Yesterday, Audible announced the launch of “Neil Gaiman Presents,” a line of audiobooks personally selected by the best-selling author and screenwriter, and then produced on the Audiobook Creation Exchange. Gaiman, an avid reader as well as an award-winning audiobook narrator and connoisseur of spoken-word performance, has chosen some of his favorite works of fiction and nonfiction with their specific attributes for audio in mind, and then personally supervised the casting for each book so that each author’s work is performed by that book’s ideal narrator.
Gaiman explained, “I’ve picked books I loved and wanted more people to find, and worked as closely as I could with each author to find just the right narrator for each audiobook.” Gaiman has written and recorded an introduction to each audiobook produced under his label.
And the best part? The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break, by Steven Sherrill, is included in the first five audio books Gaiman has produced. We’re absolutely honored to be in included in this initial batch, alongside The Land of Laughs by Jonathan Carroll, You Must Go and Win by Alina Simone, Light by M. John Harrison, and Pavane by Keith Roberts. If you haven’t already, head over to Audible and listen to Gaiman explain why he choose these books. Now you know what to listen to on your next road trip!
About the book
“Sherrill’s narrative, with its dreamlike pace, shows myth coexisting with reality as naturally as it does in ancient epic.”
“First novelist Sherrill skillfully creates a world in which the reader is more than willing to suspend disbelief to see the man in the monster and the monstrous in all of us.”
Five thousand years out of the Labyrinth that held him captive, and as many years beyond the dubious bargain that set him free, the Minotaur finds himself struggling to negotiate the American South with the body of a man and the head of a bull.
The Minotaur tries to balance the past, the present, and a looming future from behind the cooks’ line at Grub’s Rib, where his coworkers know both his skill with a chef’s knife and the sometimes dangerous nature of his horns. At Lucky-U Mobile Estates, the Minotaur lives in a boat-shaped trailer and shares with his neighbors an appreciation for a quiet lifestyle and a respect for auto repairs.
Over the duration of his life, the Minotaur has roamed the earth and seen much, yet he has reaped little wisdom to help him navigate the complex geography of human relationships. Inarticulate, socially inept, tolerated at best by modern folk, he has been reduced from a monster with an appetite for human flesh to a broken creature with very human needs.
During the two weeks covered by the novel, the delicate balance tips, and the Minotaur finds his life dissolving into chaos while he simultaneously awakens to the possibility of love.
Among the characters peopling the Minotaur’s world are Kelly, whose own debilitating flaw allows her affinity for the Minotaur; Sweeny, the rough-hewn but kindly proprietor of the mobile-home park; and Buddy, Sweeny’s unforgettable, unlucky, randy bulldog.
The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break is an effortless blend of the mundane and the mythic, a unique world in which kitchen work becomes high drama and meetings between legendary creatures almost pass notice. But strangest of all in Steven Sherrill’s debut novel, everything seems to make perfect sense.