Gods Behaving Badly – Marie Phillips, copyright 2007.
Publisher: Random House Canada
Source: Personal Collection – Purchased Used
Reason for Reading: Don’t remember.
Gods Behvaing Badly is one of the most fun stories I have read in a long time. I was in stitches for the first two chapters just trying to figure out where the book was going to go. It really is what the title suggests, Gods behaving badly. It is the story of Apollo, Zeus, Aphrodite, Artemis and all the rest of the Greek Gods. They live in a dilapidated, decaying three-storey house in London, have become terribly bored and are disillusioned by the fact that humans don’t seem to care about them anymore.
Alice is a custodian working at a London television station. One evening she sneaks into a filming of Apollo’s new fortune teller TV program with her “friend” Neil. She is not supposed to be there, but figures there is no harm in it; surely nobody will notice her presence. Normally that would have been the case, but on this particular night, Aphrodite, in an attempt to embarrass Apollo has sent her son Eros to stick Apollo with a love arrow. When Apollo gets stuck with the arrow he looks straight into Alice’s eyes and falls head over heels in love. He cannot stop staring at her. Needless to say, Apollo makes an ass out of himself and Alice gets noticed by her boss and ends up fired.
A few days later, Alice takes some advice from Neil and sets out to search for her own clients. One of the first doors she knocks on happens to be a dilapidated, decaying three-storey house. Yep, you guessed it, the same dilapidated, decaying three-storey house that is home to the Gods. Artemis hires Alice and from here on in, things just get weirder and weirder. With their poor manners, filthy ways and generally raucous lifestyle, the Gods quite literally drag Alice to Hell and back.
“Aphrodite detached herself from him and turned so that she was facing the wall…Apollo reengaged himself and resumed thrusting. Looking at the back of her head, her glossy black hair curling down over the alabaster slope of her shoulders, he could almost imagine that he was screwing Catherine Zeta Jones. He wondered whether he could persuade Aphrodite to speak to him in Welsh. Just for the novelty. Anything for some novelty.” Pages 6-7, Gods Behaving Badly.
What this story is not: deep, meaningful, or lasting. What this story is: highly ridiculous, intensely funny and slightly bombastic. If you are not looking for anything sagacious and are up for a short story that will keep you laughing, Gods Behaving Badly is definitely worth the read.