When Ariadne helped Theseus escape the Minotaur's labyrinth with the aid of a ball of thread, she led the way for the bewildered victims of a twenty-first century minotaur. Trapped in an endless maze of Internet chatrooms, a group of mystified strangers find themselves assigned obscure aliases and commanded by the Helmet of Horror, the Minotaur ...
When Ariadne helped Theseus escape the Minotaur's labyrinth with the aid of a ball of thread, she led the way for the bewildered victims of a twenty-first century minotaur. Trapped in an endless maze of Internet chatrooms, a group of mystified strangers find themselves assigned obscure aliases and commanded by the Helmet of Horror, the Minotaur himself. As they fumble their way back to reality through a mesmerising world of abundant information but little knowledge, we are forced to wonder - can technology itself be anything more than a myth?
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I have been following the Canongate Myth Series a best as I can. I have found most of the books in the series to be short, provocative, but limited in scope. Pelevin's retelling of the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur nearly breaks the mold. If the mind is computer, Pelevin asks in his introduction, is mythology its shell program? Does this shell program determine everything we do before we do it? Pelevin's characters are trapped in a chatroom thread. They can see into their own labyrinths, but they can't see their way out and they can't see their way to each other. One labyrinth is a bedroom, another is a dead end, another is a medieval church. If you're looking for easy answers and an easier read, this isn't the book for you. This book is a difficult and disturbing with each turn of the page.
Publishers Weekly, 2006-02-20 In the Greek myth, Ariadne, the daughter of Minos of Crete, falls in love with Theseus and helps him kill the fearsome Minotaur, a half-bull, half-human monster trapped in the center of a vast labyrinth. Armed with the sword that she supplies and holding the end of a thread that marks his path, Theseus kills the beast and makes his way back out. As his addition to the Myths series, celebrated Russian novelist Pelevin creates a brilliant new telling of the myth: a group of strangers find themselves in a modern-day labyrinth, trapped in identical rooms, given archetypal screen names and able to interact only through a chatroom thread begun by one "Ariadne." The figures who inhabit this doomed maze are drawn from many sources, for instance, "Romeo-y-Cohiba" and "IsoldA" both look for love, but are stymied when they try to find it with each other. All are haunted by the "Helmet of Horror," which is both the machine that controls their destiny and the mind that creates the machine, and there is no Theseus to save them. Pelevin has updated this myth in an absurd and terrifying metaphysical consideration of the labyrinths in which we all find ourselves and the traps we willingly enter as we move through our lives. (Apr. 18) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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