Gods Behaving Badly – Marie Phillips – Book Review

Gods Behaving Badly – Marie Phillips, copyright 2007.

Publisher: Random House Canada

Pages: 277

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.

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About Robbie

Hi there, my name is Robbie Burns (no,really, that’s my name…hold the haggis jokes please) and I would like to welcome you to the Pink Sheep Cafe. I started this blog as a means of discussing books and all things literary in light of my perpetual isolation. At the time I began writing, I was living in Split, Croatia. There wasn’t much here in the way of English book clubs and I couldn’t work, so I badly needed something to help me bide my time. My partner and I have since left Croatia and returned to Canada to live in Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories. When we first moved back here, my blog writing sort of fell by the wayside, but now I seem to be back on track. I try to read and review a little bit of everything here; I think everyone can find something to their liking here. I find myself tending more towards more literary reads these days, but I also enjoy a lot of YA and children’s fiction. One of my ongoing goals is to work my way through all of the Nobel Laureates. My two most favorite authors are Timothy Findley and Halldor Laxness.
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7 Responses to Gods Behaving Badly – Marie Phillips – Book Review

  1. I go to the book swap in Windsor each month hosted by Marie. I’ve often been tempted to read this book, but haven’t got around to it yet. It is great to see that you enjoyed it so much – I hope to get a copy at some point.

  2. Marieke says:

    This sounds really fun. Hmmm, the read-a-thon is coming up…

  3. amymckie says:

    I’m so glad to see that you liked this one! I picked it up on a whim at an airport bookstore a year or so ago and was so happy that I did. It is certainly a fun romp, and not much more, but oh what fun it is to read!

  4. Petty Witter says:

    I enjoyed it as well, very original wasn’t it?

  5. Michelle says:

    I saw someone else review this book last year, immediately went out and obtained a copy, and it’s been sitting on my bookshelf since then. Thanks for reminding me that I’m do a fun, silly read!

  6. Iris says:

    It sounds like a fun book 🙂 I might pick it up if I come across it.

  7. Loni says:

    I got this book 6 months ago and it’s still sitting on my shelf. I’ll have to bump it up on the to-be-read list.

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