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Board Stiff

(Xanth #38)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  687 ratings  ·  79 reviews
Be careful what you wish for...

"I'm actually a smart girl who would make any man an excellent wife. But no man sees that. No man is interested in my mind or personality, just my whatevers. So here is my wish: I'm board stiff. I want Adventure, Excitement, and Romance.”

So begins Piers Anthony's 38th Xanth novel, in which Irrelevant Candy, looks at her reflection in the wate
Paperback, 250 pages
Published January 6th 2014 by Premier Publishing (first published September 26th 2013)
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Average rating 3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  687 ratings  ·  79 reviews

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Angela Oliver
Dec 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
Piers Anthony's books have been getting steadily more and more painful ever since the unfortunately titled "The Color of her Panties" (it was plaid, by the way). Now they seem to have devolved into an old man's sexual fantasy and are rife with sexism and tedious, drawn out and erratic plots that do not flow and where everything works out awfully convenient for the characters.

Firstly, I wish to discuss the sexism. From this book, I get the opinion that Piers Anthony believes: a, men are only inte
Sep 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I gave this book five stars, but would have given it more if the powers that be on the certain sites and Goodreads would have let me. Wait...I make the rules on this blog. I gave this book ten stars because I said so. (I apologise for when this review gets copied to those above mentioned sites.)

It has been far too long since I was able to revel in the world of Xanth. With the hilarious characters, riddles (love them) and the overall strangeness that is Piers Anthony, it is hard to go wrong. This
May 25, 2013 rated it liked it
I'm not sure exactly how to review this book, except to spell out the good and the bad like I usually do.

I want to say I'm biased; I love Piers Anthony & I love the Xanth books, but unfortunately, that's not really true, either. I USED to love Anthony & I LOVED the books as a kid; still love the earlier ones - I even reread them ever so often.

But seriously - Anthony's a dirty old man - 78.

In one way, the books are clean, though they aren't as clean as his earlier books. He doesn't spell
Nov 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: for-review, e-book
This review originally appeared on my blog,


BOARD STIFF is the 38th entry in the Xanth series. If you’re new to the world of Xanth, don’t worry -- this isn’t a series you have to read in order. You could pick up this book as your entry to the series and not be lost at all. The books in the series are mostly stand-alone adventures, and if you need to know something from a previous book, you get filled in quickly.

The plot revolves around a Quest to save Xanth’s puns from a pun-destro
Jul 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
The most recent Xanth book is one of the more disappointing. The series has long since fallen into familiar patterns, but this one just ends up being formulaic. There's the required elements - the visit to Humfrey and the presence of puns - but the number of required elements seem to have gone up. Now, each books also seems to have an obligation to include Demon involvement, the pun-clearing squad, and other things that never fail to show up. Even a lot of the jokes wind up being recycled, like ...more
Aug 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
I started reading the Xanth books literally decades ago. Most of my friends did, too. When I saw a new one out, I thought, "Why not? Might be a nice bit of nostalgia."

How, how had I forgotten how much of his writing was based on puns? So many, many, many puns.

Ironically, the storyline is about a group on a Quest to save Xanth from a pun destroying virus. I wanted them to fail. Anthony even mentioned in the post-book note that a lot of people are done with the puns. Count me in that group.

Shanna Hurd
May 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Not the most active of heroines...

I. Kandy makes an unfortunate wish at a wishing well and is turned into a board. She ends up being wielded as a tool/weapon by the hero, and can only become a ghost-like human when he is asleep. She does have some ability to communicate to others using her thoughts, but is mostly just a board.

There is still adventure, romance, and of course, puns, but all in all not as exciting as some of the books. The ending was just a too easy for my tastes.
Marion Buehring
Jan 16, 2017 rated it liked it
I really wanted to like this book.

Although it took me almost 3 months, I did finish reading this book. I just had a really hard time accepting the 14th century view of women. It's decent for a fantasy and the world building is good but not great. Other than that, disappointing.
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 Stars

Board Stiff is the thirty-eighth book in the Xanth series by Piers Anthony. Candy is a beautiful woman who is so bored with the direction her life has taken. She seeks adventure, excitement, and romance. When she makes a wish at a wishing well, she gets far more than she every imagined. So, be careful for what you wish for- because it may come true.

The Xanthe Series is quite a really long series that has spanned many decades. I remember reading the first few books back in the very early 1
David Caldwell
Sep 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: humorous, series, fantasy
I am a long time fan of the Xanth series. I remember buying the original trilogy back in the early eighties. I have stuck with the series in all of its ups and downs. I plan on sticking with the series as long as they are being put out by Piers Anthony. Unfortunately, The series is hitting a low point. In fact, it is probably the lowest point of the series.

The synopsis will sound familair. A young woman goes to a wishing well to make a wish for adventure and romance. She is turned into a board.
Ashley Ferguson
This review and more can be found at The A P Book Club!

*I received an ecopy from Premier Digital Publishing in exchange for an honest review*

It's been a really long time since I've read a Xanth book. Like, several years. And I'm pretty sure the last one I read I was a re-read of A Spell For Chameleon. But the thing I love about these books is that I don't have to remember much to become fully immersed again in this magical, puntastic world!

I really liked Kandy in this book. It was fun to see th
Dec 11, 2013 rated it did not like it

Publisher: Premier
Publishing Date: December 2013
ISBN: 9781624670855
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 1.5/5.0

Publisher Description: Welcome to the 38th story in the land of Xanth, where one learns to be careful what they wish for…
Irrelevant Kandy is beautiful, charming and every man’s desire—that’s the problem. Kandy finds a pond and upon studying her awe inspiring reflection: lustrous midnight hair, slim and supple waist and large dark eyes set in a classically pe
Dani Shuping
Dec 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: not-amazon
ARC provided by NetGalley

Once upon a time there was a man who lived in the mundane world, a world lacking magic and heroes and magicians and talking lakes, that began writing stories to introduce young readers to these things. And brought magic into the world of many a reader…including myself. Piers Anthony was the writer who introduced me to the SciFi/Fantasy world. The Incarnations of Immortality, the Adept Series, the early Xanth series…they gave me something to latch onto and look forward to
Jan 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
I received this egalley from netgalley. I also saved this as a reward for successfully moving for a new job. it's been tormenting me for weeks.

I love piers anthony. I love the puns, I love the eye rolling, I love the goofy. I love how the xanth books follow a "formula" of a quest with a hero/heroine and all kinds of shenanigans. I love how ivy is still king too. (it's interesting how people constantly harp on anthony for the panties and men being frozen by breasts, but ignore the whole female ki
Aug 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: z2014-read
Well, what to say about this book? Number 38 in the Xanth series-I've been reading these since forever ago, started in paperback and now ebooks. This is one of my favorite series and I buy & read every one of them. Always hoping for that elusive WOW like in the first 10 of the series but only sporadically in the last 28. Perhaps I'm just too old for these books? The puns are terrible and the storylines just meander all over the place.

This book starts out with a great premise-beautiful girl
Nov 26, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed the setup for this book. Two people make somewhat complicated wishes at a wishing well and adventure ensues to grant those wishes. Part of what I love about Piers Anthony's books is his ability to knit things together to solve problems. Like the other Xanth books, this one is light-hearted and funny throughout. This one might be my second favorite behind Dragon on a Pedestal. You can read it out of order, although you will probably feel like you are missing some background in the last ...more
Ryk Stanton
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
I am kind of embarrassed I ever read this series and loved it as much as I did. Of course, that was way back in the beginning. The first three or four books were captivating to my then-adolescent mind - funny, exciting, surprising. But this book? I'm glad I read it for free from the library's Hoopla app. Actually, I said "read," but i should say "read and abandoned." I went into this knowing the weakness of the Xanth blueprint, and I sincerely wanted to enjoy some light, pun-filled reading. But ...more
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another rollicking adventure in the land of Puns, Xanth. This time around kandy has been turned into a board by a wishing well and is now accompanying Ease on his quest to find the antidote for the pun virus which is threatening to destroy all puns in Xanth, leaving Xanth as dreary as Mundania. Ease and Kandy are joined by Mitch, who passes on ideas, and Tiara who has crazy hair, as well as Astrid Basilisk, in the form of a girl and Com Pewter. The only clue they have is "merge the hair". Can th ...more
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was funny and entertaining, but I was quite often perturbed at the idea that men are just stupid oafs who want to see women naked. It gets quite ridiculous not far in, and piles it on. Admittedly, the plot was so engaging and the writing style so fun that I couldn't help but finish it anyway.
Feb 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
After 38 books, the punnish humor is starting to wear a bit thin (although Sequins of Events was a cute bit of business). However, I have been hooked on tbis series since A Spell for Chameleon all those years ago, and I won't give up on it now.
Oct 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
It doesn't matter how many Xanth novels I read, I still love them, and I still love all the puns!
Nancy McPherson
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another punny trip to the magical land of Xanth.
Casey Wheeler
Another well done punny book in the series.
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
What can I say, I've been reading the Xanth series since forever so I'm unlikely to stop now. Piers Anthony is a terrifically competent author who has a very specific voice for the Xanth novels (different to his other work) that works pefectly in his pun-ridden fantasy world/ He also seems to have got over his slightly worryingly paedophiliaphase in Xanth (not that it ever was really that, but some of the plots could be read that way if you want to criticise).
This is a clever entry into the cano
Dhivya Balaji
Feb 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
For full review, see

A very good opening to the story had me engrossed in this long before I read any summary. Irrelevant Kandy, a beautiful woman, is ignored by everyone because of her name. Then she shortens her name to I Kandy and so becomes the cynosure of all eyes. Got it? She is now I Kandy (eye candy). Our lead Kandy hates all attention and is bored stiff (Yeah, yeah!). So she goes to a wishing well and wishes thus, “I am board stiff. I want adventu
Conan Tigard
Nov 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Board Stiff is another pun-filled adventure through the land of Xanth, a world I am vastly familiar with. I'm not sure when I started reading Xanth books, but I know I reread them again starting in 1989 and read the first nineteen books in this series as the years passed. The early books started out with a few puns and then because quite swamped with them by the time I stopped reading this series. I really enjoyed the first thirteen books in The Magic of Xanth series, but then found the ones aft ...more
Brian Clegg
Dec 13, 2013 rated it liked it
There is a long tradition of humorous fantasy that has followed two broadly diverging paths - a more sophisticated route in the UK (typified by Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams, whose writing, though apparently science fiction could probably be more accurately classed as fantasy) and a rather less subtle approach in the US.

This American genre varies from the hugely entertaining Amber stories of Roger Zelazny (which are primarily adventures, but maintain the wry humour of a noir detective story)
Dec 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
First things first, I got this book from NetGalley, so thank you netgalley and Premier Digital Publishing for this opportunity.
This is my first experience with the world of Xanth, I have been meaning to check out this series for a long time and even have the hard copy of the 1st book but somehow never got around to it. I knew this had to be a funny fantasy and a standalone book as well, but that was about the only thing I had to expect from this book. So after finishing this I have to say the bo
Laureen (Ms. Bibliophile)
Aug 05, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: edelweiss
Board Stiff is another pun-filled adventure in the strange world of Xanth. I’ve been reading Piers Anthony’s Xanth novels for a long time, but as I get older I find myself picking them up less and less which leads me to wonder… were the earlier books as mature as this one? While there is still no sex in the Xanth books (thanks to the Adult Conspiracy) there is getting to be more and more nudity and panties flashing in the books. In this book, especially, I noticed it. For unknown reasons, after ...more
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Though he spent the first four years of his life in England, Piers never returned to live in his country of birth after moving to Spain and immigrated to America at age six. After graduating with a B.A. from Goddard College, he married one of his fellow students and and spent fifteen years in an assortment of professions before he began writing fiction full-time.

Piers is a self-proclaimed environm

Other books in the series

Xanth (1 - 10 of 42 books)
  • A Spell for Chameleon (Xanth #1)
  • The Source of Magic (Xanth, #2)
  • Castle Roogna (Xanth, #3)
  • Centaur Aisle (Xanth, #4)
  • Ogre, Ogre (Xanth #5)
  • Night Mare (Xanth, #6)
  • Dragon on a Pedestal (Xanth, #7)
  • Crewel Lye (Xanth #8)
  • Golem in the Gears (Xanth, #9)
  • Vale of the Vole (Xanth #10)