Monday, December 31, 2007

Gods Behaving Badly

If you have even the slightest interest in Greek mythology, zip over to Amazon and grab Marie Phillips' debut novel, "Gods Behaving Badly." I finished reading it last night, and thought it one of the most original and quirky novels I've read in a long time. The concept is fantastic: what if the Olympian gods were still around today? Phillips' gods live in a squalid house in London and have jobs appropriate to their functions. Apollo is an aspiring television psychic, Artemis a dog-walker, Aphrodite a phone-sex operator, Dionysos a clubowner and DJ, etc. Unbeknownst to everyone, the gods still have say-so over the world's affairs, although their powers are waning. Mayhem ensues when a pair of unsuspecting mortals enters their lives. The writing style is as quirky as the story, and I love how Phillips has translated the 'personalities' of the gods into modern terms. (Except that Apollo has always been my favorite, and he's a bit of an arse in her book--well, he could be an arse in Ovid too.) I chuckled aloud more than once. I'll be telling my Classical Mythology class this semester about it, for certain!

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