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Gods Behaving Badly: A Novel

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Gods Behaving Badly: A Novel Cover

ISBN13: 9780316067621
ISBN10: 0316067628
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Review-A-Day

"The tension doesn't ratchet too high; it's a romantic comedy, after all. The key is to fly through a book like this very fast — on Hermes' wings. But Phillips has an Olympian sense of absurdity, and there's enough ambrosial wit here to seduce most mortals for an afternoon or two on the divan." Ron Charles, Washington Post Book World (read the entire Washington Post Book World review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The Greek gods are alive and well and residing in a rundown London townhouse. When they're not moonlighting in the human professions — Artemis as a dog-walker, Apollo as a TV psychic, Aphrodite as a phone sex operator — they are feuding among themselves (think Big Brother with superpowers). How else to pass the long centuries of eternity? Disturbingly, their power is not what it used to be, and even turning mortals into trees — a favorite pastime of Apollo's — is sapping their vital reserves of strength. Soon, what begins as a minor squabble between roommates Aphrodite and Apollo escalates into an epic battle of wills. Two perplexed humans, Alice and Neil, who are caught in the crossfire must fear not only for their own lives, but for the survival of mankind. Nothing less than a true act of heroism is needed — but can these two decidedly ordinary people replicate the feats of the mythical heroes and save the world?

Review:

"British blogger Phillips's delightful debut finds the Greek gods and goddesses living in a tumbledown house in modern-day London and facing a very serious problem: their powers are waning, and immortality does not seem guaranteed. In between looking for work and keeping house, the ancient family is still up to its oldest pursuit: crossing and double-crossing each other. Apollo, who has been cosmically bored for centuries, has been appearing as a television psychic in a bid for stardom. His aunt Aphrodite, a phone-sex worker, sabotages him by having her son Eros shoot him with an arrow of love, making him fall for a very ordinary mortal — a cleaning woman named Alice, who happens to be in love with Neil, another nice, retiring mortal. When Artemis — the goddess of the moon, chastity and the hunt, who has been working as a dog walker — hires Alice to tidy up, the household is set to combust, and the fate of the world hangs in the balance. Fanciful, humorous and charming, this satire is as sweet as nectar." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Marie Phillips' first novel, 'Gods Behaving Badly,' hovers somewhere between 'Pride and Prejudice' and an episode of 'Bewitched.' I'm not complaining; I have an unusually high regard for Elizabeth Montgomery's oeuvre. And Austen got off some good lines, too.

Phillips lives in London and studied anthropology at Cambridge, but now she's following that great British tradition of high-brow... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Phillips nimbly creates a present-day alternative universe...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

Review:

"For a hip, irreverent airplane read, Gods Behaving Badly sticks to the ribs surprisingly well. The love story at its heart, and the heroism it inspires, is funny and heart-tugging, without off-putting histrionics.....Phillips has produced a novel with wit and staying power on her first try. (Grade: A-)" The Onion AV Club

Review:

"As it traces Neil and Alice's sweet and predictable little love plot, Phillips's novel sometimes threatens to descend...into something like bathos. But for the most part her nonchalant transposition of the ancients into post-postmodern life is seamless, amusing and blessedly unpretentious." Alexandra Jacobs, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Phillips adheres to a nice, comedic sense of humor in a book that has sitcom written all over it....[TV] seems a perfect home for this a novel filled with subtle humor and a few deep thoughts about love, belief and renewal." Chicago Sun-Times

Review:

"[Phillips] has a charming comic touch and the laughs are real, even if some seem in need of a sitcom laugh track. But a high concept this lightweight can only lead to a predictable end..." USA Today

Review:

"In Marie Phillips' deft and droll first novel, the Greek gods and goddesses are alive — though not so well — and living in a decaying house in North London. This conceit could so easily founder, particularly over nearly 300 pages, yet Phillips pulls it off with enviable ease." Newsday

Review:

"Gods Behaving Badly is much more fun than it has any right to be. And although Ms. Phillips fulfills her purely lighthearted ambitions for this story, she provides a cautionary example to budding novelists everywhere." Janet Maslin, The New York Times

Synopsis:

Being a Greek god is not all it once was. Yes, the twelve gods of Olympus are alive and well in the twenty-first century, but they are crammed together in a London townhouse — and none too happy about it. And they've had to get day jobs: Artemis as a dog — walker, Apollo as a TV psychic, Aphrodite as a phone sex operator, Dionysus as a DJ. Even more disturbingly, their powers are waning, and even turning mortals into trees — a favorite pastime of Apollo's — is sapping their vital reserves of strength.

Soon, what begins as a minor squabble between Aphrodite and Apollo escalates into an epic battle of wills. Two perplexed humans, Alice and Neil, who are caught in the crossfire, must fear not only for their own lives, but for the survival of humankind. Nothing less than a true act of heroism is needed — but can these two decidedly ordinary people replicate the feats of the mythical heroes and save the world?

Synopsis:

The 12 Greek gods of Olympus are alive and well in the 21st century, but they are crammed together in a London townhouse — and none too happy. Two perplexed humans are caught in the crossfire and nothing less than a true act of heroism is needed from these ordinary people to save the world.

About the Author

Marie Phillips is a Cambridge Anthropology graduate who left her job at the BBC to write and currently works in a bookshop in Central London.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

readersrespite, January 8, 2009 (view all comments by readersrespite)
Need a good laugh? Look no further, especially if you retained any of the Greek mythology you were taught in college. Author Marie Phillips has given us the gods of Olympus all over again and this time, you'll never again forget just who was the god of what.

That's right, the gods of ancient Greece are alive and well (sort-of) and currently residing in a dilapidated house in the suburbs of London. That's right. London.

The good news is that they've evolved with the times. Aphrodite, the goddess of love, is putting her skills to good use as a phone-sex operator.

Remember Apollo, god of the sun? He still does the sun trick everyday (for the most part), but his stunning good looks and vanity have led him to a modern day career as an actor. Well, a failed actor, but still....

Eros, the god of love, has converted to Christianity, while Dionysus, the god of wine, runs a hip nightclub and contributes to all sorts of societal degeneration. Artemis, Hera, Hermes and even Zeus all make appearances and manage to contribute to the mayhem.

The bad news, though, is that their power is fading fast and they need to find a way to avoid dying off all together. Through two perfectly ordinary, endearing mortals into the mix and you have the makings of a riotous tale!

Raunchy behavior and language abound, so don't say you weren't warned, but aside from that Marie Phillips has written a thoroughly delightful tale that evokes both laughter and fond memories of your humanities professor. Enjoy!
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Liza, June 16, 2008 (view all comments by Liza)
A laugh-out-loud book for anyone who knows anything about Greek Mythology. Imagine the Greek gods living together in a dilapidated London rowhouse, which they've been in since 1665 "when the Plague caused property values to hit rock bottom." They are bickering amongst each other and bored silly on Earth. A mortal couple, Alice and Neil, enter the story and all hell (literally) breaks loose. Funny and entertaining, each god's personality quirks are a hoot.
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(2 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
kcqueen, February 3, 2008 (view all comments by kcqueen)
Gods Behaving Badly
Marie Phillips
Amazon Rating 5
APOOO Rating 4.5


Oh Ye Gods

Marie Phillip's novel, Gods Behaving Badly, will make you laugh out loud. Imagine Gods living in a crowded London flat, each with their own quirks and strengths. The Gods are losing their powers and must conserve their energy by not wasting them on silly things like turning mortals into trees. Mayhem breaks out when Apollo, who has taken a job as a television Physic , a job that he feels is beneath him. Apollo is smitten with love for a mortal woman, Alice, who is sitting in the viewing audience with her close friend, Neil.

Alice unwittingly breaks one of her company's policies, is fired from her job and is forced to go from door to door looking for a job. When her job search lands her at the doorsteps of Apollo, she is hired by Artemis to keep the decaying flat clean. However, the Gods do not waste their powers cleaning. Alice is given two rules; not to talk to the other flat inhabitants and not to go up to the third floor.

When Apollo finds Alice in their flat cleaning ,he does everything in his power to gain her affections but none of it works because Alice is secretly in love with Neil. All of the extra attention that Apollo bestows upon Alice makes her nervous, and she goes to Neil wanting to discuss her problem with him. But, she cannot since she promised not to talk about anything that goes on in the flat. Sensing that something is wrong with Alice, Neil goes over to the flat to see what is making Alice so nervous, but only makes Apollo angry that Alice could prefer Neil to him. Athena confronts Apollo and tells him that he should apologize but this causes major calamity.

I truly enjoyed reading this and I found it to be different, fun and invigorating. I loved the personalities of the Gods; each one behaved as I imagined that they would under the given circumstances. I hated that the story had to come to an end. This novel had a great ending and left this reader satisfied. If you enjoy mythology you will love this book. It was a refreshing change of pace.


Reviewed By Margaret Ball

APOOO BOOKCLUB
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780316067621
Subtitle:
A Novel
Publisher:
Back Bay Books
Author:
Phillips, Marie
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Gods, Greek
Subject:
Goddesses, Greek
Subject:
Fantasy fiction
Copyright:
Edition Description:
American
Publication Date:
December 2007
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8.40x6.41x1.04 in. .95 lbs.

Related Subjects


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Gods Behaving Badly: A Novel
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$ In Stock
Product details 320 pages Little Brown and Company - English 9780316067621 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "British blogger Phillips's delightful debut finds the Greek gods and goddesses living in a tumbledown house in modern-day London and facing a very serious problem: their powers are waning, and immortality does not seem guaranteed. In between looking for work and keeping house, the ancient family is still up to its oldest pursuit: crossing and double-crossing each other. Apollo, who has been cosmically bored for centuries, has been appearing as a television psychic in a bid for stardom. His aunt Aphrodite, a phone-sex worker, sabotages him by having her son Eros shoot him with an arrow of love, making him fall for a very ordinary mortal — a cleaning woman named Alice, who happens to be in love with Neil, another nice, retiring mortal. When Artemis — the goddess of the moon, chastity and the hunt, who has been working as a dog walker — hires Alice to tidy up, the household is set to combust, and the fate of the world hangs in the balance. Fanciful, humorous and charming, this satire is as sweet as nectar." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "The tension doesn't ratchet too high; it's a romantic comedy, after all. The key is to fly through a book like this very fast — on Hermes' wings. But Phillips has an Olympian sense of absurdity, and there's enough ambrosial wit here to seduce most mortals for an afternoon or two on the divan." (read the entire Washington Post Book World review)
"Review" by , "Phillips nimbly creates a present-day alternative universe...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."
"Review" by , "For a hip, irreverent airplane read, Gods Behaving Badly sticks to the ribs surprisingly well. The love story at its heart, and the heroism it inspires, is funny and heart-tugging, without off-putting histrionics.....Phillips has produced a novel with wit and staying power on her first try. (Grade: A-)"
"Review" by , "As it traces Neil and Alice's sweet and predictable little love plot, Phillips's novel sometimes threatens to descend...into something like bathos. But for the most part her nonchalant transposition of the ancients into post-postmodern life is seamless, amusing and blessedly unpretentious."
"Review" by , "Phillips adheres to a nice, comedic sense of humor in a book that has sitcom written all over it....[TV] seems a perfect home for this a novel filled with subtle humor and a few deep thoughts about love, belief and renewal."
"Review" by , "[Phillips] has a charming comic touch and the laughs are real, even if some seem in need of a sitcom laugh track. But a high concept this lightweight can only lead to a predictable end..."
"Review" by , "In Marie Phillips' deft and droll first novel, the Greek gods and goddesses are alive — though not so well — and living in a decaying house in North London. This conceit could so easily founder, particularly over nearly 300 pages, yet Phillips pulls it off with enviable ease."
"Review" by , "Gods Behaving Badly is much more fun than it has any right to be. And although Ms. Phillips fulfills her purely lighthearted ambitions for this story, she provides a cautionary example to budding novelists everywhere."
"Synopsis" by , Being a Greek god is not all it once was. Yes, the twelve gods of Olympus are alive and well in the twenty-first century, but they are crammed together in a London townhouse — and none too happy about it. And they've had to get day jobs: Artemis as a dog — walker, Apollo as a TV psychic, Aphrodite as a phone sex operator, Dionysus as a DJ. Even more disturbingly, their powers are waning, and even turning mortals into trees — a favorite pastime of Apollo's — is sapping their vital reserves of strength.

Soon, what begins as a minor squabble between Aphrodite and Apollo escalates into an epic battle of wills. Two perplexed humans, Alice and Neil, who are caught in the crossfire, must fear not only for their own lives, but for the survival of humankind. Nothing less than a true act of heroism is needed — but can these two decidedly ordinary people replicate the feats of the mythical heroes and save the world?

"Synopsis" by , The 12 Greek gods of Olympus are alive and well in the 21st century, but they are crammed together in a London townhouse — and none too happy. Two perplexed humans are caught in the crossfire and nothing less than a true act of heroism is needed from these ordinary people to save the world.
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