Thursday, April 10, 2008

Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips

This was a lot of fun. It turns out the gods of Olympus are still alive, and living in a crumbling house in London. No one believes in them any more and they have fallen into obscurity, though they still have to make a living. Zeus, bedridden and senile, is banished to the attic. Dionysus runs a disco but spends all his income bribing the police to ignore the debauchery that the Maenads get up to on the stage every night. Apollo still controls the sun, and his twin sister Artemis the moon, but the rest of their powers are greatly diminished, so Artemis works as a dog walker to pick up extra cash, and Apollo tries to get by as a television psychic. All is disrupted when Apollo falls in love with a mortal woman whom Artemis has hired to clean the house.

As tempting as it is to give away all the jokes, I’ll stop here. If you like this kind of thing, well, you’ll like this! (Though a passing familiarity with Greek mythology is essential.)

Oddly enough, I recently came across a review on the Unruly Reader blog of American Gods by Neil Gaiman. It sounds a bit similar, though darker and more complex, and the god incognito is Odin. I’ve never read Neil Gaiman, though I gather he’s really popular. I’ve requested this from the library; we’ll see what happens.

(Book 13, 2008)


heather (errantdreams) said...

I've heard of 'Gods Behaving Badly' and it sounds like a lot of fun!

I really liked 'American Gods,' although IMO 'GBB' sounds much different in style and tone. I hope you enjoy it!

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