Here's the premise: a mythological creature, head of a bull, body of a man, works as a line cook in a steakhouse in rural North Carolina and nobody much notices! A real Minotaur! Horns and everything, okay I'll have the prime rib. Sherril makes us accept that suspension of disbelief, telling a story where impossibility intrudes on reality with hardly a ripple. The Minotaur is always The Minotaur, with the capital letters and rarely a pronoun, and the constant repetition of "The Minotaur" is almost hypnotic. The Minotaur lives in a trailer park, fixes cars and falls in love with the epileptic waitress. We never find out how he got here from Crete, but we don't mind because this is clearly where he belongs, just as every other place he's been is where he belongs. He remembers devouring virgins and youths but hasn't the energy to get into that these days, and he prefers onions anyway. It's a story about the downside of immortality
Holter Graham perfectly captures the speech of The Minotaur, a series of modified bovine grunts. He weaves the rest of the story in almost dreamlike cadences, giving the characters the voices that are different, and not strained.
This book was picked by Neil Gaiman, and it's not hard to see why. Gaiman's entire ouvre is more or less about the collision of myth and reality, and when you've read everything he's written, a good way to get over the annoyance that he hasn't written more is to read things he likes.
What could possibly be more fun than a Tim Dorsey book read by Oliver Wyman? (answer, a Christopher Moore book read by Oliver Wyman, but its a near miss). Dorsey takes his irrepressible Serge through a chase involving two sets of drug dealers, shady pain clinics, Coleman becoming a celebrity, and an unsuspecting couple from Minnesota. Never lose track of even chance characters in a Dorsey novel, because they'll probably be back. I'm particularly fond of his way of retelling, Rasholmon like, the tale from different angles.
Wyman, as always, is a joy. He's like a one man repertory company. He's got a voice (the right voice!) for each character, he never confuses them, or you. I've got a library full of books i wouldn't otherwise read, just because Wyman reads them.
"Rip tide Ultra Glide" ends with Serge racing off with the couple, and you're glad the story hasn't ended , because you know there's another on the way.
Complex, barely credible story line, characters seem to trip over each other and are rarely well defined. Daniel Carter's reaading is flat, emotionless and it often seems he's encountering the material for the first time. Probably not worth a credit.
Susan Bennet's narration makes this already astonishingly funny book sublime. There are far too many narrators out there who read in monotones, giving every character the same voice. Not Bennet. Every character has a voice of their own, and the voices are perfect, even the occasional characters like the Chinese Grandmother.
And what can I say about Christopher Moore that hasn't been said? He's a comic genius, and if there were a Nobel Prize for comic metaphor, ("paler than Death shagging a snowman") he'd get it.
Charcters from his other novels make cameos, something I've come to love. as though the whole story was one long continuing tale. (Exceptions: no characters from SOCAL in Lamb or Fool).
A thoroughly wonderful book and performance. Suspend your disbelief and delay reading it only as long as it takes to read the first two books in the trilogy.
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