Sigh. I hate having books torn apart like this.
I taught high school English for almost forty years, and the Xanth books—along with the Robert B. Parker Spenser novels—were the most successful for getting kids to like reading. I can’t even count the number of students I had who disliked reading until I handed them A Spell for Chameleon. I thought a lot about why the kids loved them so much. The kids most attached were usually kids from fairly dysfunctional homes. My guess was that the humor and warmth and—in the later books esp.—the picture of functional families—was a big reason for their popularity. The puns were a lot of fun too.
So I really hate to see these books trashed. Okay, so you can read lots of non-politically correct things into them. Big deal. Read any of the classics.
In a country where teenagers spend an average of six hours a day watching television or playing computer games, let’s celebrate the authors who know how to lure kids into a world of books. And Piers Anthony is one of the very best at this. Leave him alone!