is an element of wanting so bad too fit in but feeling that you can't because you are too different but the truth is we are all unique
The Minotaur because he could not speak. I think we've all had times when we wanted so badly to express something and could not.
Probably mr grubb he seemed like the nicest most
Non judgmental person. Also he seemed like a great boss who doesn't wish they had that
I bought it because I thought it would be funny but it actually was very touching and it made me feel less lonely. Which I am sure a lot of people feel at times even when you are actually surrounded by a lot of people who care like the Minotaur was
Maybe. I listened to the audio on the way to and from work and enjoyed it. Some parts were repetitive. There were multiple instances where his horns were getting caught etc. It was an interesting story though and generally kept my attention
Mr Sweeney, the character reminded me of some real people I know.
The setting of the book was implausible, with a horned minotaur fitting right into the country scene. Couldn't stop laughing as he stumbled his way through many situations
Fantastic narration makes the audio stand apart
An easy and fun listen.
The title of this book enticed me, and it was listed as a book recommended by Neil Gaiman, (one of my favorite authors), so I decided to give it a listen. It is an excellent book that I highly recommend. It is funny, and sad, and very refreshing all at the same time. Holter Graham does an excellent job reading the story. Get this book. It should be in everyone's library.
I was about half way into the audiobook and wondering what the story was all about. But I decided to persevere to the end. I was already planning my review, "I missed the point". But, the point was made very succinctly at the end of the story. And then I understood -
This is a modern day fable, complete with a moral at the end of the story. It's about being different and how people fear that which doesn't fit into the norm.
One of the problems for me was the narrator, Holter Graham. He did great mooing sounds as the minotaur and distinguished well between voices. However, his performance was quite perfunctory and bland on everything that wasn't conversation.
Reading the summary and seeing it recommended by Neil Gaiman, I downloaded _The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break_ expecting either an epic romp through mythological characters in the modern world (?? la Gaiman's _American Gods_) or something rolling on the floor funny. It is neither of those, but it is the best audiobook I've gotten in a while. Sherrill's writing is wonderfully poetic, and Graham's performance is perfect. By the end of the first chapter, I loved the Sherrill's Minotaur. He's like a Fauvist painting of the insecurities we've all known (especially in the first half of the book). Later, when he does foolish things (with good intent), I felt sick to my stomach to see it. I was surprised by how fond I'd grown of the character.
In short, for you Neil Gaiman fans: don't expect _American Gods_. Don't expect _Good Omens_. It's nothing like either of those. But do expect a really excellent book. This one is worth your time.