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A Spell for Chameleon

Tekijä: Piers Anthony

Muut tekijät: Katso muut tekijät -osio.

Sarjat: Xanth (1)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
5,002912,211 (3.66)95
BEST NOVEL OF THE YEAR, BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY * Discover the magical beginning of Piers Anthony's enthralling Xanth series Xanth was the enchanted land where magic ruled--where every citizen had a special spell only he could cast. It was a land of centaurs and dragons and basilisks. For Bink of North Village, however, Xanth was no fairy tale. He alone had no magic. And unless he got some--and got some fast!--he would be exiled. Forever. But the Good Magician Humfrey was convinced that Bink did indeed have magic. In fact, both Beauregard the genie and the magic wall chart insisted that Bink had magic. Magic as powerful as any possessed by the King or by Good Magician Humfrey--or even by the Evil Magician Trent. Be that as it may, no one could fathom the nature of Bink's very special magic. Bink was in despair. This was even worse than having no magic at all . . . and he would still be exiled! Thus begins Piers Anthony's enthralling Xanth series. . . .… (lisätietoja)
  1. 00
    Kapteeni Sinikarhun 13½ elämää (tekijä: Walter Moers) (spiphany)
  2. 00
    Soul Retrievers (tekijä: David Burton) (Skylles)
    Skylles: Similar tounge-in-cheek humor
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englanti (90)  espanja (1)  Kaikki kielet (91)
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 91) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
A long time ago when I was tweenish, I loved this series. I know it won't survive a re-read, so I'm noting it and letting it go.
  jennybeast | Mar 2, 2024 |
Piers Anthony is not easy to read these days. A Spell for Chameleon (1977), the first of more than 40 Xanth novels, is a case in point. A husband-and-wife team who reviewed the book for NPR in 2013 noted that they first read the book when they were 13 and found its “naughty, offhand humor . . . risky and thrilling,” a shared experience that had helped them through their adolescence and made their first date memorable (https://www.npr.org/2013/10/06/203284105/spell-bound-by-a-goofy-book-and-later-united-by-it). On the other hand, many recent Goodreads reviewers find it irredeemably sexist. Both views may be valid.
Anthony knew his genre. A Spell for Chameleon is a magical kingdom quest in which a young man (Bink) and a young woman (Chameleon) fight monsters and struggle to come to grips with adulthood. Along the way, they encounter gangs of magical creatures. The novel is clearly aimed at an audience in their early to mid-teens, but it also takes advantage of the permissive sexual ethics of the times. Some might find its liberties objectionable, but it seems tame compared to some of its competition. Robert Heinlein had already written Time Enough for Love, and Samuel R. Delany had published Trouble on Triton: A Heterodox Utopia the year before. Though one can object to what a filmmaker might call the book’s male gaze, the women in Spell are diverse and play more than supportive roles. Chameleon is a victim of an occult version of hormonal determinism, but she and Bink are well-matched.
Anthony is a competent storyteller, as unabashed a punster as Robert Asprin, and the builder of a world with impressive multigenerational legs. If it didn’t look so much like Florida, one might want to compare Xanth to Discworld or the Fire Swamp and other locales of The Princess Bride. ( )
  Tom-e | Sep 27, 2023 |
I tried, but it is too juvenile and I'm not feeling nostalgic enough. I'm sure he young teen me would have loved it, but it's too oversimplified, convenient plot saves and just too young for me. ( )
  Brian-B | Nov 30, 2022 |
In a lot of ways, this book has aged so badly that it's almost impossible to write a review without mentioning its initial publication. And yet...all things considered...part of me is shocked that it was published even in the 70s as it is now, only to become the beginning of such a long-running series. With that in mind, the book having aged badly is only part of the equation, because while the story itself may not be sexist by design, there's no doubt that the characters and a number of the themes are so sexist as to require either offense or laughter, one or the other.

Because that is the thing...the main character, Bink, is so laughably sexist that it's difficult to be offended in some ways, and hard to know how much of what Anthony put to paper is meant to be tongue in cheek--if offered with the immature sensibility of a middle school boy's humor at too many moments. The end of the book also manages to double-down on sexist impulses in a lot of ways, consistently coming back to emphasize that the male characters are not only more admirable and well-developed than the female characters (who come down to stereotypes outside of their magic, and are judged on appearances throughout), but also more worthy of agency.

Of course, from the vantage of 2022, this is a different book than it was in the '70s, and a different book than the ones that made me fall in love with Anthony's writing in the 90s (though I never tried Xanth books, for some reason I couldn't say). And there is the creativity to be enjoyed--for all its sexism and dated and humor, the creativity of the world-building in this book IS something that can still be enjoyed for a reader who can put the other offenses aside. And, the book and story are engaging, if a bit long-winded and eye-rolling at various points.

Will I read the next one? I'm honestly not sure. It's tempting, if only to see how much of the sexism here was elevated by the main character's judgement vs. part of the world, especially since I feel sure I would have rolled my eyes at this book even 25 years ago when I was in high school, but enjoying Anthony's other works. Would I recommend this one? Well...no. ( )
  whitewavedarling | Nov 1, 2022 |
Fond, fond memories of this book which I read when it first came out in the late 1970s. ( )
  Luziadovalongo | Jul 14, 2022 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 91) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu

» Lisää muita tekijöitä (6 mahdollista)

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
Anthony, Piersensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Whelan, MichaelKansikuvataiteilijamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Sinun täytyy kirjautua sisään voidaksesi muokata Yhteistä tietoa
Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
Teoksen kanoninen nimi
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Alkuteoksen nimi
Teoksen muut nimet
Alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi
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Ensimmäiset sanat
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Eine kleine Eidechse, die auf einem braunen Stein hockte. Als Menschen den Pfad entlangkamen, bekam sie Angst und verwandelte sich nacheinander in einen Stechkäfer, einen Stinkpuster und schließlich in einen feurigen Salamander.
Sitaatit
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(Napsauta nähdäksesi. Varoitus: voi sisältää juonipaljastuksia)
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (1)

BEST NOVEL OF THE YEAR, BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY * Discover the magical beginning of Piers Anthony's enthralling Xanth series Xanth was the enchanted land where magic ruled--where every citizen had a special spell only he could cast. It was a land of centaurs and dragons and basilisks. For Bink of North Village, however, Xanth was no fairy tale. He alone had no magic. And unless he got some--and got some fast!--he would be exiled. Forever. But the Good Magician Humfrey was convinced that Bink did indeed have magic. In fact, both Beauregard the genie and the magic wall chart insisted that Bink had magic. Magic as powerful as any possessed by the King or by Good Magician Humfrey--or even by the Evil Magician Trent. Be that as it may, no one could fathom the nature of Bink's very special magic. Bink was in despair. This was even worse than having no magic at all . . . and he would still be exiled! Thus begins Piers Anthony's enthralling Xanth series. . . .

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