Gods Behaving Badly: A Novel

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Being a Greek god is not all it once was. Yes, the twelve gods of Olympus are alive and well in the twenty-first century, but they are crammed together in a London townhouse-and none too happy about it. And they've had to get day jobs: Artemis as a dog-walker, Apollo as a TV psychic, Aphrodite as a phone sex operator, Dionysus as a DJ.

Even more disturbingly, their powers are waning, and even turning mortals into trees-a favorite pastime of Apollo's-is sapping their vital reserves of strength.

Soon, what begins as a minor squabble between Aphrodite and Apollo escalates into an epic battle of wills. Two perplexed humans, Alice and Neil, who are caught in the crossfire, must fear not only for their own lives, but for the survival of humankind. Nothing less than a true act of heroism is needed-but can these two decidedly ordinary people replicate the feats of the mythical heroes and save the world?
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About the author

Marie Phillips was born in London in 1976. She studied anthropology at Cambridge University and worked as a researcher at the BBC. More recently she worked as an independent bookseller while writing Gods Behaving Badly.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Little, Brown
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Published on
Dec 10, 2007
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9780316024112
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Literary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Brilliant, painful, dazzling, and funny as hell, Yellow Dog is Martin Amis’ highly anticipated first novel in seven years and a stunning return to the fictional form.

When “dream husband” Xan Meo is vengefully assaulted in the garden of a London pub, he suffers head injury, and personality change. Like a spiritual convert, the familial paragon becomes an anti-husband, an anti-father. He submits to an alien moral system -- one among many to be found in these pages. We are introduced to the inverted worlds of the “yellow” journalist, Clint Smoker; the high priest of hardmen, Joseph Andrews; and the porno tycoon, Cora Susan. Meanwhile, we explore the entanglements of Henry England: his incapacitated wife, Pamela; his Chinese mistress, He Zhezun; his fifteen-year-old daughter, Victoria, the victim of a filmed “intrusion” that rivets the world -- because she is the future Queen of England, and her father, Henry IX, is its King. The connections between these characters provide the pattern and drive of Yellow Dog.

If, in the 21st century, the moral reality is changing, then the novel is changing too, whether it likes it or not. Yellow Dog is a model of how the novel, or more particularly the comic novel, can respond to this transformation.

But Martin Amis is also concerned here with what is changeless and perhaps unchangeable. Patriarchy, and the entire edifice of masculinity; the enormous category-error of violence, arising between man and man; the tortuous alliances between men and women; and the vanished dream (probably always an illusion, but now a clear delusion) that we can protect our future and our progeny.

Meo heard no footsteps; what he heard was the swish, the shingly soft-shoe of the hefted sap. Then the sharp two-finger prod on his shoulder. It wasn’t meant to happen like this. They expected him to turn and he didn’t turn -- he half-turned, then veered and ducked. So the blow intended merely to break his cheekbone or his jawbone was instead received by the cranium, that spacey bulge (in this instance still quite marriageably forested) where so many delicate and important powers are so trustingly encased.

He crashed, he crunched to his knees, in obliterating defeat. . . . -- from Yellow Dog
More than a decade ago, Michael Moorcock's extraordinary Mother London gave stunning new breath and style to contemporary literature. With Bruce Chatwin's Utz and Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses, the novel was short-listed for Britain's prestigious Whitbread Prize. Now, with scathing wit and enthralling vision, the author whom the Washington Post has praised as "one of the most exciting discoveries in the contemporary English novel [in] 40 or so years" returns to a city transformed and transforming, and in peril of its life.

These are the times and trials of Dennis Dover, former rock guitarist, photojournalist, and paparazzo. Denny inhabits a world of vibrant color, smell, and sound, where novel experience and unpredictability are anchored by steadfast tradition and history. Mother London's many vagaries give Denny Dover joy and succor, always seducing him home from the Earth's terrible places, where the face of death is as common as the blood that stains the local dirt. And London is where Rosie Beck is, when she isn't off elsewhere combating the planet's great ills.

Denny's brilliant, beautiful, socially conscious cousin has always been an indispensable part of his being -- his soul mate and his soul. Since childhood they have been inseparable, delighting in the daily discoveries of a life with no limits. But now the metropolis that nurtured them is threatened by a powerful, unstoppable force that consumes the past indiscriminately and leaves nothing of substance in its wake.

The terminator is named John Barbican Begg. A hanger-on from Denny and Rosie's youth, he has become the morally corrupt center of their London and the richest, most rapacious creature in the Western Hemisphere. Now, as their cherished landmarks tumble, conspiracy, secrets, lies, and betrayal become the centerpieces of Rosie and Dennis's days. For Barbican has but one goal: to devour the entire world. And the only choice left is to join in, drop out ... or plot to destroy.

A sprawling work of incomparable invention, King of the City is eccentric and remarkable, a unique urban love story with a pit-bull bite that confirms the unparalleled literary genius of the amazing Michael Moorcock.

From Marie Phillips, author of the #1 national and international bestseller Gods Behaving Badly, comes a charming, funny story about a down-on-his-luck knight of Camelot, his eccentric band of misfits and their madcap quest to restore order to their lives, and the realm.
          Sir Humphrey du Val has had enough. Relegated to the Table of Less Valued Knights--Camelot's least prestigious spot, boringly rectangular in shape and with one leg shorter than the other so that it has to be propped up with a folded napkin to stop it from rocking--he has been banned by King Arthur from going on quests, and hasn't left the castle in 15 years. After a chance meeting with Elaine, a young maiden in search of her kidnapped fiancé, Sir Humphrey, along with his squire Conrad (an undersized giant) and Jemima (Conrad's elephant), sets off on a journey to find the distressed damsel's betrothed, hoping to restore himself to a place of honour at the Round Table.

          Meanwhile, Martha, an errant queen on the run from her new power-hungry husband, is in disguise and on a quest of her own to find her long-lost brother, the true ruler of her realm. Martha soon runs--literally--into Humphrey's eccentric group, who take the incognito queen captive, believing her to be a boy. As they journey through countryside, castles and villages, they gather unlikely friends and enemies along the way. While each member of the party secretly harbours their own ambitions for the quest, their collective success, and the fate of the realm, rests on their grudging cooperation and unexpectedly interconnected lives.

          The Princess Bride meets Monty Python and the Holy Grail in this funny, charming, and delightful tale about lesser-known heroes in Arthurian England.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NOW A NETFLIX FILM • A remarkable tale of the island of Guernsey during the German Occupation, and of a society as extraordinary as its name.

“Treat yourself to this book, please—I can’t recommend it highly enough.”—Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love

“I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.” January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb. . . .

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.

Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.

Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.

Praise for The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society

“A jewel . . . Poignant and keenly observed, Guernsey is a small masterpiece about love, war, and the immeasurable sustenance to be found in good books and good friends.”—People

“A book-lover’s delight, an implicit and sometimes explicit paean to all things literary.”—Chicago Sun-Times

“A sparkling epistolary novel radiating wit, lightly worn erudition and written with great assurance and aplomb.”—The Sunday Times (London)

“Cooked perfectly à point: subtle and elegant in flavour, yet emotionally satisfying to the finish.”—The Times (London)
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