I remember reading this when I was about 13 or 14 and really enjoying it. Picking it up again, I obviously didn't understand even half of what I readI remember reading this when I was about 13 or 14 and really enjoying it. Picking it up again, I obviously didn't understand even half of what I read back then, because holy cow, this is possibly one of the most misogynistic books I've ever read.
First, let's talk about the puns, because that's what I remembered most from when I was younger. It turns out, they weren't actually that funny or witty. They were like "fireflies literally set things on fire". I assume I enjoyed them when I was in middle school because they were easy to understand. Now? They're just stupid because they're so obvious.
And ugh, the main character! Today's equivalent of Bink is your average fedora-wearing, Reddit-trolling MRA activist. Every time he meets a female, he judges her looks and decides whether he'd do her or not. Bink's admirable qualities are that he takes pride in Xanth and his family history.
Then there's this gem of a quote: "How could she avoid being seductive? She was a creature constructed for now other visible purpose than ra- than love."
I actually didn't make it in my rereading much past that. It was pretty clear that the "ra-" was mean to be the word "rape". So basically, this character, and by proxy Piers Anthony, think that it's ok to rape women, especially when they're beautiful.
WHY are the Xanth books popular? I take that back - I understand they became popular because they were reactionary to the Women's Lib movement. That still doesn't mean they deserve to be. Anyway, I need to go take a shower to wash off some of the awfulness this book left on me....more
I actually feel kind of bad for rating this, since Jim Theis was 16 when he wrote it, and yet...WTF did I just read?
Anyway, now that I've had a day toI actually feel kind of bad for rating this, since Jim Theis was 16 when he wrote it, and yet...WTF did I just read?
Anyway, now that I've had a day to digest this...whatever...let me give you a better review.
I really didn't care for it for three reasons:
1.) I heard it was really funny, and truthfully, I didn't find it that humorous. It was interesting in that fan fiction hasn't significantly changed at all since 1970, but funny? No.
2.) Fanfic has never particularly interested me. The stuff I've read always seems off the mark because fans don't know the characters nearly as well as the original authors (heck, sometimes the authors don't know their own characters that well).
I will give Jim Theis credit for coming up with his own characters and not completely ripping off Conan the Barbarian, like so many other fanfic writers do, especially at the age of 16. That's why it got 2 stars instead of 1.
3.) Teenagers annoy me. I really could have done without this obvious look into a teenage boy's mind. If fan fiction has barely changed in 45 years, the way teens think has changed even less. (Shudder.)
As a reading companion to TEoA, I highly recommend this podcast:
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