Review: Bull



*Spoilers below*

Taken from Goodreads:


Much like Lin-Manuel Miranda did in Hamilton, the New York Times best-selling author David Elliott turns a classic on its head in form and approach, updating the timeless story of Theseus and the Minotaur for a new generation. A rough, rowdy, and darkly comedic young adult retelling in verse, Bull will have readers reevaluating one of mythology’s most infamous monsters.


I received this book as an advance readers copy (ARC) in exchange for my review. I will start by saying that this book is very unique. It retells the story of the minotaurΒ in poetic form, featuring Posieden as the narrator who outlines the causes of the myth, as well as the in-between parts of the tale.

At first I wasn’t too sure about this book. I expected it to have a far more serious tone than it ended up having. It has a very irreverent way of retelling this myth, casting Poseidon as the crass, sailor-esque causer of destruction that laughs at the futility of it all. The other characters are just as flawed, which is a refreshing aspect to have. The only character I was fully supportive of throughout the novel was Asterion. I enjoyed that Elliott showed a more favorable side to the story.

As far as Elliott’s choice of storytelling I was a bit put off by the poetry. However after reading the author notes at the end of the book and seeing how Elliott had decided to format each character’s voice I had a new respect for his authorial choices. I found that his attention to style enriched the book for me, as it gave much more purpose to the writing.

Bull is defiantly a tragic comedy. There were several parts that made me laugh (looking at you Poseidon), and many more that were more painful. It’s dark humor and ridiculous prose adds a new layer to the original myth, without the headache of reading translations. This is not a difficult book by any means, but it’s subject can be more serious than the tone suggests. All in all, it was a nice read to get me through work.



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