Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips gets points mainly for creativity. I’m always happy when I find a book that isn’t like all the others; that doesn’t fit a formula or even a particular genre.
The premise of this book is that the Greek gods didn’t disappear with the fall of ancient Greece, but rather hung on in a somewhat weakened, albeit still god-like state. They also moved Olympus to a house in London. A rather badly maintained house, since none of the gods would lower themselves to do housework.
There is a parallel story, the love story of mousy Alice and non-descript Neil, who find themselves the unwitting pawns in the gods’ petty rivalries.
I’m not sure how to describe the plot without giving away spoilers. This is one of those books that could have gone either way. It could have been colossally stupid, but the author, a Cambridge graduate, is obviously intelligent and witty, making the book fun and thoughtful. Apollo and Aphrodite have bored sex to pass the time. Mars spends his days playing a real-life game of Risk. Zeus is a senile old man. Artemis seems to have more sense than anyone else, but doesn’t quite care enough about humanity to do much to undo the damage her cousins are doing. This is my favorite bit – Eros, Aphrodite’s son – becomes a Christian because he decides that Jesus is a much better role model than his own selfish mother.
Despite the rampant blasphemy, or maybe because of it, the book is more than just a silly story. It’s a story about the power of faith in others. Faith in love, faith in one’s own abilities, and the strength we gather from the faith of others.
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Lori B. Duff is an award-winning author who practices law on the side. Her latest book, “If You Did What I Asked in the First Place” was awarded the Gold Medal for humor in the Foreword INDIES awards in 2019. You can follow her on Twitter at @LoriBDuff and on Facebook. For more blogs written by Lori, click here. For more information about Lori in general, click here. If you want Lori to do your writing for you, click here. If you want Lori to help you market your book, click here.