Many bloggers have reviewed this little piece of work, and have claimed it to be a fun, bawdy romp. I've had it on my iPod for ages, and pulled it out when bawdy was what the doctor ordered, after plagues and parentless children.
But call it a mood, call it lost humor, call it just bitchiness, but I don't think this book accomplished its goals on me. I'll get into it in a minute, but first let me try to explain what we have going on here.
Synopsis: It is modern day, and the Gods of ye olde Greece are no longer considered viable. They have lost their power and prestige, and have sunk to all-time lows. Aphrodite works as a phone sex provider, Dionysus runs a bar, Artemis lives in sweat pants and walks her dogs all day, Zeus has dementia, and Apollo is just bored and wants nookie all the time (and when he is turned down, his victims are converted into trees and such). They are self-absorbed, they fight amongst themselves, and none are very likable.
Enter Alice, a beautiful but quiet housecleaner who is hired by the Gods to clean their pigsty of a house in London. Apollo wants her, she doesn't reciprocate, and, well, it just goes south from there, literally. Alice's boyfriend and Artemis conspire to one-up Apollo's power-hungry selfish actions by taking a journey to the underworld, and also at the same time, save the world from total destruction.
And if that doesn't make much sense to you, don't worry. I don't think there is any sense to be had in there anywhere. Trust me when I say that I've boiled it down the best I can.
My thoughts: You know the games that you play where you have a group of people, and one person starts a story with a sentence or two? Then the next person adds a sentence or two, and so on? Nobody really knows where the story is going to end up, and it goes in crazy, illogical directions? That is what we have here. It really felt like the author was taking plot suggestions from a group of her tipsy, fun-loving friends at a drink fest, and throwing it all in there for good measure. I daren't even call it a plot, but the THREAD was just a nose hair away from insane.
It was certainly bawdy. Lots of sex between these Gods, lots of drinking, lots of language...hedonism at its best. I did get a few chuckles at the absurdity.
And I'm sure the ultimate intent of this book WAS absurdity. But in the state of mind I was in (not bad really, just busy), it all came across to me as ridiculous. I nearly stopped listening after a couple of discs, but persevered and had an easier time with it the last half of the book. I did appreciate a few moments of levity where we witness selfless romantic love and grief, and I did learn a few (skewed) basics about the Greek Gods.
Let's put it this way...I have the same feeling about Nacho Libre when my family decides to watch that movie. A couple glasses of wine, and I can tolerate it - I might even laugh. Stone sober, it seems like a waste of my time, and I ponder the lows at which we stoop to find entertainment. (I promise, I really do have a good sense of humor usually.)
Many have loved this book in the way that it tickled their funny bone, but I feel compelled to be honest with you. If you are in a goofy mood, go for it. If not, you might want to pass.
A word about the audio production: Our narrator for this book was Rosalyn Landor, who has a rather impressive track record for audio books. Never Let Me Go, Madame Tussaud, The Historian, as well as a whole string of Lisa Kleypas novels. Her vocalization was just fine, but it wasn't enough to make me love this story.
2 out of 5 stars