Date: 2017-04-16 03:14 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I don't know much about the Land of Point, but at the time I associated Xanth much more with Oz. The inherent magic, the dread Mundania around the borders, etc. Xanth:Oz::Shannara:Middle-Earth, or so it seemed to me.

"At the time:" I was 7 when this book came out, and I choose to believe that's how old I was when I read and liked it. I was definitely a big Oz reader at the time. I forget at what point in the Xanth series I started thinking, wait, whoa, no. The titles stop looking familiar around the time I was 13 (two Xanth books came out that year!). Alas, I think it had more to do with the increasingly lazy puns, plots, etc. than the sexism/age of consent issues.

Seth Ellis

Date: 2017-04-16 04:01 pm (UTC)
redheadedfemme: (Default)
From: [personal profile] redheadedfemme
Well, this sounds like a hot mess. Thanks for taking the hit.

Date: 2017-04-17 07:13 pm (UTC)
bibliofile: Eddie Izzard grinning and saying "hee" (Izzard)
From: [personal profile] bibliofile
But! Will it happen again when Peter Jackson does a couple of Xanth movies???

Date: 2017-04-18 04:32 pm (UTC)
viktor_haag: (Default)
From: [personal profile] viktor_haag

Date: 2017-04-16 04:31 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I was vaguely aware of Xanth while I was a teenager, but didn't actually read any until I grabbed "Golem in the Gears" from a B.Dalton shelf when I was about 22. I read about four more after that and then gave up. A Spell for Chameleon was actually the most interesting.

Date: 2017-04-19 12:52 am (UTC)
austin_dern: Inspired by Krazy Kat, of kourse. (Default)
From: [personal profile] austin_dern
I'd read two or three of them, when I was in my early 20s. I know A Spell For Chameleon was one of them, and the most interesting of the set. I remember one as being a fair enough travelogue interrupted by a lot of yes-we-get-it-already-move-on-please scenes and then ending with what seemed like forty pages of naming fans who'd written in.

That said I have been enjoying the modern reviewing microgenre of ``we just looked at a Piers Anthony book for the first time this century and good lord did you know what was in it?''

Date: 2017-04-16 04:54 pm (UTC)
elusis: (Default)
From: [personal profile] elusis
I enjoyed the episode of "I Don't Even Own a Television" in which they reviewed this same book a great deal. I highly recommend it (and the podcast in general.)

Date: 2017-04-16 07:09 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Yes, they did a wonderful job dissecting the multiple levels of horribleness in this book.

Date: 2017-04-17 02:15 pm (UTC)
jazzfish: "Do you know the women's movement has no sense of humor?" "No, but hum a few bars and I'll fake it!" (the radical notion that women are people)
From: [personal profile] jazzfish
Holy cow. That was impressive.

Date: 2017-04-17 04:30 pm (UTC)
nelc: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nelc
Every time I read about this book, it gets worse and worse.

Date: 2017-04-18 05:10 am (UTC)
annathepiper: (Wrath of Gaz)
From: [personal profile] annathepiper
Good lord.

I am almost as appalled by their dumbing down the complexity of the language as I am by the unremitting barrage of rapey-ness, as described in that link.

Because for fucking fuck's sake, I read Tolkien as a sixth-grader, thank you very much. I'm insulted on behalf of Teen Me of the Past that someone might have thought it was a bad idea that I might be reading above my age range. >:|

Date: 2017-04-16 05:06 pm (UTC)
julian: Picture of Julian Street. (Default)
From: [personal profile] julian
I read the 2nd of these first, because I couldn't find A Spell for Chameleon at all, and that one (The Source of Magic) was bad, but in a cheerful, enthusiastic way. I did eventually find Spell, and even at that point I could tell it was a misogynistic piece of claptrap.

...But I read up through book eight anyway. (I think I read book 9, too, because I liked Grundy, but I can't remember a thing about it.)

Anyway, most of his series are like that. Read for awhile and then abruptly stop, because suddenly, they are crap. Or suddenly, one notices the crap. The golden age of Piers Anthony, I conclude, is 14.
Edited Date: 2017-04-16 05:07 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-04-17 05:37 pm (UTC)
magedragonfire: (Default)
From: [personal profile] magedragonfire
Yeah, I'd agree with the 14 thing. I read a lot of Xanth (and other Anthony books - he was prolific in my local library) from the ages of 12 to 14.

They were fun, when all the misogynistic ick flew over my head and they just seemed to be bright and cheerful and playful. One of my friends who I'd loaned one of them to clued me in to the fact that all was not quite sunshine, though, and I gave 'em up pretty soon after.

...The puns got really wearying, after a while, too.

Date: 2017-04-16 09:35 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] oh6
I picked this out of a store shelf some time in high school, got about a dozen pages into it, and carefully put it back again. That anyone, indeed many ones, got past that to the business about Chameleon is amazing and instructive.

Date: 2017-04-16 11:12 pm (UTC)
bunsen_h: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bunsen_h
Per Amazon's description of The Parallel Edition... Simplified: "Piers Anthony’s bestselling Xanth series is one of the cornerstones of fantasy, a lively and whimsical interpretation of a genre often criticized for taking itself too seriously. Anthony’s first Xanth novel, A Spell for Chameleon, was initially edited to target a more traditional audience. Now, in an eBook exclusive, A Spell for Chameleon has been reworked line by line—its language matching the simpler, playful way with words that made Piers Anthony an enduring fan favorite."

Oh... dear.

I guess they're trying to target a more appropriate audience. By which I mean an audience that will best enjoy the book. A less critical audience.

ETA: Oooh! Xanth book #41 will be out this coming Tuesday!
Edited Date: 2017-04-16 11:19 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-04-17 08:30 pm (UTC)
julian: Picture of Julian Street. (Default)
From: [personal profile] julian
...dumbing it down. I am astonished.

Date: 2017-04-17 02:30 am (UTC)
phoenixfire12: (Reading)
From: [personal profile] phoenixfire12
I read the books when I was working at JFK international in New York back in 1983 & 1984. I remember it was a fun story that had a who lot of wonderfully awful puns. Then again, I like awful puns. The changes in Chameleon I understood right off and found them not too dissimilar to my own monthly cycle at least an an emotional scale. I also pretty much figured out Bink's talent - or non talent as it were - as soon as Humphrey did. All in all I liked the story and went on to collect the next twelve books. I believe Man from Mundania was the last one in the series I picked up. I never did get back tot he series, not for lack of interest. It was more like lack of money as I didn't have a job for a couple more years and then real life took over. I've always meant to get back to that series. I might see about digging out the books I have in storage and re-read them before picking up any more though. I know my tastes have changed a bit and there is the possibility I have outgrown the series.

Date: 2017-04-17 04:27 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Well said. I mostly enjoyed Macroscope and heartily disliked Xanth. You put it into words - John Hitchens

Date: 2017-04-17 04:54 am (UTC)
mr_cellaneous: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mr_cellaneous
I liked the "Xanth trilogy" when I was 12 and there were only three of them. I got pretty sick of 'em by the time I was 20 and there were 10... with the single exception of book three, Castle Roogna, which is a coming-of-age story based on a pretty effective metaphor: a small boy abruptly transformed into a hulking barbarian, having to learn to navigate a fucked-up sexist world. It captured the emotional experience of hitting puberty in 1979 really well, and so I have to give it some credit, though I don't think Piers Anthony is a good enough writer to have done it on purpose. It's like if a drunk guy vomited a surprisingly good painting on the floor: you sort of have to respect it as art, even if you don't like anything that went into it.

The rest of the books have no redeeming value at all. A Spell for Chameleon is the only one that's halfway readable because he was still restraining himself to one pun and one justification for rape per chapter. Really, if you haven't wasted your time on these already, don't.
Edited Date: 2017-04-17 04:55 am (UTC)

Date: 2017-04-17 08:30 pm (UTC)
julian: Picture of Julian Street. (Default)
From: [personal profile] julian
I read your metaphor aloud to my partner; she howled appreciatively.

Date: 2017-04-17 07:46 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I read the 2nd and 3rd Xanth books when I was maybe 13 or 14, then decided it wasn't worth buying more--I couldn't ever see rereading them even then. I read a stack of the later ones in college (owned by my roommate) when I was desperate for fantasy reading material of any kind. After about 4, I stopped, concluding they weren't worth reading even for free. I remember deciding that rereading old, bad comics was a better bet.


Date: 2017-04-17 07:39 pm (UTC)
chrysostom: (Default)
From: [personal profile] chrysostom
James, I assume you saw there are plans to film this?

Date: 2017-04-19 03:32 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] connactic
I will be surprised if it actually makes it into production, though.


james_davis_nicoll: (Default)

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