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A Malady Of Magicks (The Ebenezum Trilogy #1)

3.59  ·  Rating Details ·  2,152 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
A wizard and his hapless apprentice search for a cure to the wizard's allergy to magic-while avoiding such perils as tap-dancing dragons, enchanted chickens, and sinister shrubbery...

"A lot of fun." (Christopher Stasheff)
Published (first published 1978)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Arwen
May 11, 2011 Arwen rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I regularly refer to this series as "the American Discworld". Written around the same time as Pratchett's early novels, it too is a fun parody of the Swords and Sorcery genre. However, like humour differs across either side of the pond, so too does the humour between the two series.

Here you can expect less social commentary and more demons, maidens and tap-dancing dragons!

Easy to read, it makes a great story when you just want something different.

"'A wizard is only as good as his spells,' peopl
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Doc Opp
Jul 27, 2007 Doc Opp rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, humor
This series is hilarious. The humor is different from that of Pratchett, but the net result is the same - side splitting laughter in a fantasy genre. Good luck getting a copy though - its been out of print for ages, and no, you can't have mine...
Tria
Picked this up off a book swap shelf at a railway station, and now I understand why it was left there. Complete rubbish.

The blurbs on the back cover claim readers will "laugh down the walls" and that "the field needs more humorists of this calibre". No, it really doesn't. The attempted humour in this book is clumsy, absurd and over-egged, and I say attempted because I never even smiled while reading it; the most I got out of it was an occasional eye-roll at Guxx's terrible rhyming.

There's barel
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Yesenia Pumarada Cruz
i wish i could give this book 3.5 stars, 'cause i liked it more than 3, but it wasn't so fantastic as to deserve a 4. it is definitely a fun read--and sometimes it's surprising and intelligent, too.

so if you are looking for fun, light entertainment that comes packed with wizards, magic, giants, demons, and rains of dead haddock, this is definitely worth your time.

i highly recommend it!
Bookhuw
Aug 22, 2011 Bookhuw rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011, rereads
My return to the world of Ebenezum revealed this little book to not quite be laced with the wit and invention that I had remembered encoutering when I was thirteen. From an adult's perspective, the pace is a bit breakneck, and there isn't quite the depth I would ideally look for. One firmly for the kids I think, who I'm sure will love it, especially those looking to give fantasy books a go for the first time without overloading on something too earnest.
Benny Wilkinson
Maybe it's unfair to compare this to Discworld, as despite both being humorous stories in fantasy settings there's a very different tone here. Despite the occasional dip into parody Gardner mostly seems content with absurdity and wacky events, happy to undermine the drama by being silly and making a joke. Absurd humour just for the sake of being absurd doesn't really appeal to me.

In general there's not much accomplished in the story either. The plot is set up by having the great wizard Ebenezum
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John
Dec 29, 2014 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got this free for the Kindle. Granted, I have the first three books in one hardback edition so this isn't the first time I've read this.

In the spirit of Myth Adventures, this book is a bunch of little adventures along the way in a larger adventure. Silly little accidents start or end each one with the bumbling apprentice and his incapacitated wizard tutor.

This is a fun, light hearted read but you can't help but compare it to the myth series. It isn't quite that good. The quotes at the beginnin
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Jennifer
This book was very light-hearted, and had a lot of funny lines. But it feels like all the funny lines are slung together, without a lot of description or context.

So, there is ridiculous and silly things constantly happening, but I felt like there needed to be a little substance inbetween. And sometimes the ridiculous things get a little too elaborately ridiculous.

A few serious lines would make the funny parts funnier, if you have punchline after punchline, then there ceases to be a punchline.

I
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P. Aaron Potter
Before Terry Pratchett took the reins of humorous fantasy, There were two go-to sources for that genre crossover: Alan Dean Foster, whose Spellsinger series cemented him in my mind as one of the great fantasy innovators of the 80s, and Craig Shaw Gardner.

In this, the first of a trilogy, Gardner is in typical form. His gags are often dependent on a vaudevillian over-the-top send-up of fantasy tropes, but he avoids the cheap puns of Piers Anthony's work in the field. Instead, he relies on anachron
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Geoffrey
A classic of comic fantasy

A wizard cursed with an affliction causing him to be allergic to all magic, his pimply faced farmboy apprentice who has learned to call down rains of haddock, and a warrior with an enchanted club which steals people's memories discover a plot hatched by the demons of the Netherhells to take over the world above. Gardner deftly weaves the comic tale of their misadventures as they try to make their way to Vushta, the city of a thousand forbidden delights, to warn the wiza
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Michael
In the same tradition as Piers Anthony's Xanth novels, this is a comedic fiction that is fun to read, but ultimately relatively mindless.

Interestingly enough, this series was pieced together from short stories the author wrote to help launch his career. I found the forward for the book as interesting as the writing itself as I have a bit of a fascination with a certain generation of fantasy and sci-fi authors. Surprise surprise, I find myself reading this at the same time that I have a Mercedes
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Stuart Macmartin
Um... The plot, such as it is, isn't finished in this book, not that it matters. Most of the humour fell completely flat for me. The running jokes weren't funny the first time, and there is a difference between madcap and random confusion. Characters converse for paragraphs before the oh by the way we picked up some travelling companions. There were other awkward moments in the writing. The main character doesn't really rescue much. The two stars come from this book being as light as promised, a ...more
Kayleigh
I FOUND IT! I have been trying to remember the name of this book for ages and I finally found it! I read this SO many times as a kid and I no longer have a copy of it. I am rating 5 stars for the nostalgia of it and I really, really want to find another copy of this to re-read.
From what I remember this book is about a wizard's apprentice who accidentally curses his master making the wizard allergic to magic. The hapless apprentice then has to go find the cure before a wizard eating demon kills t
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Andrew
Jul 27, 2014 Andrew rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Meh. I can't believe this was ever a contender in the raging junior high debates about which fantasy series was the funniest. Asprin's ANOTHER FINE MYTH for one leaves this one in the dust.

[Of course, nowadays Pratchett's Discworld book would render this debate utterly moot, but at the time I think only THE COLOUR OF MAGIC had been published in the US,]

Still, I'm quite happy to have finally read it.
Martin
Jun 19, 2013 Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Po dlouhé době jsem se k této fantasy frašce vrátil a opět nezklamalo :-)
Spíše než o klasickou knihu jde o soubor povídek, které volně navazují. Takže se dá číst kdykoliv a kdekoliv. A ty Ebenezumovo rady na začátku každé kapitoly! To nemá chybu. Zkrátka odpočinková záležitost, ke které se jeden rád vrací - i díky skvělému překladu.
(tohle platí i pro další dva díly, takže u nich se rozepisovat nebudu)
Glenn Thomas
Jul 31, 2012 Glenn Thomas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I discovered this series of books because the cover artist was the same as Robert Aspirin's Myth Adventures. So far every book I've found with a Velez cover has been great. Odd but true.
Gardner is absolutely fantastic at keeping a large group of characters going and sometimes talking all at the same time. Always entertaining with some of the funniest plot twists I've read.
I can't recommend his books more.
Bee
May 13, 2012 Bee rated it it was amazing
Wuntvor and his adventures really grabbed my attention as a kid and made me a big fan of Craig Shaw Gardner and Josh Kirby (the cover artist for the edition I read). A Malady of Magicks was a fun trip into a parody fantasy land with the wizard Ebenezum and his apprentice Wuntvor (who comes into his own as the Eternal Champion Apprentice).
Fun fantasy for those who don't need the complexities of Middleearth...
Troix Nayhelm
Sep 13, 2015 Troix Nayhelm rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
this has been on my bookshelf for a while, and I could not remember anything that happens in it. I just reread it, and... I'm already starting to forget. the book is set up in a series of mostly-unrelated vignettes as the main characters undertake a journey, so there's no real chance to grow to like any characters besides the main two. who I didn't, because they're sort of bland and the apprentice's annoying habit of falling in love with every girl in the book is not at all charming.
Vitta
Dec 27, 2013 Vitta rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, fantasy, dragons
Идея явно взята у Р.Асприна, т.к. насколько я помню "Еще один великолепный миф" был написан раньше. Волшебник, потерявший возможность колдовать, ученик волшебника, которого волшебству не обучали, их путешествие. Только в данном случае претензия на юмор себя не оправдала, приключения скорее сами наталкиваются на героев, чем логически вытекают из сюжета, их поступков и принятых решений.
JoJoTheModern
Mar 04, 2014 JoJoTheModern rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Quick reads can't get much more harmless than this.

A Malady of Magicks is the peppermint you enjoy after a heavy dinner- by which I mean the fun little book I breezed through after digging into the 509 philosophical pages of Cloud Atlas. If you're in the mood for a clean-humor story with no mature themes, no deep thoughts, and plenty of good intentions, I heartily recommend this one.
Anna
Dec 21, 2011 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i read this when i was a kid and it was the funniest most enjoyable series ive ever found. id like to read it again so i can see if its still as good, im sure it is, but unfortuantely i sold all my books when i was 18 so i could afford to move out. if i can find any of these books again ill never let them go.
Jonathan Sample
Another in a long line of comedic fantasy novels, but one which lacked the whit and developed setting of a novel written by Terry Pratchett, whose brand of intelligent comedic fantasy I prefer. There were times when I couldn't help but chuckle, but overall I found the attempts at forced humor, especially through the employment of modern allusions, to be tiring.
Octochan
The first book is amusing enough, but the rest of the series suffers from a serious case of diminishing returns. Each sequel seems to add at least one more, increasingly flat and obnoxious secondary character to the cast. By the third or fourth book, there are too many characters jostling for screen time.
Kay Iscah
Entertaining little book. I docked it one star for lack of coherent plot and another for one-dimensional presentation of women. But overall, it was a purely fun read. Less disturbing and more coherent than Monte Python, but if you like a little irreverent humor and don't mind some pure silliness, I'd recommend it.
Lou Morris
Jun 11, 2011 Lou Morris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this series when I first read it as a kid and I pick it up every once in a while to reread when I need a chuckle. Light, humorous and not at all serious, it's the perfect popcorn book. A must read for any kid/adult with a sense of humor.
Alexander
Apr 29, 2014 Alexander rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Silly and juvenile in the extreme, this is one of the few books to make me laugh out loud. The helpful wizarding tips at the beginning of each chapter seem more practical than any fantasy book that takes itself seriously and I laughed even more for the second trilogy than the first.
Linda
Jun 16, 2010 Linda rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, fantasy, humor
I enjoy fantasy and I enjoy parody. At moments this reminded me of discworld but only as a pale reflection. It had it's moments but overall wasn't quite there.
Cynthiaj
Mar 11, 2011 Cynthiaj rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
A cute and quirky read. I think I like Skeeve more than Wunt, but few are Robert Aspirin so maybe I ask too much. It did remind me of the Myth series a bit.
Brenda
Jul 17, 2014 Brenda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Seemed silly and contrite, but I think that was the aim of the book, it's just not the type of book I want to spend my time reading.
David Cozens
Sorcerer's apprentice and a sneezing wizard.
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I Am Wuntvor... 1 4 May 07, 2014 12:57PM  
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Craig Shaw Gardner was born in Rochester, New York and lived there until 1967, when he moved to Boston, MA to attend Boston University. He graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Broadcasting and Film. He has continued to reside in Boston since that time.

He published his first story in 1977 while he held a number of jobs: shipper/receiver for a men's suit manufactu
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More about Craig Shaw Gardner...

Other Books in the Series

The Ebenezum Trilogy (3 books)
  • A Multitude Of Monsters (The Ebenezum Trilogy, #2)
  • A Night in the Netherhells

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“Żeby nie wiem jak idealnie przebiegała impreza, zawsze coś lub ktoś wywinie taki numer, że całą radość i przyjemną atmosferę licho weźmie.” 1 likes
“My world fell away from me. Agony stabbed my chest.” 0 likes
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