by: Angelica Gutierrez
4 out of 5 stars.
The Greek myth Theseus and the Minotaur has been revamped by David Elliott’s Bull; a modern, lyrical interpretation that appeals to the audience of today. This book of poems has been part of Mr. Katz’s New Books Section on display at Boyd H. Anderson’s main library.
David Elliott is a children’s author and professor of humanities at Colby Swayer College in New London, New Hampshire. He has used his knowledge of Greek mythology and of poetical forms to create his story, Bull. This novel is very unique because it uses various poetic styles in order to convey the voice and personality of particular characters, such as Poseidon. The aforementioned god stands out the most throughout the retelling of the Minotaur because of his narcissitic attitude and his raunchy jokes. Elliott manages to capture the more human side of gods, which is that of arrogance and pompousness, and how their actions often have terrible consequences for mortals. Interestingly enough, Theseus, the hero of the Greek myth, is also portrayed as a vain teenager who is only interested in glory—a stark contrast to the valiant and brave Theseus of the original Greek myth.
Bull examines the mostly unmentioned childhood of Asterion, and how the events leading up to his imprisonment in the Labyrinth deeply affected the formation of his character and his subsequent downwards mental spiral. Elliott does a good job of presenting us with a more complete picture of Asterion, and filling in gaps in the original Greek myth.
David Elliott’s Bull is a good introduction into Greek classical literature for young adults. His work offers a good, quick, and fun summary of the original myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. Readers who are interested in the Greek myths but find themselves intimidated by the complexities of the original writing can rest assured that they are getting an accurate representation of this timeless myth in Elliott’s Bull.