By David Gelber
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Legend states that the Minotaur was confined to the Labyrinth, slain by Theseus and then laid to rest by thousands of years of Greek mythology. But, the truth is far different. Read the Minotaur’s own words as he recounts his full life as god, king, warrior, matchmaker, midwife, monk, sage, father, mother, husband and, most of all, witness. The fierce Minotaur lived to see and be a part of the best and worst of humanity during a life spanning thousands of years. Part bull, part human, the Minotaur struggled to find his place in this world and, in the end, left his unique mark on history.
David Gelber, a New York native, is the seventh of nine sons and one of three to pursue medicine. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 1980 and went on to graduate medical school in 1984 from the University of Rochester.
He completed his residency at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, followed by three years as attending surgeon at Nassau County Medical Center in Long Island, N.Y. Gelber has since joined Coastal Surgical Group in Houston, Texas.
Gelber has been a surgeon for more than 20 years, but over the last few years he began to pursue his passion for writing, initially with his debut novel, “Future Hope” (Emerald Book Company, January 2010). The novel speculates about future Earth and what the world might have been like if man had not succumbed to temptation in the Garden of Eden. “Joshua and Aaron” is a sequel to “Future Hope” and follows the battle of wills that transpires between unsung hero Joshua Smith and satanic Aaron Diblonski.
Dr. Gelber has added two books about surgery, “Behind the Mask” and “Under the Drapes”, both of which provide the reader with a view of the world of surgery rarely seen by those outside the medical professions.
“Last Light” is an apocalyptic short story which starts off asking the question: “What would happen if nobody ever was sick or injured?”
“Minotaur Revisited” is an entertaining romp through history seen through the eyes of Quint, the famed half bull half man monster of Greek Mythology. It was in October 2012.
Gelber was raised in reformed Judaism, but joined the Presbyterian Church 15 years ago. He is married with three teenage children, four dogs and 24 birds of various species. His interests include horse racing, mechanical Swiss watches and, of course, writing.
THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY stood before the multitude that packed the auditorium, a crowd composed of students, professors, politicians, religious leaders, and visiting dignitaries.
“Ladies and gentleman, I present to you, ‘The Minotaur,’ the half-bull half-man resident of the Labyrinth of Crete, beast of myth and legend.”
I’m not certain what I was expecting from the book, but the very beginning captured my attention and I settled down to find a point where my attention strayed. I didn’t reach that point.
He experiences loss, exile, want, shame, redemption, love, and yearning. His longevity has offered him the full life-cycle of human emotions and yet not stripped him of the naïve gentleness that is his nature from the beginning of the story. I won’t mention specifics because it would mar the enjoyment of this story. The fun of this read is to enjoy the twists of the Minotaur’s tale, see him as more human than those around him, and to experience the end of his presentation in symbiosis with this creature of myth.
What I liked: Humanity in a creature. Tales of generosity juxtaposed to the harsh brutality of history. The Minotaur battles each challenge with dignity and perhaps a sense of humor. He fully embraces his soul, though he is sure he doesn’t possess one. He’s entrancing and enjoyable, someone easily visualized as a friend, comrade and perhaps a dedicated soul mate.
What I didn’t: I can’t really classify this as a dislike, but I would have been interested to see the Minotaur wander farther from his general sphere of origin. His journey encompasses the ancient history that most of us learned in grade school, being European, Greek and Roman mythologies, and the Christian timeline. Part of me yearned to see him venture to the depths of the Far East, the dark jungles of Africa, and the wild sweep of South America. However, this wasn’t a deterrent in reading, only a wish on my part. His story is his own, a full circle in his path through life, and worthy of reading.
The story is entertaining and the Minotaur is a welcome surprise from fable and legend, an entertaining gentle giant!