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Gods Behaving Badly [Paperback]

Marie Phillips
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 28 2008
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.


From the Hardcover edition.

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From Publishers Weekly

With a bit of sibling rivalry, some incestuous Greek gods, and good ol' contemporary London, Phillips puts together an amusing epic journey with perhaps a bit less pizzazz than Homer. Jealous of Neil, a mortal, because Alice loves him, Apollo schemes to bring about Alice's demise, but his sister Artemis won't let dead mortals lie. Needing a hero for a journey, she enlists the timid Neil to go into Hades and recover Alice (and save the world while he's at it). Phillips's tale is a delightful flight of fancy into the world of what would the Greek gods do that is adequately abridged, though listeners may want to hear the full extent of the characters' exploits. Tom Sellwood delivers in an English accent that works well with the setting. He ably projects the various gods' and goddesses' personas through their dialogue, so Apollo's arrogance is heard as well as Ares' more aggressive personality. Sellwood is at his best as Neil, the dry and mild-mannered engineer who gets caught up in the games of the gods.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Very very funny and delightfully original as well as acutely clever in a makes-you-think-about-contemporary-morality-without-realising-it kind of way... this novel will not only make you laugh and give you a nice warm fuzzy feeling, it will also provide a good basic grounding in Greek mythology" Independent "What makes the novel stand out - and it really does stand out - is its originality and lightness of touch" Daily Telegraph "The Olympians are immortal - this we all know. But it has taken Marie Phillips' wit to put them back where they belong - into a decrepit 21st-century London bedsit...it is all very, very funny...this book charms and provokes in a paragraph. I am writing this in Delphi, dangling my feet in Apollo's sacred spring - the water is said to bring the muse. Phillips clearly has a bottle of it on her desk." -- Bettany Hughes The Times "An absolutely delightful novel" Scotland on Sunday --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gods And Mortals Oct. 12 2007
By Martin A Hogan TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Famed Greek Gods, Artemis, Apollo, Aphrodite and Dionysus share a living space in England. Not having the ancient powers they used to, each God takes on 'mortal' jobs, ranging from walking dogs to running a night club to being a telephone sex operator. There is much bickering around the household about ordinary life and they tend to cause several quite humorous mischievous things to each other. One that is important is when Aphrodite gets Eros to make Apollo fall in love with a young cleaning woman (as good housekeepers are tough to find these days, you know). Of course, this woman is not emotionally available and that starts a series of truly clever and funny occurrences throughout the book. Greek mythology is well reconstructed and the new world is far raunchier and seedier than the distant past. Of course, all these activities lead up to a tumultuous ending where mortals and Gods interact in the strangest of underworld ways. A clever idea written with a breezy wit; Marie Phillips hits the mark on the head with this twist of mythology and reality.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Gods Dec 4 2008
By Jamieson Villeneuve TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
What would happen if the Greek Gods of myth actually existed? What would happen if the Gods lived among us? How would they exist? What would they do? And would people still believe in them?

This is the premise for Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Philips.

The novel is a sheer delight and has cured me of my book reading blues. It tells the story of what would happen if all the former gods were forgotten and lived amongst mortals.

There's Artemis, Goddess of hunting, now a dog walker. Aphrodite, Goddess of Beauty, now a phone sex operator. There's Apollo, God of the Sun, now a cheesy telephone physic. Zeus is bedridden and is guarded by Hera. Persephone lives in the Underworld with Hades, finding live above ground tiresome.

All the Greek Gods of myths gone by are still alive. But their power is dwindling. They are growing older and, Artemis fears, they may soon dies. So they live in a dilapidated old house, existing for hundreds of years, bored by their life.

All that changes, however, when a cleaner named Alice comes into their lives and turns them all upside-down in a heartbeat....

Gods Behaving Badly is one of the most amazingly funny books I have read all year. Not only is it a tale supremely told, it's a interesting look at the way we interact with each other and how others, immortals lets say, would perceive us.

It's also a heck of a fun read and, suffice it to say that it's one of the best novels I've ever read. It's funny, charming, delightful and, somehow, makes those divine being seem incredibly human.

If you haven't picked up your copy, please do. It will satisfy any reader and leave you wanting more from the talented, wonderful Marie Philips.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious, Fast-pace, Worth purchase Oct. 21 2009
By Beth C
Format:Paperback
Overall the story is great, and the writer made the story intersting and fun to read even for a reader, such as myself, who do not have much idea about Greek gods. I have no hard time picking up each god's character during my reading.
However, I am disappointed that the ending of the story is kinda scrambled up.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another refugee problem April 3 2008
By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Alice Mulholland, although armed with a linguistics degree, is a cleaner. She likes things neat and tidy - she's almost obsessive about it. Sacked from a job, she's convinced by her friend Neil to go freelance. Her seeking work brings her to a dilapidated house in an otherwise suitable neighbourhood. Greeted - and hired immediately - by an austere woman named Artemis, she enters a new life. The house in Islington is inhabited by refugees from Mount Olympus, where Artemis once hunted, Zeus ruled and the world seemed a happier place. Now, in this run-down place, they eke out something of an existence while staying mostly out of sight of the mortal world.

In this hilarious account of how the gods interact and what that might mean for us, Marie Phillips depicts their lives in stark detail. Artemis the huntress now walks dogs for busy clients. Aphrodite, that stunningly beautiful personification of lust, is a telephone sex worker. Zeus and Hera haven't been seen for twenty years. Apollo, ever restless, wants to restore his power, but is prevented from some of his more exotic actions by an oath to harm no more humans. Good thing, since he punishes those who reject him. That's almost lucky for Alice with whom he falls madly in love - with a little prompting. Alice, however, is a "nice" girl and wants nothing to do with him. She has Neil - in a manner of speaking - and wants to remain loyal to their tenuous relationship.

Phillips has crafted an engaging story of sibling rivalry, thwarted and waning powers and a touching love story. We have been led away from the idea of our gods being human-like, she reminds us. Perhaps we need something to restore that affiliation and return to what we have lost. First, of course, we must re-ignite that belief.
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By Rhea
Format:Paperback
Gods Behaving Badly is a hilarious account of the trials and tribulations of the gods and goddesses of Mount Olympus as they attempt to exist in a world that no longer believes in them. It's difficult to run the world when your powers are fading and you're forced to live in a run-down London house with your fellow gods and goddesses. Even worse, how do you navigate the doldrums of endless days and nights? Marie Phillips addresses this and more with a fast paced wit that seamlessly takes the reader from one `godly' escapade to another. Once you start reading Gods Behaving Badly you won't be able to put it down. I eagerly look forward to more writings from this author.
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