Gods Make Me Crazy

I got into mythology at a young age, and I’m into it now more than ever. This past weekend we devoted many hours to a five-team game of Risk: Godstorm in which I subdued my opponents with an endless litany about the gods they had in play. I also enjoyed reading Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips. This is a bawdy book that delivers on its title, but it could also have been called “Mortals Behaving Boldly,” as two run-of-the-mill mortals accomplish a Herculean task that not even the gods could pull off: restoring belief. Phillips relocates the pantheon of Greek Gods to modern day London, where they share a decaying house and live indefinitely in degradation. Not even illicit encounters between the most physically attractive gods, Apollo and Aphrodite, can add any excitement to their tedious passing of endless days. Only when they encounter a cleaning woman named Alice and her mousy friend Neil are they able to regain their former glorified status. Phillips is bold in her writing as well, dedicating this wickedly amusing book to her parents!

One of my thoughtful sales reps provided me with a review copy of Z is for Zeus: a Greek Mythology Alphabet, a fairly safe investment considering my interest in the subject and my moonlighting as a father of three kids. I was prepared to jump on board with this book until I came across a factual error (the form of a harpy was attributed to a siren). Instantly the enchantment was broken and I was right back in my eighth grade English class, correcting my teacher’s mistakes. It’s a shame that a simple missed fact check can lay low all the might of Olympus, but I could not bring myself to order any copies (I did order A is for Arches from the same product line, however).

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