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Bring Me the Head of Prince Charming (Millennial Contest #1)

3.70  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,511 Ratings  ·  91 Reviews
A Locus #1 bestseller from Hugo Award-winner Zelazny and legendary SF humorist Robert Sheckley. The authors suggest this premise is true, only nobody notices--except the forces of good and evil who vie for control of the universe every thousand years.
Mass Market Paperback, 310 pages
Published November 1st 1992 by Bantam Spectra (first published December 1991)
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Oct 25, 2013 Evgeny rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Yes, you see it right: it is a book written by Roger Zelazny and I gave it just one star. As to the plot it was so bad I just shamelessly copied a sentence from the book blurb: "Azzy Elbub, demon, has his sights set on the Millenial Evil Deeds Award, given to the being whose acts do the most toward reshaping the world." The less is said about it the better.

Roger Zelazny is a Master of sci-fi and fantasy (with a capital M). If you have not read anything from him - run, do not walk to the nearest
Jan 05, 2015 Liz rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
This book could have been a whole lot better. Okay, so basic principle is that there's a contest once every millenium between the forces of Dark and Light. The entry that ends up influencing the world the most wins its side the right to have the more predominant charge of man. A demon, Azzie Elbub, decides to enter this contest to create a fairytale gone wrong. But bureaucracy gets in the way, time and time again...

The biggest problem here was that I couldn't work out how this one little fairyta
Catherina Zhecheva
Jun 11, 2014 Catherina Zhecheva rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
A little slow in the beginning, but once all of the characters are introduced, the fun begins. I find this trilogy original and witty, it reminds me a bit of "Good Omens" by Pratchett and Gaiman.
Still, the ending was a somewhat disappointing, as were most of the climatic moments. With all the fuzz, you would expect a more spectacular closure to the major conflicts. There were several moments in the book, where I didn't feel convinced, I know it should be funny, not authentic, but I felt like the
Jan 04, 2009 Mark rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Two authors collaborate on a bit of fluff. Both authors are fine writers so the individual sentences flow smoothly but overall the book never develops a heart. It reads like a bunch of concepts they found funny while drinking together, but after the drinking bout neither took enough ownership to create a sharp point or graceful story arc for the book.
Anushka Haakonson
Bring Me The Head of Prince Charming begins just before the start of the millenium, the first one, not the Y2K one. The powers of Darkness and Light are having their turn of the millenium contest to see who will rule the next 1000 years. The anti-hero is the demon Azzie, who stages a garbled version of the classic fairytale 'Sleeping Beauty' to prove evil's case. His only real competition is Good's entry, Gothic Cathedrals, so Azzie stands an excellent chance of winning even as he's hampered by ...more
Jul 23, 2010 Alazzar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I knew Roger Zelazny was my favorite author the moment I read the Amber series, but that was back when I didn't do a whole lot of reading, so I never really delved into his other works. I've since started checking out more of his stuff, and the title and back cover of this book were more than enough to get me sucked in.

For starters, Zelazny's voice is like no other. Even if one of his stories were dull, I'm pretty sure I would enjoy it just because of the way he writes. His characters are always
C. Hollis Crossman
One of the greatest compliments I can pay a book is that, while reading it, I laughed out loud. If that compliment is also a litmus of the book's quality, Bring Me the Head of Prince Charming is one of the best books I've ever read.

I used to like Good Omens quite a bit, until I realized it was largely a pilfering of this book by Zelazny and Sheckley, at least of its attitudes and preoccupation with the Apocalypse. Okay, Good Omens is still pretty good, but Bring Me the Head is better and funnier
Learnin Curve
Dec 01, 2014 Learnin Curve rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Oh dear god this was boring, I fought it to 20% and abandoned it. People who think this is like hitch hikers or Pratchett are sorely mistaken I'm afraid. The crux of the problem is that it's clearly not finished, perhaps there was a deadline? The basic plot is there but a lot of the language and prose feels like ideas or holding sentences written by a 15 year old who thinks they are a lot funnier than they really are.
John Barclay
This had a lot of fun ideas in it, but in the end was a bit of a let down. Nothing really wrong, but not nearly as funny or clever or sharp as I would have expected from as great a writer as Zelazny.
Alejandro Jovandro
I'm going to skip read-the-book-first-and-then-comment because I've read it 3 times already, an unbelieveably funny novel (don't read its sequels, horrible!). You can imagine my genuine happiness when I stepped in my local library, not looking for anything in particular and then finding this book. Finally in English. Plus the fact that the book has been out of print for quite some time now.

Anyway, if you by any chance happen to cross paths with this novel, be sure to give it a try.
Ivan Stoikov - Allan Bard
Great humour! Great thoughts too! A parody of most of the well-known fairy-tales, a book written with great imagination, but also a book that could make anyone think about the difference between good and evil and why good is actually better than evil...
Sam Kabo Ashwell
This reads very much like Zelazny Does Nanowrimo. Or, to put it another way, if you wanted to argue the (unfair) point that Zelazny was just an older, crappier Terry Pratchett, this would be an excellent book on which to base your argument.

There's the usual Zelazny juxtaposition of stock fantasy elements with irreverent modern style and whatever else he feels like. And again, there's the usual feeling that the plot is charging along in a series of arbitrary vignettes without very much overarchin
Sep 23, 2014 Bagtree rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
What could have been a fun romp is marred by shoddy characterization, a pointless and meandering plot, random lodes of casual racism, and an insistence on describing the breasts of every female character at least once, be she ever so incidental. It starts off promising, with a jaunty attitude and a cheerfully grisly sense of humor... but all this vanishes abruptly about a third of the way through in favor of crude innuendos and a bunch of tedious episodes that don't amount to anything.
Oct 07, 2012 Lammoth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Донесете ми главата на принца" е роман-приказка, пропит от черен хумор, черва и кръв. Демонът Аззи решава да се включи в състезанието между силите на доброто и злото, което се провежда всяко хилядолетие, и което определя съдбата на човечеството за следващите хиляда години - дали да бъде управлявано от добрите ангели или от злите демони. Аззи започва да проектира своя коварен план, а той е да пресъздаде приказката за Спящата красавица. Но няма да завърши толкова лигаво и романтично, а красавицат ...more
Oct 23, 2015 melydia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this at least twenty years ago and remember enjoying it, and it was fun to read as an adult too. Nothing to be taken too seriously - after all, it's about a demon cobbling together Prince Charming and Sleeping Beauty out of body parts in order to win the Millennial contest between Good and Evil - but still a fun bit of light fantasy. I've always been a fan of Heaven vs. Hell stories, and the sheer goofiness of this one adds a little something extra. It's a good waiting room book.
Feb 03, 2015 Chiara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book wanted badly to be funny, but it's mainly boring. The story isn't probably the problem, it could have been funny, but it's terribly told, sorry.
And, may I add: two authors, one publisher and (possibly) a copy-editor, and none of them could pick the Italian seas' names right! Rome is on the Mediterranean side, and Ravenna on the Adriatic, and not the other way round.
May 16, 2016 Monica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, english
Rather creepy in the beginning ( and up to the first half of the book ), somehow funny afterwards. To me it looked as if Zelazny started the book and Sheckley finished it. t was enjoyable but not something I will pick up again, and I might give up on Zelazny for good.
Mar 23, 2016 Angya rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Probably because my preexisting love for the Terry Pratchett comic fantasy (a category with which he didn't always like to be associated), I couldn't be anything but disappointed by this book. It lacked basic consistency to the story, the characters were all but likable and the end was expected but not enjoyable. The thing that did interest me a lot is the importance of good writing which lacked here: a good, no, a great story is not enough. Good writing is essential.
It is possible the problem i
Jan 31, 2014 Andre rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While I've loved the other Zelazny novels I've read, I found this one uninteresting. The idea is interesting but the characters and the setting were not that funny. I've seen demons and humour done way better elsewhere and dropped it after 100 pages as I have better things to read with my time.
May 01, 2009 Jen3n rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, humor
The very silly and subtly wry version of preeeety much every fairy tale stereotype ever told written through the lens of Roger Zelazny, one of the best fantasy authors of the 20th century.

The plot centers on a minor devil who enters the once-every-thousand-year contest between good and evil for control over people. His almost slapstick plot of love, betrayal, and murder seems set to fail spectacularly, but then it starts to work and everything sort of falls apart.

This is a fun book. Full of wor
Well, once again I tried reading Bring Me the Head of Prince Charming(Millennial Contest, #1)by Roger Zelazny & Robert Sheckley. No go. I like both authors separately & might like them together, but the book is supposed to be humorous & I just don't find it funny. I managed maybe 100 pages & just put it down from sheer lack of will to pick it back up.
Sep 05, 2014 Đenis rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-shelf
Viac menej dobrák démon Azzie dostal nápad, že sa zúčastní súťaže o určovanie osudu ľudstva v ďalšom miléniu ako šampión zla. A ako to už v rozprávkach býva, dobro predsa vždy vyhráva. Tak čo tu?
Námet na príbeh by ešte ako tak ušiel, ale nejako som sa nevedel baviť. Koniec knižky pre mňa zase nezaujímavý.
Ryan Mishap
Comedic fantasy whereina red-headed lower devil decides to enter the annual contest between good and evil with an elaborate love betrayal. He must set up a princess in distress and build an oafish prince to rescue her--then she'll kill him and he'll win the trophy for evil.
yes, it sounds dumb, but it isn't that dumb and it is pretty funny in parts. It's just, well, mostly it is a "huh, that was pretty good." Maybe a chuckle or a loving groan over a bad pun or joke. It was okay, if you know wha
Sep 24, 2015 Gracy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As promised, this was a fine romp of Sci-Fi Fantasy. I'm not sure I'd go so far as to call it parody or satire of the genre, just playful. Very enjoyable to read, with characters not particularly deep or dynamic but all the same suitable for the brevity of the story. Zelanzy's tone carries through as ever, and the humor is prevalent throughout. Enjoyable premise with delightful side quest inserts. Would absolutely recommend to any Sci Fi fan with a sense of humor.
Sep 14, 2014 dVicko rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fun, witty and unexpected novel with crazy characters. If you like Hitchhiker's Guide type of humor, you will love this. ;)
Martin Willoughby
Oct 07, 2014 Martin Willoughby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A thoroughly good romp through time and fantasy, with more than afew comic asides along the way.
Michinio Camorelli
Roger and Robert can do better, but this sis still amazing!
Jun 12, 2016 Lola added it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
Not the amusing kind of silly.
Alexey Shpakov
Aug 23, 2013 Alexey Shpakov rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure
The book is written in a witty language and is pretty interesting to follow as the plot unfolds.
However, it lacks integrity: being set in middle ages, it involves items from the modern world, which feel a little bit out of place. It's also full of lucky coincidences. Once you feel like the main character is trapped and there is no possible way out, in a blink there'll follow a lucky event to help him. On one hand this helps the author to move on with the plot, but on the other hand you feel dece
Nov 30, 2012 DavidO rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
This book is a situation comedy about a demon who's doing something to win some crazy millenium context, a contest between good and evil. It's problem, like many sit-coms cancelled after only a few episodes, is that it isn't actually funny. I neither laughed while I was reading or came close to laughing, nor did I find anything particularly clever.

To add insult to injury the demon on the cover looks like Wolverine with wings. The book is recent enough that I'm 90% certain the artist had seen pi
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Roger Zelazny made his name with a group of novellas which demonstrated just how intense an emotional charge could be generated by the stock imagery of sf; the most famous of these is A Rose for Ecclesiastes in which a poet struggles to convince dying and sterile Martians that life is worth continuing. Zelazny continued to write excellent short stories throughout his career. Most of his novels dea ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Millennial Contest (3 books)
  • If at Faust You Don't Succeed (Millennial Contest, #2)
  • A Farce to Be Reckoned With (Millennial Contest, #3)

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