gods behaving badly by Marie Phillips

 

Mystery

Gods behaving badly gods behaving badlyMarie Phillips; Little, Brown and Co. 2007WorldCat

Review is by Molly

Being a Greek god is just not all what it once was. As always, along with striving to locate appropriate jobs, and keeping the house from tumbling around their ears, the family keeps right with their old time pastime of crossing and double-crossing one another.

The twelve gods and goddesses of Olympus are quite alive and are living in the twenty-first century. The dilemma is; they are all crammed chock-a-block, none too happily, in a falling down London dwelling. Their current problems started with their putting the ramshackle North London hovel in Zeus’ name.

With their powers slowly waning; their immortality no longer appears to be assured.

The reader first meets the group early one morning. Artemis is out walking the dogs and suddenly, without notice, there is a tree where no tree should be. Artemis does know that this tree is out of place, she does run through this part of Hampstead Heath everyday. In fact, it is a tree that should not exist at all. Artemis quickly ferrets out the answer and learns the tree has only been a tree for a short time.

She is actually Kate who works in mergers and acquisitions for Goldman Sachs.

From that opening; the reader enters into an unlikely, more often than not, uproarious romp starring the gods of Greek mythology. The group has fallen on hard times, are now living in London, and are forced to work in order to maintain themselves. The family actually had moved to London in 1665. It was a period when the plague was keeping property prices at rock bottom and was before the great fire of London sent them spiraling upwards again.

The gods are all present, and are basically killing time in unexciting jobs as Hera endeavors to figure out how to rebuild their power. Zeus is no help, he has suffered a collapse. Apollo, when he is not wasting his declining power turning humans into trees, is working as a psychic wannabe which is a very slight TV professional.

While Demeter potters around in the garden, Aunt Aphrodite is a phone-sex operator, Apollo’s twin Artemis walks dogs, and Uncle Hephaestus, Aphrodite’s husband, sees to maintenance on the decaying residence and Dionysus runs a nightclub where he serves as a DJ. Ares is active with war demonstrations; start war demonstrations that is while Athena wearing glasses to enhance, she thinks, her facade of wisdom, is busy doing research. Eros, a budding Christian, is doing volunteer work; much to the indignation of mom Aphrodite and Hermes is a motorcycle messenger.

Into the dubious merger of mixed up gods and goddesses appear Neil and Alice. She is a char woman with a linguistics degree, while he is an engineer. One way or another the pair becomes entwined in the maneuverings of the gods when Aphrodite, undercuts Apollo by having Eros shoot him with an arrow of love, causing Apollo to fall in love with Alice. Alice is an run of the mill mortal who just happens to be in love with another ordinary mortal, Neil.

Everything comes to a head when Artemis employs Alice to neaten up the shack. Before long, what commenced as a minor falling out between Aphrodite and Apollo has shot into a marathon battle of wills. Alice and Neil, who are caught in the middle of the dispute, understand the destiny of the world is hanging in the balance. It is going to take an act of true valor to resolve the mess and save the world.

Be prepared for an unforeseen ending to the book.

One liability of the work might be that in mythology the gods tended to multi-faceted persona; while on the pages of gods behaving badly a single feature of a gods personality is presented. Conversely, writer Phillips pulls if off satisfactorily.

The work is intended to be light hearted and entertaining. And, it does come across that way the majority of the time.

Amusing, droll, creative, nicely adapted to our time, gods behaving badly is a rollicking read to satisfy those who are looking for a light hearted book for an afternoon of casual reading. Not for everyone, references to sex and some graphic language will not appeal to all readers. Others will giggle and laugh from the opening line right to the last paragraph. Happy to recommend for the target audience of those who enjoy good writing, quirky subject and funny as heck.

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