Gods Behaving Badly

New books are rather like planes coming in to land at an airport. You can see them a long way off, and then when they get closer they have to circle, stacked up waiting for their turn. Early August has a few books coming out, and I don’t want to write about them too early or too late, so I need to get started. Because it’s a first book, I’ll begin with Gods Behaving Badly.

Right, I’ll have to tread carefully here. I have young readers, who I’m sure won’t worry too much about this book by Marie Phillips. After chapter one I thought this’d make a good book for younger readers too. By the first line in chapter two I knew I was wrong. So, by all means, read this book if you’re young. But don’t tell your parents about it!

Though apart from the sex and the frequent use of the f-word this is a good read for everyone. I don’t know when I last enjoyed a new book like this. (Well, I do, but you know what I mean.) The language is light and the plot anything but difficult, and the whole book is very funny. I can hardly believe this is a first novel, it’s so good.

Gods Behaving Badly is all about the old Greek Gods living in north London, and about their cleaner. My understanding of Greek Gods and myths has improved considerably, while I had lots of fun.

If Marie hadn’t written a very witty piece about getting published, in a copy of Publishing News, I probably wouldn’t have bothered. Just before then I had read half of a children’s book about the very same Gods living in New York, and decided to give up as it didn’t deliver what it promised.

So, parents, I’d rather you let your children read this one, because it’s good stuff. I’ve practised on Daughter by letting her read page 147. She’s sort of got used to it now, and may soon be sufficiently desensitized to read the whole book. After all, she goes round quoting the first sentence of chapter 23. But, please, not at school…

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7 responses to “Gods Behaving Badly

  1. It’s ace, isn’t it? I’ve just reviewed it for the TES and said much the same things as you have….teenagers will adore it. And enjoy hiding it from parents. And parents will also enjoy it.

  2. What about the reluctant ten year old? It sounds fantastic to me, but she’s not big on the f word.
    And as I’m behind on your blog, do tell what you think of that other Swedish hero (who I met briefly in Mantua and was very handsome and impressive), Henning Mankell? While buying a very gory looking book for my father, I saw on Amazon that he writes for children too.
    Guide us, oh witch.

  3. Hummmm, not at school hey???

  4. I won’t quote it at school as I can’t remember it anymore. (Crossing her fingers…)

  5. Meg,what do you mean, you’re behind on my blog? No slacking!

    I think the ten-year-old will have to wait a little bit with the Gods, just in case. But you read it. Just think how geographically close you are to that handsome, if otherwise fairly useless, Apollo.

    There will be something on Mankell soon. I’m still collecting bits and pieces, and hope to see him yet again in Gothenburg in September. You can allow the young family member to read him, if you like.

    Last year Son had the pleasure of visiting the gents at the same time as Mankell. I have no more information than that, as these days I allow him to go on his own.

  6. I enjoy Mankell’s children’s books, both the ones set in Sweden and in Mozambique.

  7. I am a bit on the old side, not to mention boring, for myspace, but I’ve put a link to Marie’s myspace in the blogroll. It’s done for her and she’s not so keen on it, but there’s no website at the moment.

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