The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break by Steven Sherill
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.
I’m a devotee of the Nerdist podcast, as hosted by stand-up comedian Chris Hardwick, and my favorite episodes are the ones where he interviews people with passions further afield than his own. One such guest was Alton Brown: it’s a fun episode, I recommend it. (There’s probably cursing, if you need a heads up for that.) In the course of the interview, he recommended this novel, and I liked him so much I had to add it to the reading list.
Joseph J. Finn at Bookslut found it “oddly charming“. J.C. Montgomery at The Biblio Blogazine concluded it was a “keeper“. The proprietor of The Guilded Earlobe enjoyed its quiet, slice of life nature. Jason at FNORDinc pointed out that the central metaphor, that of minotaur for manchild, is quite blunt.
The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break was published on July 1, 2000.