[Reading Room] “Ziggurat” by Stephen O’Connor

This week I’m listening to “Ziggurat” by Stephen O’Connor, which I found on the NPR Selected Shorts podcast. (It’s read by Tim Curry who does a fantastic job. It’s worth a listen. You can find it here.)

It tells the story of what happens when the Minotaur encounters a new arrival in his Labyrinth, a computer-savvy girl who affects him an an entirely unexpected way.

It’s a wonderful example of how to take a hoary old story and make it fresh and relevant and laugh-out-loud funny — without descending into slapstick — and poignant and full of suspense without being a mystery.

The author has a light, deft hand with description. At one point the girl is teaching the Minotaur to play pool (yes, really!) balances a particular brand of pool cue on her foot and the whole thing seems as real as a dank, mythical Labyrinth can seem. When he is leading the girl somewhere (and not, to their mutual surprise, eating her) the imagery is full of eating-imagery (“gnawed through the rocks”, “digested”).

Well worth a read ([Reading Room] The Day We Were Fish by Stephen Koster

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