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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 (837 )
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4.3 (788 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    K. Hamilton 08-07-14
    K. Hamilton 08-07-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Unusually quirky"

    I thought the narration was great and would listen to more books by Graham. The story was very different, with great detail about a small slice in the life of the Minotaur in modern times. I would only say I expected a different ending and frankly have not decided how I feel about it - not necessarily a bad thing - I just had a very different ending imagined.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathie 07-08-13
    Kathie 07-08-13
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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
  •  
    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...

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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
  •  
    Eric Plainfield, IL, United States 02-06-12
    Eric Plainfield, IL, United States 02-06-12 Member Since 2010
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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
  •  
    Marci 02-05-12
    Marci 02-05-12

    M. S.

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    "Great book."
    What did you love best about The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break: A Novel?

    the story has been stuck in my head for many years, since I heard a review of it on NPR I think... I read it and for some reason, loved it.


    What other book might you compare The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break: A Novel to and why?

    Not sure if there is any comparison, because the main character is basically immortal, elementally symbolic, part animal, part man, which is what makes him so fascinating. There aren't many stories like that.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    His voice is at times a little melodramatic, but he's a thing of Greek myth, so it's fitting. Other times, his voice is down home country American. Again, it's fitting.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    At one point, we are told that the Minotaur doesn't like to talk, because he's embarassed of his voice, so he does alot of expressive grunting and one syllable responses. Talking isn't his thing, but he's very good at understanding others, expert at fixing things and mechanic work. He's afraid of dogs and avoids confrontation, but his character has the power to take out anybody he wants. Love it.


    Any additional comments?

    Great book I read over and over again.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie Cayce, SC, United States 02-02-12
    Stephanie Cayce, SC, United States 02-02-12 Member Since 2002

    A voracious reader with little time to read actual print books, I adore Audible and have been listening to audiobooks regularly for years.

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    "Most Satisfactory"
    What did you love best about The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break: A Novel?

    I think that the best part of the book was the narration. I don't think I would have liked the book in print and would have just put it down, never to finish. The narration kept me interested.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I don't think I had a favorite character. The Minotaur is the obvious choice for a favorite, but I found his indecisiveness off-putting.


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

    Holter Graham brought the Minotaur to life. I think that I might have gotten bored reading the actual print, as there were slow patches. Mr. Graham eased me through them with alacrity.


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

    No. While I did enjoy the book, it wasn't something that stirred excitement or curiosity. It was a diverting listen, but one that went best when I was doing something else, like cooking, and just wanted something to listen to.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thor, goT 01-31-12
    Thor, goT 01-31-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Great story and performance"

    This is the first book I have listened to from Neil Gaiman Productions and it will definitely not be the last. This was a solid story performed excellently by the reader, and although it was quite entertaining the author did a good job using that as a forum to make you reflect on the transitory nature of my life. I found myself thinking of the finality of moving from one phase of life to another, without the story being in the least preachy or to heavy handed about it. This was an excellent selection!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Cliff, NM, United States 01-30-12
    Barbara Cliff, NM, United States 01-30-12 Member Since 2009

    Say something about yourself!

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    "A fun read"

    I enjoyed reading this book. The minotaur? An unusual and appealing character. Yes, I've known people who did not use a lot of words. And people who have a past they would just-as-soon forget, and who are very neat and tidy with their things as a kind of protective ritual. The loneliness of living 5000 years, of outliving one's friends so many times was touching. The voice of the Minotaur--mostly expressive grunts was right on. The ending was a little weak for my taste, but I had a good time getting there--sometimes, that's enough.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jamie 01-10-12
    Jamie 01-10-12
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    "The mundane made magical"
    Any additional comments?

    An unusual, whimsical twist on the most ordinary human existence. Thought-provoking and well crafted.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer ORLANDO, FL, United States 01-09-12
    Jennifer ORLANDO, FL, United States 01-09-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Surprisingly good, awesome acting."
    If you could sum up The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break: A Novel in three words, what would they be?

    A really interesting new twist on an old theme.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved the integration of old gods and deities into modern society. It was really interesting seeing this modern world with a twist of 'accepting' gods and demigods as the norm.


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

    The performance of Holter Graham was amazing. He really gave the Minotaur life. The way he moo'd and sighed and just existed around those who would take him for granted as the main Character was great.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I think the moment that moved me the most was when the Minotaur was watching the bull fight and seeing in that the cruelty of humanity. How terrible the race of man is and yet how he longed to be one of them desired nothing more then to fit in with these heartless savages. That they wanted nothing more then to beat down and kill something stronger then themselves in a cheating manner just so they could appear to their fellows a bit more brave.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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