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Month in review

Reviews
American Road Narratives: Reimagining Mobility in Literature and Film by Ann Brigham
Author: A True Story by Helen Lester
The Big Roads by Earl Swift
Bull by David Elliott
The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman
Giant Days, Volume 4 by John Allison, Max Sarin, and Whitney Cogar
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Hilda and the Stone Forest by Luke Pearson
I Say Tomato by Katie Wall
Instructions by Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess
Jem and the Holograms, Volume 3: Dark Jem by Kelly Thompson
The Long Cosmos by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter
Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran
Lunch Lady and the Field Trip Fiasco by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
Mayday by Karen Harrington
The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break by Steven Sherrill
National Audubon Society Guide to Landscape Photography by Tim Fitzharris
Needled to Death by Maggie Sefton
Noragami Volume 03 by Adachitoka
Over the Ocean by Taro Gomi
Skybreaker by Kenneth Oppel
Ten Things We Did by Sarah Mlynowski
Tip of the Tongue by Patrick Ness
Tru & Nelle by G. Neri

Miscellaneous
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (July 03)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (July 10)
June 2017 Reading Report June 2017 Reading Sources

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break: 07/07/17

The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break  by Steven Sherrill

The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break by Steven Sherrill is a novel I found as I was tracking down the tangental thought of crossing the corn field being akin to the Minotaur's labyrinth.

My train of thought went like this:
incarcerated in the cornfield -> crossing the cornfield -> escaping the cornfield -> corn/maize -> maze/labyrinth ->	minotaur/scarecrow (in a circular flow pattern)

Steven Sherrill takes that same idea and turns it on its head. What if the Minotaur (or M to his friends) has long since left the safety of his labyrinth to wander the Earth — only to find it as confusing and scary as his victims once found the labyrinth? M is a fry cook in a steakhouse attached to a now abandoned hotel. He lives in a mobile home in a horseshoe shaped park.

The Minotaur, though he has lived for centuries and has traveled the globe, has settled in the sort of places the typical road narrative protagonist is trying to escape. He has chosen to live his life in these out of the way places, in bursts of waiting. "The Minotaur is a nomad in the largest sense of the word. He finds it necessary, given the transient nature of everything around him, to relocated on occasion. He does not move with the seasons. Nor does he follow herds or rivers or constellations. His moves are with the centuries, more or less." (p. 15)

Like any traveler, even a reluctant one, the road has changed the Minotaur. It has tamed him. It has taught him to think about his every decision, slowly and deliberately. Every decision to him is like another turn in the labyrinth. Though he is technically free, he lives in a mental labyrinth — unable to escape, and a potential monster to anyone unfortunate enough to find themselves "trapped" with him.

In this regard, M is a reluctant scarecrow — like Hawthorne's Feathertop — remembering that the scarecrow in these scenarios often act as the gatekeeper or warden of the cornfield, or in this case, the labyrinth. Sometimes though, these guardians grow weary of their destined roles and leave. That is what has happened to M.

There is a sequel, The Minotaur Takes His Own Sweet Time (2016) which I hope to read soon.

Four stars

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