Thursday, November 22, 2007

Piers, you've gone too far

kw: book reviews, fiction, fantasy, xanth series, puns

In two prior posts I've reviewed three of the Xanth novels by Piers Anthony. I like them. If the author had shown a little more restraint, I'd have liked Air Apparent equally well. In its afterword he mentions being over seventy now. Perhaps that explains his lapse: to me, this book had a strong undercurrent, an attempt to justify overt pedophilia. To be charitable, perhaps failing inhibitions are leading to an authorial version of Tourette's Syndrome.

Xanth fans know that there is always a rather juvenile sexual tension, pitched at the level of ten-year-old boys, who think it the height of naughtiness to glimpse a girl's underwear. So what possessed him to close the first quest sequence with a grownup getting a solid double handful of a thirteen-year-old girl's bosom? Can having her magically aged by five years a few scenes later somehow make it all OK? I think not. And he manages to go downhill from there. The old dude's gone from a slightly risqué elderly uncle sort, to a dirty old man.

Sorry, Piers, you've lost a reader.

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