Sunday, November 23, 2008

Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips

From Marie Phillips, hailed by the Guardian Unlimited website as a “hot author” destined to “break through” in 2007, comes a highly entertaining novel set in North London, where the Greek gods have been living in obscurity since the seventeenth century.

Being immortal isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Life’s hard for a Greek god in the twenty-first century: nobody believes in you any more, even your own family doesn’t respect you, and you’re stuck in a dilapidated hovel in North London with too many siblings and not enough hot water. But for Artemis (goddess of hunting, professional dog walker), Aphrodite (goddess of beauty, telephone sex operator) and Apollo (god of the sun, TV psychic) there’s no way out… until a meek cleaner and her would-be boyfriend come into their lives and turn the world upside down.

Gods Behaving Badly is that rare thing, a charming, funny, utterly original novel that satisfies the head and the heart.
This was such a fun book! It might weigh a bit on the 'chick-lit' side, which is not usually my sort of read, but I took a chance on it and I am very happy that I did! As many people that read my blog know, I like history. This is a book about the Greek gods set in a modern age! It was a perfect read for me. While mythology is a very broad area of study that I have never researched in depth, it has always interested me. Here we have a book where the author takes all of the powers that the gods and goddesses were believed to possess and writes a book where they take the fore-front. It was really quite a good idea.

The gods are quite the dysfunctional family. People today don't believe in them anymore and they are just bored. Their hold on humanity has been slowly slipping, so they find that they don't seem to have a use anymore. So, they burn off their energy in other pursuits. Plus, it helps pay the bills! Artemis, the goddess of hunting and chastity, is a dog-walker. She has to work off her lust somehow, right? Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty, is a telephone sex operator. It is pretty entertaining, I must say! The scenes where she are talking on the phone couldn't help but bring a smile to your face. The other god that figures predominately in this book is Apollo, the god of the sun. Conceited, sex-crazed, and unappreciated... That's Apollo in a nut shell. Other gods and goddesses are in the book, but these three are the main characters.

The gods and goddesses have been around for a long time, and they are frankly bored and old. There are times in the book where they even talk about what it would be like to just die! Then, a prank has unanticipated results and life for them changes very drastically. Enter a very meek, perfectionist cleaner and her sort of boyfriend and things start to happen. I really love that for as smart as this couple is, they never really wonder why the entire family is named after Greek gods. We witness their thoughts, so I figured that somewhere in there they would be wondering what the parents were on when they named the kids, but it never happens.

So, what we have here is some all-powerful gods that are losing their powers, some unsuspecting mortals, a falling apart house in London, some sex, some romance, incest, fighting, a trip to the underworld, and so much more all in one book! So, yes, I enjoyed this book and I do hope that if she writes another book she makes it a sequel of sorts. I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for what happens next!

Thanks to Random House for both bringing this book to my attention and kindly sending me a copy!


  1. I never heard of this book but I am adding it to my "books I want to read" list right now! It sounds like a very entertaining book. Thanks for a great review!

  2. I really want to read this book!! Great review!

  3. I got this book several months ago but haven't read it yet. It sounds quite entertaining!

  4. Sounds fun, will look out for it thanks.


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