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Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips

Gods Behaving Badly (original 2007; edition 2008)

by Marie Phillips

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,6851604,239 (3.48)202
Title:Gods Behaving Badly
Authors:Marie Phillips
Info:Imprint unknown (2008), Edition: Export ed, Paperback
Collections:Read in 2012 (Micah)
Tags:fiction, fantasy

Work details

Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips (2007)

  1. 32
    The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (Betinna)
  2. 11
    American Gods by Neil Gaiman (andejons)
    andejons: Both are about ancient gods trying to make do in the modern world, living quite undignified lives and longing for something better. Phillip's book is more lighthearted, but also more coherent.
  3. 00
    Deus Ex Machina: a Divine Comedy by Maria Aragon (Anonymous user)
  4. 00
    Fluke, or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings by Christopher Moore (Staramber)
    Staramber: A bit more surreal but the same pace and sense of the absurd.
  5. 00
    The Infinities by John Banville (GCPLreader)
    GCPLreader: Hermes and Zeus intervene in this more intellectual novel
  6. 00
    Summon the Keeper by Tanya Huff (infiniteletters)
    infiniteletters: One section of Summon the Keeper matches Gods Behaving Badly.
  7. 00
    Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett (Betinna)
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    The Sugar Frosted Nutsack by Mark Leyner (TomWaitsTables)

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» See also 202 mentions

English (156)  French (1)  Danish (1)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (160)
Showing 1-5 of 156 (next | show all)
The ancient greek gods are in London and not doing so well. It takes a human to make them see what being gods is all about. Fun read. ( )
  ChristineEllei | Jul 14, 2015 |
Recommended by Rob Lorino.

The ancient Greek and Roman gods have lost much of their old power and are holed up in a dilapidated townhouse in London. When one plays a prank on another, two mortals, Alice and Neil, become involved, with disastrous consequences that necessitate a trip to the underworld - and back.

Full of fun and insight, Gods Behaving Badly is reminiscent of Good Omens (Pratchett/Gaiman) or a lighter, funnier, shorter American Gods (Gaiman). Once the Percy Jackson fans are grown up, they might want to try this.


Unbelievers were always preferable to heretics. (5)

"A god can't undo what another god has done." (5)

There is little a god likes more than watching another god embarrassing himself. (46)

The two things she hated most in the world were lying and hurting people's feelings, and here she was, apparently forced to do one of them. (Alice with Apollo, 65)

Gods were always tricking each other into looking foolish; if they didn't, the world would probably stop turning because they would be too bored to keep it going. (68)

"They all die so soon. I never get used to it. They're gone in the blink of an eye. You always think there'll be more time, but there never is." (Eros to Artemis, 73)

She had hair the color of blackmail, a spine as straight as a guillotine, and a face that could sink ships. (Hera, 122)

She hadn't realized how much her body had felt until she stopped feeling anything at all. (Alice, 167)

Time had split in two. There was time before; time that seemed so real and sharp, and short and over. And then there was time after; there was now. And this time had no features, and no end. A slow, lugubrious present without future, without hope. A hideous now that he would be stuck in forever, always on the wrong side of the cruel, unfinished, intransigent past. A past that he could look at whenever he liked, and often when he didn't want to, but that he could never touch again. (Neil, 169)

"...if you're asking if I'm the kind of person who would risk his life rescuing strangers from a burning building...Well, I don't know. I'd like to think I was. But I'm not sure. I don't think you can ever be sure until you're tested." (Neil to Artemis, 179)

"Precedents are very important," said Artemis. "It means if you've done it before you can do it again." (Artemis to Neil, 184)

"Forgiveness from a god that doesn't exist gets rid of guilt?"
"Only if you believe in him," said Eros. "That's what I've been trying to explain to you all for decades. Belief is a powerful thing. For mortals, belief changes everything, what they do, how they feel..." (Apollo and Eros, 199)

And he didn't want to doubt, because doubt made him hope, and the hope was more painful than the despair: it gave him more to lose. (Neil, 201)

Everyone agreed that it was best to forget, to not go looking for the past in this endless sea of present. (Alice in the underworld, 242)

"...the fact of the matter is that you're the only person who has any experience in this area, you're the only one who knows how to believe in things that aren't true." (Artemis to Eros, 270) ( )
1 vote JennyArch | Jun 23, 2015 |
interesting premise (greek gods living in present day london, afterworld) but unfortunately only a mediocre book
  verenka | Apr 26, 2015 |
I liked it. The Gods are at the end of there of powers. They are living in world where they can't even get a job - Zeus is a somewhat powerful dementia old man, Aphrodite is A backstabbing phone sex operator, we have Artemis has all sorts of theories about this, but isn't capable of communicating them - Apollo sleeps will sleep with anything that has breasts... and than there is Artemis, the Goddess of Hunting and Virginity.

When an out of work house cleaner (who is out of work due to backstabbing Aphrodite) stops at the Gods old, run-down house looking for job, in a fit of spite, Artemis hirers her. This starts the cascade that sends Alice to Hell, her boyfriend trying to save her, and Apollo seems to have given up, making the sun go away. Its up to Artemis to save the world, and she does, even with the "help" of her fellow Gods.

I liked the book. Yeah, there’s a bit of a Jaded world is boring feeling - but the Gods are not set up for Modern Living, and being aspects of power, they can only do what they are designed to do. The counterpoint of Alice and Neil, the innocent human couple in love (but they don't know it) makes for a an interesting contrast to the worldly Gods. I especially like that Eros trying to be a good Christian, even though he doesn't believe in the God.

I recommend this for a story that is a bit sarcastic, a bit irreverent, but manages to have heart. ( )
2 vote TheDivineOomba | Mar 6, 2015 |
This book had a rather entertaining idea but ended up falling short. While there were some moments that were rather funny, most of the book was just all right. I think one of the things that really didn't work for me with this book was the end. While the majority of the book is rather light, and vaguely interesting, the ending tried to make the book something that it just wasn't...exciting. By the end of the book, the world comes close to ending, and an epic love story occurs that lines up well with Greek mythology, but ultimately is a completely different tone than the rest of the book. It was also rushed and little confusing.

Plus, Artemis comes to a conclusion by the end of the book that I thought was rather obvious and logical (or as logical as Greek mythology and gods can be) that when she has this big eye-opening moment, I'm just confused as to why she didn't figure that out before. That, and the fact that everything that happens in this book is Aphrodite's fault is never really revealed to anyone else in the book and she thus goes unpunished. This seems a little strange considering the fact that if Artemis's plan didn't work out, the world would have descended into total darkness and would end. I actually felt like the author just kind of forgot about that part because she was so immersed in making this epic ending that didn't fit.

Despite all of the ranting, I didn't hate the book. In fact, my total lack of strong opinion about this book makes it really difficult for me to write a review about it. What is there to say other than "Eh." *shoulder shrug* I just don't really feel anything about it. I will most likely forget that I read it in a few months time. Therefore, my overall view of this book is: kind of entertaining, but utterly forgettable. ( )
  kell1732 | Jan 25, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Marie Phillipsprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bennett, NnekaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schuurman, TitiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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One morning, when Artemis was out walking the dogs, she saw a tree where no tree should be.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316067628, Hardcover)

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?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:14 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

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. Even more disturbingly, their powers are waning.... [and] 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? --From publisher description.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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