Guide Acting Badly: A Novel

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So here's this group of gods, imagine if they were still around This is one of the funniest books I have read in a while. The premise is that the ancient gods are not only alive. But living in Hampstead in London in a crumbling townhouse which they bought in the s during Charles II's reign. Coping with modernity is task, not only for the mortals in the book, but also the gods themselves. This is the first book by Maria Phillips, a former employee of the BBC and all I can say is that this woman has a splendid career in store for herself.

She has a wonderful imagination, shows great skill in blending folkloric elements into the modern day novel and what is most important in her case, a wonderful ear for dialogue. The book is one long series of wonderful exchanges between the gods and the two mortals Neal and Alice. Artemis is the primary goddess who manages in the end to be the only one of the Olympians who has any basic sense. It is very difficult to explain the plot without spoiling some of the absolutely brilliant comic moments in the book. The gods behave, as they do in Homer, without and pangs of conscience for the harm they inflict on the mortals around them.

Phillips manages to weave a comedic turn that combines plot elements of the legend of Orpheus as well as Cold Comfort Farm into a marvelous treat. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. I suppose the humor in this book has to appeal to you, because that could be the only reason I loved it and some other reviewers didn't. Just like some jokes make some people laugh and not others. Marie Phillips not only has a great sense of humor my kind , but she can write great dialog, great descriptions, and a great plot.

I loved it all the way through. Okay, the ending required a lot of suspension of disbelief. Actually, the whole book was premised on the reader being able to suspend disbelief, but it was easy for me to enjoy practically every sentence and forget about "reality as I know it". Forgetting about reality is the desired result of getting into a good story anyway.

Hooray for Marie Phillips! I didn't buy the book when I first saw it in a bookstore because the title and cover picture made it look like a "fluffy" read, and I don't read "fluffy". But this book is "intelligent fluffy". I read about this book in an article that recommended it for teens. No idea why that would be the case given a few pages in you encounter a raunchy sexual encounter in a bathroom.

Behaving Badly by Catherine Heath

Glad I read the first few chapters before handing it off to my kid who loves mythology and all Rick Riordans books. Wish I could return this book and the other one by the same author that i foolishly bought.

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The Old Testament Case for Nonviolence. This is the Old Testament explained and defended like never before. End your struggle to appreciate it today. Review "I highly recommend this book to students, laypeople, and pastors as an excellent introduction to how to understand the Old Testament portrait of God in light of the questions raised by new atheists and struggling Christians. Related Video Shorts 0 Upload your video. Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit: A two-headed winged serpent.

A demon possessed mechanic. And what just might be a portal to Hell. A Father Offers His Son: Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Read reviews that mention old testament david lamb behaving badly god of the old sexist and racist god behaving new testament angry sexist near eastern bad reputation make sense sunday school angry or loving canaanite conquest wool and linen richard dawkins legalistic or gracious rigid or flexible distant or near ancient near.

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. One of the hardest aspects of being a Christian when talking with non-Christians is knowing how to handle the tough questions that come up. How do we look at slavery in the Old Testament OT? What about the sexist views? And how about how mean God appears?

Isn't He just a big bully? It doesn't help that Christians are sometimes discouraged from asking these questions, so we often don't know any answers to them. As a result, we may end up focusing solely on the New Testament NT and encouraging others to do the same. But if we take the bible seriously, then "all Scripture is breathed out by God" 2 Timothy 3: This is where "God Behaving Badly" shines. David Lamb manages to walk the line between disregarding troubling issues on the one hand and simply providing pat answers that don't make sense or seem contrived on the other.

Lamb digs deep into the context of the Bible itself a necessity when understanding any verse of Scripture and situates it in its Ancient Near Eastern historical context as well. In doing so, Lamb manages to unpack the text in a way that shows that the OT was head and shoulders above the texts of surrounding cultures and religions. He examines the following views of God in 7 chapters with an introduction to the topic and an epilogue as well: In reality, the same God is presented in both testaments, and we would do well do keep that in mind as we read through the Bible.

This book does not answer every possible question or issue. It is not large enough to do so. But it is a good book to read alongside of others to help you understand the issues. If you have struggled with understanding the way God seems to be presented in the OT or if you know someone who has, this book will do much to help you see God as the loving God He is. A good read, answering many criticisms of God from the Old Testament. The material is spot on and well thought out. The only thing keeping me from giving this five stars is the author's proclivity to insert little "cutesy" comment into the text that he thinks are funny.

And these little asides detract from the book, become tiresome and keep the reader from being able to focus on the serious message here. I hope the writer will revise and edit the book for a 2nd Edition and leave those out. He's not nearly as funny as he thinks he is and the book would be better served without them. Someone needs to tell the writer he isn't a stand up comedian and shouldn't try to be!

One person found this helpful. Don't get hung-up on the title as I've known some to do , this is a relevant book that helps use understand God. When I looked for this in a bookstore, the guy behind the counter thought it was an anti-God book, but once I explained to him what it was about, he looked it up and determined he also wanted to read it.

I ended up buying this on Amazon and enjoyed reading it while sitting on the front porch each night during sunset. It was sometimes repetitive, but understanding the point of the book required some of that, so I won't hold it against the author. This was one of the better written explanations I've read for why the old vs. In my opinion, any book that makes passing references to both The Far Side and The Simpsons in addition to tackling the toughest questions the Bible forces us to answer is a worthwhile read.

As an Old Testament professor, David Lamb has done his research and it shows, yet he never gets so academic that his book is off-putting to those who'd rather not read such dry takes on the subjects at hand. If you've ever wondered how the "angry, sexist, racist" God of the Old Testament can co-exist with the loving, kind, and patient God seen through Jesus, this is the book for you.

The author uses excellent, often humorous analogies to relate some of the points he's making. We read this book as a part of a book discussion series for my bible school class. Each chapter addresses those issues that even Christians struggle with and some of us found one or two more significant to our journey than others.

It is easy to read and understand. Well, a failed actor, but still Eros, the god of love, has converted to Christianity, while Dionysus, the god of wine, runs a hip nightclub and contributes to all sorts of societal degeneration. Artemis, Hera, Hermes and even Zeus all make appearances and manage to contribute to the mayhem. The bad news, though, is that their power is fading fast and they need to find a way to avoid dying off all together.

Through two perfectly ordinary, endearing mortals into the mix and you have the makings of a riotous tale! Raunchy behavior and language abound, so don't say you weren't warned, but aside from that Marie Phillips has written a thoroughly delightful tale that evokes both laughter and fond memories of your humanities professor. May 11, Jaline rated it really liked it Shelves: The Greek gods of myth who would be very offended at being called myths are in exile in London with their powers in decline.

Apollo is taking the fall for global warming and Artemis, as goddess of the hunt, is almost out of a job with weapons controls tightening and hunting as sport declining. All of them except maybe for Dionysus, god of wine and revelry are finding their time of usefulness winding down and their powers weakening. As always when time is marked by thousands of years rather th The Greek gods of myth who would be very offended at being called myths are in exile in London with their powers in decline. As always when time is marked by thousands of years rather than centuries, and with too little to do coupled with fears about their diminished status and abilities, they scrap and battle and intrigue among themselves, shifting viewpoints and alliances faster than starting a new chapter in a book.

This is strictly against the rules but out of frustration, boredom and fear they seem to be making up their own.

Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History—without the Fairy-Tale Endings

About one quarter of the way in, the initial impression I had of tongue in cheek gradually changed. I actually began to believe in these characters and understand them somewhat. There was an interesting sojourn in the underworld and with what led up to it and all that transpired there, I became caught up in the story and the people gods, goddesses, and mortals in it. If this is on your reading list, I recommend tackling it. Feb 27, Djrmel rated it it was ok Shelves: It's a setting that just full of possibilities: With characters like Apollo and Athena and Hermes, there's no end to complications and plot twists, right?

Phillips does come up with jobs suitable of her cast - Aphrodite as a phone sex operator just makes perfect sense. And if Apollo and Aphrodite live in the same house, they probably would end up having sex with each other, consi It's a setting that just full of possibilities: And if Apollo and Aphrodite live in the same house, they probably would end up having sex with each other, considering their particular strengths, and despite being half siblings.

Altogether, wouldn't we expect the whole clan to be just as dysfunctional in this age as the one they originated in? But that's the problem with this book - the characters do act all too often just as you'd expect. They have almost no arc. I guess that's the problem with characters so deitic - they have no where to go but down, and if that's not your ending, you really don't have much of a story. There are two mortals that get mixed up with this crazy family, and they do have a journey, but you'd think with people like Zeus and Hades getting involved, the whole thing would be more Aug 19, David rated it liked it Shelves: This book had a great concept, but the execution was disappointing.

If your main premise is that a dozen of the ancient Greek gods are still alive and living in squalor in a dilapidated house in London, it seems that there should be more fun to be had than that provided by Marie Phillips in this effort. Enjoyable, but entirely forgettable, "Gods Behaving Badly" did not fulfil the promise suggested by its very clever underlying conceit.

I got this book in a fair by its cover and the blurb. As it said, this is really funny and hilarious to read. I had my share of LOL moments. I liked this book really. This is a story of the Greek gods living in the 21st century with their powers limited. Artemis is the dog-walker and Apollo is the host of a kind-of pathetic, old prophetic TV show.

The funny thing is Aphrodite, who works as a phone sex worker.


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Their life changes after a meeting with a cleaner named Alice and her like-t 3. Their life changes after a meeting with a cleaner named Alice and her like-to-be boyfriend, Nick. The writing is really good and hilarious and turns out serious towards the end. I liked the way each of the Greek gods depicted. I expected more, as in more serious actions, tragedies and stuff. If you want to have a funny, light read, read this. I've always considered the Greek gods to be one of the earliest incarnations of the soap opera: They're perfect for a piss-take, and in Gods Behaving Badly Phillips has done a marvellous job of sending them up - all while making you like them just a little bit.

Acting on the premise that the Greek gods are still around, still making the sun shine and so I've always considered the Greek gods to be one of the earliest incarnations of the soap opera: Acting on the premise that the Greek gods are still around, still making the sun shine and so on, but definitely out of favour, they're now scattered across the globe with a group living in a rundown, rat-infested, filthy old house in London.

Artemis, goddess of hunting and celibacy, has a job as a dog-walker. Her brother Apollo is just as vain as ever but thinks he can make a career as a TV psychic - despite the fact that his psychic powers have pretty much gone. Aphrodite, the temptress, does phone sex for money. They're a sulky bunch of slovenly gods who have pretty much all lost their godlike powers - simply existing and making the sun come up is about all they can manage these days.

Caught up in their inwardly-focused webs of intrigue is a short, meek cleaner called Alice and her would-be boyfriend, Neil, mole-like and also short. When Alice knocks on the gods' door, looking for a new cleaning job, they are both caught up in the deities' latest schemes - Aphrodite's revenge on Apollo, Apollo's revenge on the cleaner for saying No to him, and Artemis' plans to save them all. It's a mess alright, but in their new interaction with two unlikely heroic humans could lie the answer to all their prayers.

This was wonderful fun, and just the kind of book I needed: The gods are never easy characters to like - they are the Greek gods, after all, not humans, and don't have the same range of compassionate leanings we tend to have.

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They've fallen low, very low, and the seedy powerlessness of their modern-day lives gives you some small measure of satisfaction - except when Apollo turns women into trees for turning him down, of course. The concept of "with great power comes great responsibility" hasn't ever occurred to them and would be laughed at if they heard it.

Artemis is the only one of them who is at all likeable, though even she is limited by her designation being goddess of celibacy can make her a bit of a drag, though she makes up for it with her fighting prowess. Apollo is the true comic relief, but the other gods who make appearances are all just as hopeless and vindictive, really. Yet fun because of it. Halfway through, the book becomes a classic fantasy adventure story, descending into the underworld for a rescue mission and a test of heroism.

At times the story was a little too simple and vacuous for me, but then I reminded myself that that was what I wanted and to stop over-thinking it. The ending is predictable, but still satisfying and applicable to any and all religions: They only exist in your head, after all yes, so speaks the resident atheist here. If you're after a light, fun and quick read, a beach read perhaps, this would fit the bill. It's funny and sweet, has a great sense of humour and lively antics, balanced with a touch of tragedy, not to mention a spot of adventure and daring and, yes, even romance - it's charming.

Dec 29, Bill rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Those interested in Greek mythology. The novels a hoot with many a LOL moment. It's an easy, quick read, but has much to say about the human condition, the myth of monotheism and the politics of religion. The author has taken a simplistic approach giving these deities their most obvious attributes and using these as their person The novels a hoot with many a LOL moment. The author has taken a simplistic approach giving these deities their most obvious attributes and using these as their personalities and behaviors.

Thus Dionysos is a drunken bar owner where one can watch any sexual behavior ever dreamed of by mortals; Artemis is a celibate, strong female athlete responsible for the moon phases, menses, and her beloved animals; Apollo is responsible for the Sun shining and a sexual athlete of blinding beauty, etc.

What I find interesting about these archetypes and how the author fleshed them out, is that for each, I have known someone who fits their personality profile. They come across as human personality archetypes we have all known. It's obvious the author criticizes and has problems with modern organized monotheism, especially the cult of Jesus which she slams at every opportunity. The big message for religious types is that gods exist only because they are believed in.

The power of human belief gives the gods their power, both miraculous and political.


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  5. The novel suggests a way the Olympians can regain their power at the expense of monotheism and Jesus in particular. The only flaw I see if the simplicity by which the Greek gods are presented. Dionysos and his religion, e. Here he is treated simply as a drunken pervert. I'm sure the author knows he was much more complex and used this simplified Dionysos as a means for her novel.

    Or perhaps He was simple since so few of us still believe in Him and has fallen into the gutter. One final thought which illustrates the book: I should have read this edition, instead of this one the former is much more appealing, representing Apollo and Aphrodite. Apr 25, Kasia rated it really liked it. The premise of this book is wild, but to my surprise I really enjoyed it. Modern day London occupied by Greek Gods, bored by the uneventful trickling of time and their powers decaying, is place for their mischief.

    Fed up, ill-tempered, occupied with lust and wicked games on their mind they find that mortals make great toys. Whether its turning them into objects or making them fall in love or hate one another is just another game in the daily lives of Apollo, Aphrodite, Eros, Zeus, Hera and the w The premise of this book is wild, but to my surprise I really enjoyed it. Whether its turning them into objects or making them fall in love or hate one another is just another game in the daily lives of Apollo, Aphrodite, Eros, Zeus, Hera and the whole gang.

    Greek mythology comes to life, marred with many curse words that I found distasteful but it only added to their bad attitudes that were in a huge need of change. One day the game between Apollo and Aphrodite goes too far and two mortals, Alice and Nick get tangled up in their power play. Struck by a love arrow from Eros, Apollo falls madly in love with Alice and her male friends is not very happy about that.

    When powers that he has never dreamt of separate them the tale takes off and sweeps the readers of their feet. Nick must stand up to himself and to the Gods whose power is only too real. They kill without much though and love to play tricks, for him to save himself and the woman he loves he ventures out on a journey that is beyond anything his mortal life has prepared him for.

    This is a very fast read and I completed the task quite satisfied in one day, a work day never the less. The ending was fun and rewarding, I read it with a huge grin on my face and I wish the writer all the best with her career, she is on a good path. I loved the fast pace and comedic performances from the snooty Gods who got to learn a lesson or two from their own mess. Feb 16, Gina rated it liked it Shelves: Probably closer to 3. I really wish GR would get with it and let us do halves!

    This book was a recommendation on Goodreads, one of those "if you liked this book you'll also like The premise of the book was interesting-gods living in modern London in the 's, in a ranky townhouse that is pretty much falling apart. Aphrodite is running a phone sex business, Artemis is a dog walker, Eros has discovered Christianity and is Probably closer to 3. Aphrodite is running a phone sex business, Artemis is a dog walker, Eros has discovered Christianity and is volunteering with underprivileged children, and egotistical Apollo is, of course, a TV star with his own "psychic friends network.

    Fairly entertaining, some really hilarious parts, but some other very predictable ones too. I enjoyed it as an audiobook because one of my favorite narrators, Rosalyn Landor, did most of the voices. Not sure it would have been as funny without the vocals, but if you're looking for something fairly light and a little different, check this out. Jan 20, Stuart rated it really liked it. A thoroughly adorable book, particularly if you're a Greek mythology geek like I am. Reminds one of a Shakespearean comedy or a pastoral romp, but with a slacker aesthetic thrown in. The principal characters, Alice, Artemis, Apollo, Neil, Hermes, Eros, Aphrodite, are all very nicely drawn and there are some genuine moments of pathos and poignancy mixed in with a great deal of screwball comedy and some genuinely substantial literary wit.

    I would have liked more Athena, Hera and the other gods in A thoroughly adorable book, particularly if you're a Greek mythology geek like I am.