BULL by David Elliott
Kirkus Star

BULL

Age Range: 14 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A saucy, brash retelling of the Greek myth of the Minotaur.

In a series of dramatic monologues with no settings, Elliott updates the voices of Poseidon, Minos, Daedalus, Pasiphae, Asterion, and Ariadne, each in its own poetic form. Poseidon dominates in word count and attitude: if “[y]ou think a god should be more refined? / … / Never / Bawdy / Raunchy / Racy / Rude? / News Flash: / You don’t want a god. / You want a prude.” Angry at king Minos, he considers direct revenge (“Boils! / Scabs! / Gills! / A snout! / [Turn] his / Ding-dong / Inside / Out!”) but instead gives Queen Pasiphae “a thing / For the white bull’s thang.” Asterion the Minotaur is born. He grows to age 17, bleakly miserable, tortured by Minos, finally imprisoned in the iconic maze; even his sister Ariadne can’t break him out, and eventually he falls to Theseus. Poseidon considers Minos “a dick! / But also so much fun to hate”; some readers will think exactly that about Poseidon too, while others will resent just how much fun Poseidon is to hate, given his misogynistic women-are-crazy/women-are-whores snark about Pasiphae, whose woes he literally created himself. Elliott’s absolutely magnetic rhythms will wake up any high school class, and the book could also work as a play.

Irresistible, slick, and sharp (no bull!)—with plenty of bull to dissect. (cast of characters, author’s notes) (Verse fiction. 14-adult)

Pub Date: March 28th, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-544-61060-6
Page count: 200pp
Publisher: HMH Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2016




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