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Divine Misfortune

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  5,216 Ratings  ·  467 Reviews
DIVINE MISFORTUNE is a story of gods and mortals---in worship, in love, and at parties.

Teri and Phil had never needed their own personal god. But when Phil is passed up for a promotion - again-it's time to take matters into their own hands. And look online.

Choosing a god isn't as simple as you would think. There are too many choices; and they often have very hefty prices
Hardcover, 307 pages
Published March 26th 2010 by Orbit
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A Dirty Job by Christopher MooreGood Omens by Terry PratchettFear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. ThompsonLamb by Christopher MooreChoke by Chuck Palahniuk
Best Dark Humor
168th out of 549 books — 1,227 voters
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Sword and Laser Fantasy List
391st out of 838 books — 1,255 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Aug 27, 2015 Lyn rated it liked it
In the Avengers mansion, Thor, Iron Man, Hawkeye and Black Widow sit playing Monopoly and talking about A. Lee Martinez’ book Divine Misfortune.

Hawkeye: - and then she says, “You’re Thor? I can barely walk!”

[all laugh]

Iron Man: OK, I get $200 for passing go.

Black Widow: Like you need it.

Iron Man: Pay up. Soooo, Thor, did you like being included in Martinez’ book Divine Misfortune?

Thor: Don’t start with that again, it was artistic license, he was making a satire, a funny parody of theology.

Iron M
Jul 25, 2013 Carol. rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who almost liked John Dies at the End, people who like humorous fantasy
Divine was the perfect little quickie, a fast irreverent read at a time when I couldn't give a book quality attention. You know how it is--some books deserve contemplation (Claire DeWitt, I'm talking to you), some require intellectual engagement (China is notorious for this), some insist you immerse in their world (Sanderson, you're so demanding), some want your emotional commitment (I usually avoid the needy ones). But Divine doesn't require any more than availability.

Based in a current version
Liza Gilbert
Jul 07, 2010 Liza Gilbert rated it liked it
Shelves: adult-fiction
I've read several books by Martinez, and I've come to a personal conclusion. Reading Martinez is like getting an enormous swirl of cotton candy at the fair, and finding out that it has weird, funny, creepy, and scary carnie prizes spun within it. At first you eat and look for the surprise prizes. Some have antlers, some are princesses, and some have stamped on them "Made in Taiwan" except Taiwan is misspelled "Tiwa."

Once you get a stomachache from eating so much cotton candy and accidentally swa
May 28, 2012 Josh rated it really liked it
I'm uncomfortable giving this book a 4 star rating. This is the second Martinez book I've read, and I like his stuff. It's certainly entertaining, and he focuses on very human, moral questions in the middle of lots of absurd tentacle monster battles. But there's a certain dullness to the prose that puts me off slightly. It never quite cracks the wit as sharp as I want it to. That's not saying that I wish it was funnier. I just wish the prose had more killer instinct and harder edges. It feels fu ...more
Jun 30, 2010 Pagetranquility rated it it was amazing
Imagine a world where gods and humans directly interact. Then imagine the possibilities. Such a fun book, and a fast read--even for me who manages an average sized book every two weeks. I think everyone should sit down every now and then with just this kind of clever and lighthearted material. You have a minor but successful god of fortune, his highly likeable aimless friend Quick, aka serpent god Quetzalcoatl, a love goddess who made the grave mistake of falling in love herself turning her into ...more
David Caldwell
May 16, 2014 David Caldwell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, humorous
Everyone can use a little divine help every now and then. But as history has shown, the gods can be fickle at times. So it has all been regulated both for the worshipers and the gods. Our heroes of the story decide to give one of the divine matching services a try. They don't want a major god that will change their whole lives and demand a ton of sacrifices. What they find is Luka, a raccoon headed minor god of luck. He sounds perfect until they find out he wants to move into their house and has ...more
An entertaining book. Well-paced and funny, with an original plot idea (modern, everyday people worship ancient gods, or rather: subscribe to them, because in the end it's just a business transaction - they give small offerings in return for promotions or banal things like perfectly green and lush front lawns in the middle of a draught), nice side blows to office life and a very amusing godess-of-love turned goddess-of-tragedy. I smiled a lot when reading the book and even sometimes laughed out ...more
Apr 18, 2011 Nathan rated it liked it
This is the first book I'd read by Martinez, and I wasn't disappointed. Divine Misfortune is about a young couple and their search for a new god. The gods are everywhere, and they affect everything.

The book is cute. I think I only laughed out loud once, but I was grinning at the wit and humor the whole time. It was a fast read; I picked it up after work and had it done when I went to bed. Great if you're just looking for something to kill a few hours with.

As to the reviews that keep invoking G
Anna Brightman
Sep 23, 2016 Anna Brightman rated it really liked it
The popularity of the Percy Jackson series’ take on Greek gods spawned many fantasy books which give a modern take on gods. A. Lee Martinez probably had none of that in mind while writing Divine Misfortune. This book is like going to a theatre to watch a movie, and as the previews come on, you see the beginnings of a quirky rom-com. You think it could be a fun watch, so once it comes out you decide to see it. You make a day of it, maybe inviting a friend (who doesn’t show up) and getting popcorn ...more
Oct 12, 2015 Cassandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Teri und Phil sind auf der Suche nach einem Gott, der ihnen hilfreich zur Seite steht. Im Angebot von gibt es reichlich Götter im Angebot, von Zeus bis Kunapipi ist alles vertreten, je nach Geldbeutel und Opferbereitschaft. Ihre Wahl fällt schließlich auf Lucky, einem Gott mit Waschbärkopf, der auch gleich bei ihnen einziehen will. So hatten Teri und Phil sich das nicht vorgestellt …
Der Humor von A. Lee Martinez ist schon etwas speziell, aber nicht dumm. Die Idee sich Götter im Inte
Mar 25, 2013 Cathy rated it really liked it
I really liked this one. It just grabbed me from beginning to end, it was all smooth sailing. I've real a handful of his books lately and I liked all of them, but only a couple have been super-successful for my tastes, just getting the style and rhythm and humor all firing on all cylinders. This was my favorite so far after The Automated Detective. I knew things were going in the right direction when I picked up a few library books that I was really looking forward to and I thought that since I' ...more
Shedrick Pittman-Hassett
Jul 23, 2010 Shedrick Pittman-Hassett rated it it was amazing
From my blog: http://serialdistractions.wordpress.c...

You need a god. Or maybe a goddess. Either way, you need direct intervention in your life by a deific presence of one type or another. Your colleagues get those raises and promotions that they pray and sacrifice for while you toil away with only your own abilities and ideas to aid you. The neighbor’s yard always looks just right after the intercession of their agricultural deity. The world spins beneath you and you simply struggle to hang on
Jan 16, 2013 Melissa rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This is one of those books; I knew I was going to love. You know when you read the blurb about a book and you are like, wow that sounds interesting, and you open it to read a few pages? Ok if the dedication gets you to laugh you know the book will not disappoint. For the horde! "Divine Misfortune" takes place in an alternative world where the mythological gods exist and are still worshipped. They even have a match-up service similar to eHarmony where browsers can find a compatible god. This was ...more
Oct 24, 2012 Van rated it really liked it
Personally, I found this short little novel to be quite lovely and extremely entertaining. As a reader I consider myself to be well versed in the magnificent works of the great Terry Pratchett, as such I am confident that any fan of his books will find this one at least moderately entertaining, and well worth the time it takes to read it, which in all honesty is not that much. It has a premise which might seem a bit odd to some, but I thought it was quirky and immensely humorous. Over all the bo ...more
Deborah Daigneault
Nov 13, 2012 Deborah Daigneault rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of the works of Christopher Moore; Neil Gaiman and Simon Green
Recommended to Deborah by: Amazon
Fans of Christopher Moore and Neil Gaiman will think A Lee Martinez is a long lost sibling after reading Divine Misfortune. This tongue-in -cheek story about the danger's of selecting a "personal" Diety kept me smiling all the way through. Phil and Terri are a young married couple who are "getting by" on their own Merit, but after being passed over for promotion after promotion, Phil brings up the idea of "signing up" as a follower of a God who could make their lives just a little bit better. Af ...more
Jul 03, 2016 Maša rated it really liked it
The good: It's light, funny read about a world in which gods are more hand-on and sometimes just in the way. Perfect for summers, reading ruts, frustrating days on the job, and just plain "want to have some fun" days.
The bad: I think I'll forget most of the book within a year -just like other Martinez books I've read. No lasting ideas, words or characters here (okay, maybe the Aztec one, maybe).
The ugly: If Phil was real, I'd hate his guts.
Definitely the most intriguing of A. Lee Martinez's concepts, for me. Killer opening line, twisty meandering rubberbanding-back-to-key beginning scenes type of plot, heartbreaking moments of clarity, tear-jerking moments of laughter. Absolutely the reason why you should be reading more of A. Lee Martinez. One part Percy Jackson, one part Christopher Moore, A dollop of "if Nicholas Sparks was self-aware" and there you have it. A really wonderful relaxing and stress-relieving read of (dirty, not c ...more
Apr 30, 2010 Kevin rated it really liked it
Very cute book. Will probably lend it to others.

The story's premise is somewhat along the same lines as "American Gods", "Anansi Boys", or even the "Percy Jackson" series -- with gods and goddesses living among us, fueled by the beliefs and offerings of their followers -- but it is more light-hearted and humorous than the other books mentioned.

Even though this is clearly a work of fiction, it does seem to tackle some real issues of religion. It addressees why things aren't good all the time, why
Jul 04, 2015 Cathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: deuses, fantasia, humor
"Divine Misfortune" was my debut in the world of A. Lee Martinez. The concept is not new. Anyone who read Neil Gaiman acknowledges the underlying ideas. It is always difficult to write something that others within the genre so brilliantly achieved, but the story is very entertaining and I think it's well done. I would just appreciated it even more if the characters were less cartoony and the end was not so happy. This is the kind of book that allows doubtful concepts, dubious characters and unpr ...more
Brian Richardson
A light petit fours to cleanse the palate... The book was fun, it's basically one funny concept (gods are an integral part of people's lives and you can hook up with one via the Internet...also they like to hang out and play Pictionary). Martinez successfully carries the lighthearted humor and the conceit through the book, it's relatively short so it works. I found it a bit too "casual" in parts...people didn't always react like real people to situations, but it was a good couple hour read on a ...more
Adam Duclos
Sep 04, 2016 Adam Duclos rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Randy Dethrow
Jan 31, 2016 Randy Dethrow rated it it was amazing
Teri and Phil had never needed their own personal god. But when Phil is passed up for a promotion - again - it's time to take matters into their own hands. And look online.

Choosing a god isn't as simple as you would think. There are too many choices; and they often have very hefty prices for their eternal devotion: blood, money, sacrifices, and vows of chastity. But then they find Luka, raccoon god of prosperity. All he wants is a small cut of their good fortune.

Oh - and to crash on their couch
Jul 18, 2015 Solara300 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Teri und Phil könnten glücklicher nicht sein, sie haben ein kleines gemütliches Heim und sind glücklich verheiratet.
Das einzige das Phil stört, ist das er nicht nur bei Beförderungen einfach übergangen wird, weil er keinem Gott huldigt und ihm Opfergaben darbringt.
Das wäre ja an sich wie es wäre, aber dann muss er feststellen dass auch seine Nachbarin endlich einen grünen Rasen hat und ja fast alle bedienen sich der Hilfe eines Gottes.

Somit versucht er seiner Frau Teri einen Got
Fangs for the Fantasy
May 20, 2015 Fangs for the Fantasy rated it really liked it
Divine Misfortune is set in an alternate world where Gods make deals with humans; in exchange for tribute, Gods provide humans the benefits of their area of specialty. Phil and Terri live an average middle class existence but never really manage to move up the corporate ladder because unlike their coworkers, neither Phil or Terri have welcomed a God into their life. When Phil is passed up for promotion yet again and his neighbour's lawn suddenly becomes perfect with the help of Demeter, Phil dec ...more
Benjamin Kahn
Feb 03, 2015 Benjamin Kahn rated it really liked it
I was a little apprehensive going in that this book might be a rip-off of Marie Philips' Gods Behaving Badly. No fear of that. Besides sharing the theme of ancient gods in a modern world, the two books are nothing alike. If anything, this book reminded me of Christopher Moore's A Dirty Job, which I loved.

Divine Misfortune is a very clever book. The characters all felt real and likeable, and I was eager to see what would happen next. There are little throwaway lines that give the book that little
Marc Jentzsch
Jan 02, 2015 Marc Jentzsch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Martinez was originally an impulse buy for me. I saw the cover of Monster, read the blurb and was thinking of passing on it, but it sounded a bit silly. I could use silly so I grabbed it. I have been a Martinez fan ever since.

Divine Misfortune is another hit so far as I am concerned.

The only way I can describe Martinez is like Gaiman if he were just trying to be funny. His books move at a similar pace, are written with a similar cadence. The themes even seem to be in the same neighborhood. Other
Lydia Bradburn-Smith
There are books that I look at and think that maybe I will like them, some that definitely aren’t my kind of thing and some that I just know, without a doubt, that I will love. Divine Misfortune by A. Lee Martinez was always destined to be the latter, how could it not be with its combination of humour, godly shenanigans and a good old classic battle between good and evil? Besides if it was anything like another of my favourites, Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Philips, then I knew it was bound to m ...more
Kelly Day
Jul 04, 2013 Kelly Day rated it it was amazing
I think this is a fantastic book, the humor comes fast with an American God's style cosmology of gods in the modern day, but with a much more humorous bent. The story was engrossing as well as belly-laugh funny, the humor mixed with drama and supernatural elements immediately made me think of Christopher Moore (particularly 'A Dirty Job' and his vampire trilogy.) I'd highly recommend this as a read or listen for anyone who needs something light and fun to add a little joy to their day.
May 01, 2016 Rachel rated it it was amazing
The world has changed since ancient times, and the gods have had to change with them. It's TV, parties, and working to retain favour. For without tithes from humans, their powers weaken; some once-powerful gods now live sedentary lives because they've have lost their purpose. Divine Misfortune explores this new reality, as first-time devotees Teri and Phil "welcome" the god Luca, or Lucky as he prefers, into their home. A bevy of other gods follow, and immediately this couple finds themselves wa ...more
Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
This is probably the only book by Martinez I just could not get into or really enjoy. It just didn't grab my attention. On to the next.
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A. Lee Martinez was born in El Paso, Texas. At the age of eighteen, for no apparent reason, he started writing novels. Thirteen short years (and a little over a dozen manuscripts) later, his first novel, Gil's All Fright Diner, was published. His hobbies include juggling, games of all sorts, and astral projecting. Also, he likes to sing along with the radio when he's in the car by himself.
More about A. Lee Martinez...

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“Mortal life is too short to be worried all the time.” 7 likes
“But all memories, no matter how distant, no matter how distorted, have the shadow of truth underneath. Even the most imperfect memory is a window—” 6 likes
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