A Spell for Chameleon (Xanth #1) by Piers Anthony

A Spell for Chameleon (Xanth #1)

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 ...


Details A Spell for Chameleon (Xanth #1)

TitleA Spell for Chameleon (Xanth #1)
ISBN9780345258557
Author
Release DateApr 4th, 1977
PublisherDel Rey
LanguageEnglish
GenreFantasy, Fiction, Humor, Science Fiction Fantasy
Rating

Reviews A Spell for Chameleon (Xanth #1)

  • Renee
    2009-12-22
    I saw A Spell for Chameleon on a shelving cart the other day and realized two things. First, that I'd read it before and enjoyed it, but had forgotten it completely. Second, that the author was Piers Anthony, who's been described as an outrageous sexist even among sci-fi/fantasy writers. So I picked up a copy, for nostalgia's sake but also to see if Anthony was so bad (he couldn't be, right? I mean, I liked this before...). And after reading it a...
  • Azz Lunatic
    2009-02-03
    It took several years for what exactly made me maddest about this book to sink in. I finally figured it out. When our narrator and Chameleon (in ugly phase) were imprisoned together, Chameleon asked for a curtain for some privacy for the chamber pot. Our narrator nodded wisely to himself: a beautiful girl does not mind being looked at, but an ugly girl wants to hide herself from the eyes of everyone. In the absence of being able to pitch the narr...
  • Lyn
    2011-07-31
    Very original and with good storytelling, this is a good fantasy by an excellent writer. Bink is at first banished from Xanth for apparently not having a magical talent until it is revealed that he does have a very unique magical quality.The element of this book that I still remember today ( I read this in HS more than 25 years ago) is the magical characteristics of Chameleon. Her beauty and charisma runs inversely to her intelligence, similar to...
  • Dirk Grobbelaar
    2012-12-13
    Xanth. Where nothing is quite as it seems, and even inanimate objects can cast spells; where even puns aren’t so much puns, as something else…He remembered the wild oats he had planted as an adolescent. Sea oats were restless, but their cousins the wild oats were hyperactive. They had fought him savagely, their stems slashing across his wrists as he tried to harvest a ripe ear.Despite the lightheartedness of the story there is a perilous unde...
  • Kevin
    2008-06-23
    I wish I could give this book a higher review. The storytelling is tight, the magic is interesting, and it can be occasionally funny. But the characters are mostly two-dimensional, with maybe an extra half dimension added to The Evil Magician Trent and to Chameleon of the book's title. And oh my god is this thing sexist. Chameleon herself could be a truly great character if Anthony had much interest in watch she thinks of her condition, of how he...
  • Jill
    2010-08-26
    This book follows Bink as he undertakes an Odyssey-like series of adventures in a search to discover his magical talent. It's set in the land of Xanth, a Florida-shaped land of magic and literal puns reminiscent of Wonderland, or Oz perhaps. I thought Xanth was a pretty fun, quirky world. I particularly liked the history and Anthony's unique take on magic as being an evolutionary biological trait. Really, I would have enjoyed the book thoroughly ...
  • mark monday
    2011-10-29
    read this in junior high while staying at my aunt's house. read it on an ugly couch covered in plastic. read it cover to cover, realized I loved it, then read it again. jacked off to it too. my aunt's house was next to a smelly sewage plant so it was sort of a struggle at that. but I soldiered on! read it a third time years later but the magic was gone. years after that, when I was living in a punk rock flophouse, the couch was donated to us. oh ...
  • Benedict Jones
    2013-07-14
    A Spell for Chameleon by Piers Anthony, first in the Xanth series, was to be my quickie 49th book on my list. It proceeded to keep me delayed for days.This book is toxic.From a scene where it's explained how horrible it is for men to be convicted of rape and how women make up accusations, to two scenes where the main character is sexually attracted to fourteen year olds, and the fact that the main character could not think or look at a woman with...
  • Scurra
    2008-07-22
    This is a stand-in for the entire Xanth sequence, since it is currently running at 30-odd books and counting. And I love all of them. Ultimately, this is a series that you either "get" or you don't. And if you don't, then nothing I (or anyone else!) can say here will make any difference.I don't like them for the writing quality. Even after all this time, Anthony still has trouble putting a sentence together, or making his dialogue sparkle or crea...
  • Julien V
    2013-06-25
    So, Piers Anthony is a pervert, a sexist pervert. That this particular book was written in 1977 is no excuse. That out of the way, what we have here is a classic light fantasy full of nice ideas and concepts. But the story lacks direction, a bit like a badly planned Dungeon and Dragons session: "an encounter! another encounter! a fight! you fall in a hole! Oh, look, a dragon! a sexy babe! another fight!" What also annoyed me was the constant rati...
  • Jim
    2007-12-19
    I got book 2 of this series first, read it a couple of times before I finally got the first. I think the first 4 books are well worth reading - a must read for anyone into fantasy books. I think the series is up in the 20 odd count somewhere now. The first 3 or 4 are excellent. After that, I just couldn't get too into it any more. Might just be me. When this came out, it was unlike any series before it AND was funny on top of that. Humor in this ...
  • Stephen
    2008-08-10
    2.5 stars. First in the Xanth series of books. Took me a while to get around to reading this as it has been on my "to read" list for a while. A decently written, fun book with a good system of magic and interesting world-building. Definitely on the lighter side, but I enjoyed the puns and the tone of the book. Not as good as some of Anthony's other books (most notably On a Pale Horse), but still a good read.
  • Catt
    2008-11-14
    Wow.i began reading the Xanth series somewhere around the 15th or 16th book many years ago. It was filled with light-hearted drama, action and puns that made me laugh out loud.But this first book was such an original idea & filled with an amazing amount of tension, thoughts, morals, as well as the drama & etc. that will come to follow.Bink not only takes an amazing journey through Xanth, into Mundania & back, but also inside & outside himself."Ho...
  • Jesse
    2013-06-24
    The land of Xanth is a land of magic. Everyone has a magical talent, even some of the animals of the forest. Everyone, that is, except for Bink. And now that he's approaching adulthood, he has to find his magic...or face exile.I struggled with this one, but I read the first sixty pages before I finally gave up. The writing is entertaining, and the descriptions are vivid. At first, all the thinly-veiled innuendo was amusing, but it quickly went fr...
  • Stanley Townsend
    2011-08-26
    This 1st Xanth book held my interest. I was reluctant to get into the series based on the many charges of sexism raised by reviewers. A female friend discounted these and I jumped in. Glad I did. Lots of themes in this one pertaining to characteristics and traits of the female gender - intrinsic to the plot - but this did not strike me as denigration. I'm sure some zealot could quote me line and verse in attempt to prove me wrong. I just don't se...
  • R.S. Merritt
    2017-12-19
    One of the first series that really got me hooked on reading. i had to buy every one of these as soon as they came out (showing my age!) I recommend to anyone who enjoys reading Fantasy and is amused by PUNS.
  • Wanda
    2012-05-04
    Am I alone in finding Piers Anthony's work more than a little creepy? This is an adult man writing really adolescent stuff, obsessed with women's breasts (his characters notice them even in life-and-death situations) and really emotionally shallow. I really dislike his portrayal of female characters--to me they all just seem like assemblies of body parts that speak. Its all about how attractive they are or aren't. I find that odd, since I believe...
  • DNF with Jack Mack
    2015-08-05
    Surely one of the most despised books of all time. I could bash it for hours, so I'll try instead to say some nice things. I commend the author's bravery for sticking to his vision. At times it does portray the less than ideal state of male adolescence. It has lots of fantasy monsters. I abandoned this several times since middle school, and my instincts were correct: for most people it is best avoided. This listening was twenty years in the makin...
  • Maggie Dore
    2016-11-22
    Oh no, no, no..... this could not be it! WHY?! Why was this so bad? Oh, god. This review is GONNA BE TOUGH. This book was SO bad, I forgot I even read the thing! I believe that in every book, there is at least ONE thing that I enjoy, no matter what the rating. So, I will start this review with the (few) things I enjoyed in this before bombarding the review with everything that has gone SO DARN WRONG. So, I liked the cover. Yeah, I know, it is not...
  • Chris
    2007-08-08
    Piers Anthony is an author who is more conceptually innovative than literary. His writing is like puff pastry and not very substantive, but his characters are likable and the plots engaging. He has moments of preachiness mixed in, and sometimes a puerile sense of humor, but if you don't mind these things (or indeed, revel in them) you should give him a try. None of Anthony's books takes long to read, and you'll be able to tell by the first 100 pa...
  • V.
    2012-10-18
    Despite what people say about the author's sexism, his fondness for puns (a greater crime in some people's eyes) and the juvenile nature of some of the storytelling, this book has many good qualities, most of which reviewers haven't really talked about.The central premise here is this: which is preferable, a very beautiful, very dumb woman, or a super smart, wise but ugly woman? You can probably tell from this that a) the book is aimed at young m...
  • Marvin
    2011-05-24
    This was a re-read. I originally read it around 1980. I remembered it being a lot of fun and read about 6 more in the series. After that, they started to feel like they were factory manufactured. Someone told me there are now about 30 books in the series. On this second read of the first Xanth book, I still thought they were fun but the puns didn't seem as clever as when I was younger. I was also more annoyed with the author's obvious sexism. But...
  • Michael
    2008-05-28
    Within the book's original context of the late seventies, perhaps this seemed more clever than it does now. But, now we have Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett, who are much funnier. And don't rely on the cheapest possible puns, and don't write stories geared toward horny middle-school boys. One of the strangest phenomenons in fantasy, and perhaps in all of reality, is that Piers Anthony still sells tons of books. If anyone can shed some light on ...
  • Jillian
    2008-06-09
    I turned to the Xanth series because I wanted an enjoyable summer read that would remind me of my childhood instead of my thesis. Though I'd somehow never read him, I assumed Piers Anthony would be an excellent choice, what with all of the praise and awards lavished on him, but I must say I'm somewhat disappointed. He certainly creates an intriguing alternate world and is an undeniably clever writer, especially skilled at word games and puns. (I ...
  • Andrew Crawford
    2013-08-09
    I have to credit this book as being the book that really introduced me to reading as a fun pastime. I originally read this in my early preteen years and I loved the way it awakened my imagination. I was able to immerse myself in the land of Xanth. I found it to be a good easy read that had colorful characters and an extremely well put together world of magic that I have never seen duplicated. Now I've read all the reviews about Anthony being sexi...
  • Hannah
    2009-06-20
    Awesome read, and so much fun!I loved the main characters; they were all so quirky in their own ways, intelligent and straightforward without being whiny and know-it-all. Bink made a great lead; for once, a fantasy hero who isn't invincible OR a whiny, angsty loser! He's tall, young and good-looking, but he's also flawed. He has issues with them, but then he faces them head-on and deals with them with minimal fuss. Same goes for Trent and Chamele...
  • deilann
    2015-06-10
    Originally posted on SpecFic Junkie.Usually I love ripping apart the books I hate. But no, I've been avoiding writing this review. Why? This is the most sexist fantasy book I've ever read. That's saying something. Merely thinking about this book makes my skin crawl. Below the cut, you'll hear more, there will be spoilers, there will be a lot of gross talk about rape culture, and a shitton of sexism will be unveiled.So, there's a story behind why ...
  • Irishgirl1247
    2010-12-19
    I like many other reviewers read these books when I was rather young.My dad started me on them when I was about 11 and was breezing through children books so fast it was damaging his credit card with trips to borders and gas to the library. I loved them. As a child a read horse books, Nancy Drew and a few fairy tales, but this opened up a whole new world to me. What I find most interesting is how the sexism/sex went completely over my head. I act...
  • Seizure Romero
    2007-11-14
    I read this when I was 15-16 years old, which I now think is the target market for Anthony (at least with this series). I think it's easy for teenagers to identify with Bink: he's an outcast, he doesn't fit in. But then there comes a point where actual plot is required-- writing entire novels around puns just isn't enough to maintain my interest. I enjoyed The Source of Magic as well, but I was unable to finish Castle Roogna.
  • Jim Razinha
    2018-01-21
    I read, and remember liking, this back when it came out. While Anthony is an anachronism today, he was one even when this was published in 1977. His sexism is pervasive - integral to the story? no; seems he just like being perverse. Some is couched: on page 53 of the paperback, he has a farmer laughing about the main character accidentally groping a female centaur and then he says that farmers had "an earthy sense of humor". "Earthy"? "Lecherous"...