Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips (2007, Little Brown & Company)
In Marie Phillip’s wonderful debut novel, the ancient Greek gods are alive but not so well in the 21st century. Having lost most of their power, their days are spent pursuing mundane careers; Artemis as a professional dog-walker, Apollo as a budding television psychic, Aphrodite as a phone sex operator, and so on. To top it all off, they are all living in incredibly close quarters in a run down house in northern London.
Phillips does an incredible job of translating many of the ancient myths (especially Orpheus and Euridyce) into a modern setting. Gods Behaving Badly is nearly impossible to set aside once you’ve started. With such a great story, and Phillip’s own background in television, it’s no surprise that the book was optioned for a television series (by Ben Stiller’s Red Hour Production Company) before the book was even released here in the states.
Gods Behaving Badly is a book you should put near, of not at, the top of your “to read” list. Even those without an interest in mythology will have a great time.
Rating: 4 Stars