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The Memoir of the Minotaur

$18.95

The Memoir of the Minotaur is the posthumous confessions of the half-man, half-bull of Crete, as offered to an audience of recently-deceased, 21st century fellow souls in Hades’ domain. This book is a satire for readers unafraid of a rollicking good tale involving anatomically-complex beings, unforgivable puns, the champion serial killer of all time, scantily-clad Greek maidens and youths, articulate tyrants, and feminist proto-history leavened with theological impertinence.

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Description

The Memoir of the Minotaur 

The Memoir of the Minotaur by Tom Scachtman Book Cover

by Tom Shachtman
978-1-948692-38-0 paper 18.95
978-1-948692-39-7 ebook 9.99
5½x8½ , 178 pp.
Fiction
September 2020

ebook available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo

Cover art by Nick Gilley

The Memoir of the Minotaur is the posthumous confessions of the half-man, half-bull of Crete, as offered to an audience of recently-deceased, 21st century fellow souls in Hades’ domain. This book is a satire for readers unafraid of a rollicking good tale involving anatomically-complex beings, unforgivable puns, the champion serial killer of all time, scantily-clad Greek maidens and youths, articulate tyrants, and feminist proto-history leavened with theological impertinence.

The Memoir of the Minotaur shares its form with other popular retellings of the monster narrative such as John Gardner’s Grendel, and the narrative voice has likenesses to the exuberance, bawdiness, and blasphemy of Salman Rushdie and John Barth. Packed with actions both big and small, while containing a breadth of complexity as it deals with themes of power, violence, sexuality, and the role of storytelling, its most endearing quality is the hilarity and absurdity of our classical values interacting with our animalistic cores. Ultimately, the book is riotous.

Tom Schachtman HeadshotTom Shachtman holds a B.S. in animal behavior, an M.F.A. in playwriting, and has a body of published and produced work that includes eighteen non-fiction books, such as The Day America Crashed, Rumspringa: To Be Or Not To Be Amish, and the latest, The Founding Fortunes; short novels, including Beachmaster and The Eagle’s Claw; books for children, such as Growing Up Masai; and documentaries for ABC, CBS, NBC, and PBS, the most recent being Absolute Zero and the Conquest Of Cold, a two-hour Nova based on his book of the same name. He has also collaborated on a dozen books, among them Whoever Fights Monsters (with Robert K. Ressler), considered the definitive study of serial killers.

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“A romping confessional riff on the classic tale, a portrait of the artist as a young bull. Shachtman’s rolicking prose weaves mythology into a gripping yarn and gives antiquity’s voiceless celebrity monster a soaring human heart.”
—Charles Graeber, NYT bestselling author of The Good Nurse and The Breakthrough.

“A fine read.  Exciting, entertaining, witty.  Even more, a rare experience.  Despite the blood and gore, the book resonates with wonder, and lingers in our minds for weeks afterward. Its conclusions are generous and thoughtful. A ‘classics’ challenge for readers that stuns us with its bravery and humor.  I loved it.”

—John Neufeld, author of international bestsellers Lisa, Bright and Dark, and Edgar Allen.  

More reviews…

Additional information

Weight 8.1 oz
Dimensions 5.5 × 8.5 × .3 in

Reviews

  1. kpdavis

    A 9 out of 10! for Tom Shachtman’s
    The Memoir of the Minotaur
    Tom Shachtman’s Memoir of the Minotaur is one of the most intriguing books I’ve read in a long time. It’s pretty violent – as gods and monsters in ancient times are wont to be – but it’s also pretty funny. One can’t help but empathize and find oneself rooting for the poor old Minotaur who was really not given much choice but to play the monster everyone wanted him to be. You get the impression he would much rather have been left to frolic in a field but just shrugged and made the best of it. It was a thoroughly engrossing romp from start to finish, with a healthy dollop of mythology and ancient history thrown in!

    Helen Seslowsky
    Oblong Books & Music
    Millerton, New York

  2. kpdavis

    A Five Star Review of
    The Memoir of the Minotaur
    by Tom Sachtman
    Must read 🏆 ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰
    Tom Shachtman is a word-master; if you are a fan of Neil Gaiman or Salman Rushdie, you don’t want to miss this book.

    SYNOPSIS
    The Memoir of the Minotaur, a novel by Tom Sachtman
    The Memoir of the Minotaur is the posthumous confessions of the half-man, half-bull of Crete as offered to an audience of recently-deceased, 21st century fellow souls in Hades’ domain. It shares ts form with other popular retellings of the monster narrative such as John Gardner’s Grendel, and the narrative voice has likenesses to the exuberance, bawdiness and blasphemy of Salman Rushdie and John Barth. It deals with themes of power, violence, sexuality and the role of storytelling, yet its most endearing quality is in presenting the hilarity and absurdity of our classical values interacting with our animalistic cores. The Memoir of the Minotaur is for readers unafraid of a rollicking good tale involving anatomically-complex beings, unforgivable puns, the champion serial killer of all times, scantily-clad Greek maidens and youths, articulate tyrants, and feminist proto-history leavened with theological impertinence.

    Reviewer Comments
    Seldom have I written a review in which I can quiet the voice of the critic while losing myself in the story. As I read The Memoir of the Minotaur, that critical voice was very quiet; I am not exaggerating when I say the prose is so nearly flawless that we may as well call it perfect.

    The book is exactly as described in the title; Asterion, otherwise known as The Minotaur, is the monster that lived in the center of the Labyrinth of Greek mythology. The Minotaur speaks to us directly, in first person. His language shifts from classical to modern, with humor and 21st-century slang thrown in to surprise the reader and to remind us that Asterion has been living (well – not living, exactly) in Hades for fifty centuries, and is now meeting us in our own time.

    In contrast to the labyrinth, which is, by nature, hard to navigate, this memoir is a straight line from birth to death and beyond. This is an interesting choice and it is appreciated, as this reviewer is not an expert in ancient myth. A meandering storyline would likely have confused me. The Minotaur lives a life in which his only diversions are eating (a lot of people) and sex (with a lot of people). Mr. Shachtman has depicted both pastimes unapologetically and with a matter-of-fact tone that’s perfect in the context of this story.

    As I read the book I wondered what my experience would have been had I already been well-versed in Greek Mythology. I did finally give in to my curiosity by googling the Minotaur and his fate when I was nearly done with the book. I wish I hadn’t, and I don’t recommend researching the characters or events of the Labyrinth until you’ve finished the book. This author’s creative medium is clearly the written word, and there is not one phrase that has not been carefully selected and evaluated. The question/answer section after the end of the story feels staged as a way to allow some bragging, but Shachtman has a right to brag. This is a work of art and earns an unequivocal five stars. If you enjoyed Madeline Miller’s Circe or anything by Neil Gaiman you will not want to miss this book.

    REVIEWED BY Catherine Beeman
    I am a reader with ten years of bookselling experience who is passionate about sharing my love of books with others. My goal is to be direct and relatable, with hopefully a little humor thrown in.

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