Gods Behaving Badly
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Gods Behaving Badly

3.39 (11,114 ratings on Goodreads)
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Description

Being immortal isn't all it's cracked up to be. Life's hard for a Greek god in the 21st century: nobody believes in you any more, even your own family doesn't respect you, and you're stuck in a delapidated 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 literally upside down. "Gods Behaving Badly" is that rare thing, a charming, funny, utterly original first novel that satisfies the head and the heart.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 130 x 196 x 22mm | 18.14g
  • Vintage Publishing
  • VINTAGE
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0099513021
  • 9780099513025
  • 101,240

About Marie Phillips

Marie Phillips was born in London in 1976. She studied anthropology and documentary making, and worked as a TV researcher for several years. More recently she has worked as an independent bookseller whilst writing Gods Behaving Badly.show more

Review Text

In this disarmingly matter-of-fact farce, the London-based author's debut, the gods of Olympus are living in London and running the world with increasingly diminished powers.The gods have been in London since 1665, when the Plague caused property values to drop. They thrived for a while, but by the present day their townhouse is crumbling and dirty. Now they must conserve their strength to perform their individual responsibilities for the world's upkeep. They all also have appropriate jobs with which to while away some of their endless time - Aphrodite does phone sex, Artemis is a dog walker, Dionysus runs a nightclub. To get back at Apollo for a slight, Aphrodite makes her son Eros, who's trying to become a Christian although he knows Jesus was no god, to shoot the sun god with a love arrow while he's live on stage filming a pilot called Apollo's Oracle for the psychic channel. Apollo falls for the least likely mortal, mousy Alice. A cleaner at the station, Alice is attending the taping with her friend Neil. Alice and Neil are in love but too shy to tell each other. Through Hermes's powers Alice becomes the housekeeper at the gods's house. Lovesick Apollo kisses her but she rejects him. Apollo has vowed to Styx not to harm mortals himself, so he manipulates a decrepit Zeus into sending a bolt of lightning to kill Alice as punishment. Then, wracked with guilt, Apollo visits Neil to apologize but ends up putting out the sun as he falls into a swoon. Artemis enlists Neil as a mortal hero to head with her to the underworld to regain Alice and save the planet. Phillips nimbly creates a present-day alternative universe where belief in the true gods has been replaced by a false Judeo-Christian ethos, and she does a particularly fine job envisioning an underworld that is neither heaven nor hell but simply eternal death.Not for the pious, but lots of fun for everyone else. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Review quote

"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 "Ingeniously imagined and satisfyingly lusty" Guardianshow more
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