It’s rude, it’s crude and it’s a whole bunch of fun. David Elliott’s raunchy retelling of the myth of the Minotaur and Theseus, Bull, takes a decidedly modern turn with multiple perspectives and a sympathetic look at the Minotaur.
A useful list of characters, complete with brief biographies, supplies background information that helps illuminate the plot. The characters have unique voices, which reflect their stations in life, understanding of the world and distinctive attitudes. Each character’s narration unfolds through a unique poetic form, and while the forms don’t strictly adhere to poetic rules, they are perfect foils for the characters’ interwoven personalities.
The ancient Greek tale begins with Poseidon’s revenge, resulting in the birth of a baby with the body of a human male and head of a bull. Pasiphae, his mother, names him Asterion, an ironic choice as King Minos eventually spirits him to the depths of the labyrinth where there are no stars to rule.
The story is accurate to the legend, with all the principal players reprising their roles. However, gaps in the original story get filled with down and dirty details, revealing the twisted nature of the characters. Only the Minotaur acts with nobility and leads readers to a central question of how people treat those who are perceived as different. Like any good timeless story, Bull offers contemporary analogies that will resonate with readers.