Bookcover Steven Sherrill The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break

I can’t deny that I really enjoyed reading this – I raced right through it in a few hours. At the same time, however, I think it is a little disappointing. I love the concept – the Minotaur of Knosses, still alive and now living within society somewhere deep in the American South. The possibilities promised by such a premise are endless: unfortunately, Sherrill simply fails to deliver. Here is no exploration of immortality or historicity, no hilarious misunderstandings, very little plot and absolutely no use of the dynamic between fantasy and reality which itself should have been able to sustain the novel.

The Minotaur is an engaging character, and the picture of his loneliness and isolation elegant and touching. His friends and work colleagues are well-drawn and interesting characters – no one could fail to be repelled by Shane and his sidekick Mike,

or the way in which they exploit the Minotaur’s insecurity – but it’s not enough to raise this engaging and easy to read novel above the average.

Read and reviewed in December 2005

© Jessica Mulley 2006