I am looking for a fantasy novel about the Greek-Roman gods in the modern day. They go about their lives, which are diminished, due to failing worship. The Greek-Roman gods have become one and go by double names (Jupiter-Zeus, for example). Due to their diminished status they squabble amongst themselves. This is becoming worse and worse and the end might be near for them, which most are oblivious to. Only one of the gods (Amor-Eros? a boy-god) is aware that something is wrong. He tries to rally the rest, but has limited success.

I read this book in 1999, from a British library, so I suspect it was published sometime in the '90's. I also suspect a British writer, probably male.

I really hope you can help, not knowing is a terrible itch in my brain.

  • 1
    I was going to suggest Gods Behaving Badly (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gods_Behaving_Badly), but that was published in 2007, so it doesn't seem to qualify.
    – Pixel
    May 26, 2013 at 22:54
  • It sounds like the Sandman series, which pre-dated American Gods. I read the Sandman graphic novels in the late 1990's. But you didn't say it was a graphic novel. Was it prose only? May 27, 2013 at 5:50
  • Sounds a little like Ye Gods! by Tom Holt, 1993 publication date and his first book at some ridiculously young age. Might be the one? May 27, 2013 at 14:24

3 Answers 3


This sounds like Laptop of the Gods by Peter Chippindale, published in 1998.

One other plot detail that I remember:

  • The protagonist Cupid/Eros accidentally alters history and creates Bill Gates while illegally accessing Mercury/Hermes' account on the mainframe of the gods.

Some of your provided information is reminiscent of American Gods (2001) by Neil Gaiman:

Titans clash, but with more fuss than fury in this fantasy demi-epic from the author of Neverwhere. The intriguing premise of Gaiman's tale is that the gods of European yore, who came to North America with their immigrant believers, are squaring off for a rumble with new indigenous deities: "gods of credit card and freeway, of Internet and telephone, of radio and hospital and television, gods of plastic and of beeper and of neon." They all walk around in mufti, disguised as ordinary people, which causes no end of trouble for 32-year-old protagonist Shadow Moon, who can't turn around without bumping into a minor divinity. Released from prison the day after his beloved wife dies in a car accident, Shadow takes a job as emissary for Mr. Wednesday, avatar of the Norse god Grimnir, unaware that his boss's recruiting trip across the American heartland will subject him to repeat visits from the reanimated corpse of his dead wife and brutal roughing up by the goons of Wednesday's adversary, Mr. World. At last Shadow must reevaluate his own deeply held beliefs in order to determine his crucial role in the final showdown. Gaiman tries to keep the magical and the mundane evenly balanced, but he is clearly more interested in the activities of his human protagonists: Shadow's poignant personal moments and the tale's affectionate slices of smalltown life are much better developed than the aimless plot, which bounces Shadow from one episodic encounter to another in a design only the gods seem to know. Mere mortal readers will enjoy the tale's wit, but puzzle over its strained mythopoeia. (One-day laydown, June 19)Forecast: Even when he isn't in top form, Gaiman, creator of the acclaimed Sandman comics series, trumps many storytellers. Momentously titled, and allotted a dramatic one-day laydown with a 12-city author tour, his latest will appeal to fans and attract mainstream review coverage for better or for worse because of the rich possibilities of its premise.

Summary/review taken from the book's Amazon page.

American Gods is a fantasy novel set in modern America which deals with Norse, Greek, Roman and other gods whose powers have waned. Many are near "death" as newer modern gods are ready to take over.

Gaiman is British and male.

  • 10
    The details don't match up at all. Also, the publication date is not early enough. May 26, 2013 at 20:12
  • @AdeleC ... which is why I've noted that only some of the details are reminiscent of American Gods. The publication date is only two years off ... May 27, 2013 at 7:25
  • 2
    I own American Gods and no its not it. I am pretty certain about the date, because I lived in the UK in that time and only that time.
    – Jennifer
    Jun 8, 2013 at 4:45
  • 1
    not sure why this answer would be downvoted. If the OP does not know exact details he may not know exact publication date of book. the basic plot of American Gods is similar to what OP has asked for.
    – tyson
    May 24, 2014 at 20:14
  • Other than having gods in it, it doesn't match at all.
    – Alex M
    Apr 12, 2019 at 19:17

The idea of the twilight of the diminished ancient gods is a main theme in male British author Douglas Adams' 1988 novel "The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul," the second (and in my opinion better) book in his series "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency."

However the gods in his book are Norse, not Greco-Roman and Eros is not a main character, so this is likely not it unless some of the details got confused.

  • 1
    Aside from having gods in it, it's pretty much not a match.
    – Valorum
    May 24, 2014 at 21:18

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