Piers Anthony, I Cast Thee Out!
Had one of those really sad experience where you revisit childhood pleasures and find them wanting. In this case it was the novels of Piers Anthony. Specifically, I re-read the first book of the “Phaze” series (or whatever it’s called), called, I believe, Split Infinity. This was a book I really loved when I was younger – I vividly remember getting the whole series out of the Wellington Public Library in those crappy, beat-up hardcovers they had covered in plastic and just devouring them. Man I loved those books. This time around? Not so much.
Frankly, it was pretty crushing to find myself not just disinterested but kind of actively offended by the nature of the book. Specifically, oh my god the attitude to women is horrendous. Why did you like it, child-Pippin? Why?! Well, presumably I just didn’t even really notice any of that stuff. The parts of the book I’d loved were all about this crazy sport they played on an alien world, and general tales of (short!) underdogs turning out to be awesome at all kinds of activities. Guess I just skipped the endless (endless!) descriptions of women’s asses, and subservient lady robot slaves, and sexy shape-shifting unicorn friends. Good god.
So anyway, I ground my way through the first book and started the second, but it was just impossible. The main character went on honeymoon with his wife and that was excruciating. More excruciating was how every woman in a fifty mile radius of the dude is all like “he so fine!” And then we get him feeling terribly about how all the ladies think he’s so fine but he can only be with one lady. Not all the ladies. Times are tough. So anyway, I angrily threw down the book.
And then, with hope in my heart, picked up the first book of the other series by Piers Anthony I had loved, “The Incarnations of Immortality”. And… yeah, not so much again. The book opens with a shudder-inducing description of the protagonist missing out on some sweet sweet lovin’ from an heiress.
I gently put the book down and mourned my youth.