The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break: A Novel Audiobook | Steven Sherrill | Audible.com
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The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break: A Novel | [Steven Sherrill]

The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break: A Novel

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.
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Publisher's Summary

Award-winning author, narrator, and screenwriter Neil Gaiman personally selected this book, and, using the tools of the Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX), cast the narrator and produced this work for his audiobook label, Neil Gaiman Presents.

A few words from Neil on The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break: "When Steve and I talked about the ideal voice for M, he suggested Holter Graham….because 'Holter’s handling of the Minotaur’s grunt was PERFECT. Exactly what I heard in my head.'"

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. "Sherrill also insinuates other mythological beasts - the Hermaphroditus, the Medusa - into the story, suggesting how the Southern landscape is shadowed by these myths. The plot centers around the Minotaur's feelings for Kelly, a waitress who is prone to epileptic fits. Does she reciprocate his affections? As the reader might expect, the course of interspecies love never does run smooth." (Publishers Weekly) Steven Sherrill created the artwork used for the audiobook edition of The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break.

To hear more from Neil Gaiman on The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break, click here, or listen to the introduction at the beginning of the book itself.

Learn more about Neil Gaiman Presents and Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX).

©2000 Steven Sherrill (P)2011 John F. Blair Publisher

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (688 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Maxwell Boulder, CO, United States 01-28-12
    Maxwell Boulder, CO, United States 01-28-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent, very odd, and very sad"
    If you could sum up The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break: A Novel in three words, what would they be?

    Sadness, lonliness, isolation


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The Minotaur.


    Have you listened to any of Holter Graham’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No I have not


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    This was a very good book, although the thing that really stays with you after both during and after finishing the book is the unrelenting sense of loneliness and sadness that the author imbues in the Minotaur. At times I found the book difficult to listen to because of this. The author did an amazing job of making the Minotaur feel like a real character that exists in the real world. He does such a good job at this that you sometimes forget that he is a mythical creature. This in and of itself can actually feel like a detriment, as the book loses some of the 'magic' that comes from writing about mythical creates.
    Ultimately, I think that this is definitely worth listening to, but just remember that it is not about mythology, it is about the lonliness, sadness and isolation that comes from being different from everyone around you.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary M Pettit 01-16-12 Member Since 2005
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    "what a total waste of time!"
    This book wasn???t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    People who have nothing to do and don't really need a plot might like this story. The title of the book sounded like it should be funny, but it fell well short of that also.


    Has The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break: A Novel turned you off from other books in this genre?

    what genre? tasteless, mindless novels, yes, it has turned me way off of them.


    What about Holter Graham???s performance did you like?

    Holter Graham did do a good performance with the material he had to work with.


    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    01-01-12
    01-01-12 Member Since 2007
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    "neil you owe me one"
    What did you like best about The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break: A Novel? What did you like least?



    The fleeting discussion on the previous life


    Has The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break: A Novel turned you off from other books in this genre?

    I do not think you can categorize this book

    as any specific genre - would i hesitate from this author? yes


    What three words best describe Holter Graham???s performance?

    perfect orgasmic real


    Was The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break: A Novel worth the listening time?

    yes only because neil recommended it


    Any additional comments?

    neil owes me one

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marti Montgomery, AL, United States 10-28-11
    Marti Montgomery, AL, United States 10-28-11 Member Since 2006
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    "Fun"

    The book is surreal and quirky. People that have never had the outsider experience may not appreciate the humor or reflections.

    11 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathie Kalispell, MT, United States 07-08-13
    Kathie Kalispell, MT, United States 07-08-13 Member Since 2007
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    "I gave up"

    Sorry, I just couldn't finish it. Got over 1/2 way but nothing was holding my interest. Good study for a short story but for a novel? The protagonist has to do something other than be a perpetual sad sack. I hope Sherrill finds a good audience, it's not me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth tobyhanna, PA, United States 06-27-13
    Kenneth tobyhanna, PA, United States 06-27-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Boring"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    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.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Holter Graham?

    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.


    What character would you cut from The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break: A Novel?

    The only character in this book that was worth keeping was the dog. And he was killed off halfway through the novel.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Auberry, CA, United States 06-20-13
    Thomas Auberry, CA, United States 06-20-13 Member Since 2008

    My pic says it all. That's my dog and he is really barking for me to throw another snowball. Scary looks but really just a playful guy by nature. Been reading sf/fantasy like a power nerd my whole life which is almost 50 years now. I like all sorts of stuff just make the story believable...

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Steven Sherrill is an authors author"

    I can see why Neil Gaiman likes this guy. He can create a sceen and make it come to life with a creative resonance that is facinating to listen to. Just awesome. However, the reason I only gave it three starts is that nothing really happens in the story and this incredible writing can only get it so far.

    In fact, I stopped listening to it about 4/5 through the book, but I plan to get back too it later. One reason was that their is this sex sceen that was just a little too wierd and graphic. But man, can this guy write...amazing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Springfield, MO, United States 06-08-13
    James Springfield, MO, United States 06-08-13 Member Since 2010

    New grandpa. Married 35 great years. Drink Batch 19,Tsing Tao, and Bohemia. Read Card, King, Hobb, Sawyer, Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "THE, THE, THE, THE, THE, THE MINOTAUR"

    If living 5000 years does this to your personality, then kill me at 80 please. THE Minotaur has lived 5000 years, yet he is inept and insecure in all things, except mechanical. Forget the title, he does not smoke. He does not drink, swim, talk or have fun. He is Anal.

    The plot is, he works in a restaurant, lives in a trailer park, helps a guy move and that is it. I worked in a restaurant as a kid, you worked in a restaurant as a kid, 95% of the people who read this have worked in a restaurant. The descriptive, lengthy restaurant tripe might be interesting to rich academia types, but not the average reader. Even Koontz did not go to this length with his fry cook, Odd.

    Through out the book he is consistently referred to as THE Minotaur. THE writer probably had some deep reason for not giving THE Minotaur a name. THE result for THE reader is that it is hard to empathize with THE Minotaur, since he as no name and in the English language we put THE in front of inanimate objects. His co-workers do call him M, he has no friends. Take THE Minotaur out of the book and you cut it in half. I wanted to give up on this book several times, but kept with it. Despite the lack of story, I did start to feel some empathy for the THE Minotaur toward the last part of the book. If my constant use of THE is irritating you then you do not want to listen to this book.

    There are characters here from "My Name is Earl", but not well developed. The Minotaur is so un-minotaur like it is unbelievable. His hips and legs are as skinny as a girl. Even obese people have large legs and hips, from carry the load of there upper body. He has no balls. A bull with no balls. He is one sad bull and you will be sad if you expect too much from this.

    I gave it three stars as the writer does show promise in his prose. He has an imagination, he just needs to think things through or maybe not think so much.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Coleslaw Boulder, CO USA 03-05-13
    Coleslaw Boulder, CO USA 03-05-13 Member Since 2004
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    "Like Charles Portis with a bit more fantasy"

    After letting it languish in my wish list for months, I heard Alton Brown recommend this book and decided that was all the push I needed to dive in. I'm glad I did.

    Listening to the Minotaur, I was reminded of the work of another of my favorite authors, Charles Portis (best known for True Grit, but all five of his novels are winners). Sherrill's meandering narrative, steady rhythm and low-key Southern brand of humor share a lot with Portis.

    In some ways, I see the Minotaur as a meditation on masculinity--both its lighter and darker sides. The author certainly doesn't bombard you with sweeping generalizations, but when he does make the occasional broad observation on the male psyche, I found little to argue with.

    My criticisms are few, and mostly inconsequential to my enjoyment of the book. More curiosities than complaints. The Minotaur's workplace, Grub's Rib, is initially sketched out as a greasy roadside BBQ joint, but in later chapters seems to feel more like a trendy haute cuisine establishment. The time setting feels a little inconsistent as well--early on, I felt like there were clear indications that the book takes place in the early 90's, but later details seem to contradict this. I suppose, given the Minotaur's foggy recollection of his own five millenia on the Earth, this kind of thing can be forgiven--perhaps is even intentional.

    These are minor issues, though--in fact, they're the kinds of things I only notice when a book draws me in. Holter Graham's narration is excellent, accentuating the Minotaur's taciturn grunts, the varied drawls of his co-workers, and the epicurean appeal of the fare they serve up.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Plainfield, IL, United States 02-06-12
    Eric Plainfield, IL, United States 02-06-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An intriguing idea, but not overly compelling"
    Would you try another book from Steven Sherrill and/or Holter Graham?

    Yes


    Would you be willing to try another book from Steven Sherrill? Why or why not?

    Yes. I believe this was his first book and found the story had some tedium. More experience might yield a more compelling story.


    What does Holter Graham bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The Minotaur conveys significant emotion in each grunt and I'm not sure the written word would have carried that quite as well.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Sure, but I don't think this is a likely candidate for the hollywood treatment. It would need a more driving story.


    Any additional comments?

    I found my mind wandering aimlessly during this book due to the somewhat mundane and tedious story. I had high hopes for this book going in but would call it decidedly average overall.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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