The Minotaur

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
ea vol: photogs. reprods. (Monsters of Mythology Series). CIP. Chelsea House. 1987. PLB $19.95. Gr 6-9 The Greek myths have never been livelier than in Evslin's forceful, vernacular versions, touched both with poetry and with horror. Although Evslin doesn't tamper with the plot or personae, he highlights personalities, provides snappy dialogue, and gives to actions and reactions motives that seem modern, for all their timelessness. Here Medusa, awful but not evil, risks being upstaged by her hideous Gorgon sisters, who talk in tandem like a vaudeville team. Perseus has the makings of a hero, but comes on as a comically eager, hot-headed dupe of the nasty king who lusts after his mother. Athena displays the inconsistency typical of the gods: grasping, selfish, and cruel to Medusa, she is generous and helpful to Perseus. The illustrations are an attractive melange of great, good, and rather bad art, from Titian to Burne-Jones. Evslin's retelling of The Minotaur is, if anything, sympathetic to the Minotaur, whose bloodthirsty nature is given a plausible psychological basis. The monstrous humans and less-than-noble gods, passionate and petty, are the real grotesques of the story. From the opening paragraphs, in which the two ``heroines'' are listening avidly to the shrieks, groans , and death-throes of prisoners hideously dispatched by the Minotaur, to the closing pages, an exacting description of the bloody hoof-and-stick battle between Theseus and the monster, this book demands a strong stomach. It is no less horrifying for Evslin's vivid and sometimes witty vernacular style, and the choice of ancient and modern art for illustration is particularly effective with this tale. The unconventional treatment of these figures of myth makes them more life-like and the stories more readable, but possibly anathema to those expecting Bulfinch or Hamilton. Patricia Dooley, formerly at Drexel Univ . , Philadelphia
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781555462376
  • Publisher: Facts on File, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/1/1987
  • Series: Monsters of Mythology Ser.
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 104
  • Product dimensions: 7.63 (w) x 9.57 (h) x 0.49 (d)

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