Swell Foop Hardcover – Oct 23 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
"Do you think the puns will ever run out?" a character asks early in Anthony's 26th funny Xanth adventure. "If they do, Xanth will dissolve into chaos... It is mostly made of puns," another character sagely replies. And so it goes. This fantasy confection is full of puns, clever mathematical and grammatical lessons and some gratuitous sexual innuendo. Cynthia Centaur and her companions must find the Six Rings of Xanth (Fire, Earth, Idea, Water, Air and Void) in order to rescue the Demon Earth from the thrall of the Swell Foop. These rings are the only artifacts capable of locating the Foop. When they are stacked and aligned, a person who sights through them will be able to see the Foop if the stack is pointing the right way, and if that person is destined to use it. The rings also control the six known Regions of Xanth. The ring bearers, who include Jaylin, a Mundanian human girl, as well as five Xanth creatures, must use their creativity and sense of humor to find Demon Earth, or else the gravity needed in Xanth and Earth will disappear forever. Diehard Xanth fans will rejoice at this fast-paced romp, but even they might get a bit tired of the incessant panty humor. Some readers may have raging hormones, but the preteens, who would most enjoy this book, aren't quite there yet, and many older teens are ready to explore more mature issues. (Oct. 17)autobiography, How Precious Was That While (Forecasts, July 23).
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
The twenty-fifth book of Xanth deals with a matter of some gravity. Specifically, the Demon Earth has disappeared, which means that eventually not only some but all gravity will disappear from Earth and Xanth. To solve the mystery and rescue the Demon Earth, the Swell Foop is required. That involves using the six magical rings of Xanth, which need to be found by means of a quest by five old friends of Xanth mavens--Cynthia and Che Centaur, Brianna and Justin Tree, and Sim, the immortal bird--as well as Jaylin, a girl from Mundane Hawaii. The search is fraught with Anthony's usual cargo of puns. A bit longer than some recent Xanths, this is also a bit better, and even those who find it more of the same are likely to enjoy themselves. But starting with Xanth in a late book such as this is less advisable for finding out what the fuss is all about than going back as far as your library's holdings allow. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top Customer Reviews
I think the primary downfall of the series has been the inclusion of so many fan suggestions (in 'Swell Foop' more than 100). Almost every chapter has been reduced to 'Character X must solve several puns/puzzles to get item or information Y.' It certainly makes it easier to include suggested puns, but it doesn't make for good story telling, unless you're more interested in puns than plot.
There were a number of other problems with this book. Characters constantly repeat the same information: "Hello, I'm character X. My quest is Y." The story also includes a huge number of characters and locations from prior books in the series, but assumes that you haven't read any of them or don't remember them, so there's an enormous amount of exposition just to recount things that aren't that important to the story. The dialogue at times is just painful.
If you've already read the prior books in this series, you've undoubtably got your own opinion as to whether the stories remain fresh, so decide whether or not to read this book on your own judgement. But if you haven't read the prior books, I strongly suggest you start with 'A Spell for Chameleon,' because I don't think this book really shows the appealing aspects of this series.
Basically the story is: The Demon Earth has been kidnapped and without him the world of Xanth will be without gravity. The result: Xanth flies off into space and all the Xanth creatures float away. Bad Bad! So the next person to pose a question to the good Magician, will be the person who is given the task of finding the Demon Xanth because only a Non-demon can find a demon. Anyway the person who shows up with a question is a flying centaur named Cynthia and she must find 6 people to help her find the swell foop (the only thing that can control demons).
So overall a good book with quite a few of the recurring characters. Such as the Simurghs son, Sim, and Justin Tree and his beloved Breanna of the black wave. Oh yeah and lots of talk about cleavage and lovely female bodies. (as always) LOL
Cynthia gathers a party of adventurers including the Syn, the bird that will eventually know everything, Zombies, and even a girl from Mundania (Earth as we know it), each of whom must find and control one of the rings.
To the puns and adolescent sexuality that make Xanth run, author Piers Anthony adds some of the games more common in some of his other series (e.g., the Apprentice Adept series), giving SWELL FOOP a bit more complexity and plot than some of the other Xanth series.
In each Xanth novel, Anthony combines a huge number of truly bad puns (is there such a thing as a good pun?) with an adventure. Some of these novels (e.g., A SPELL FOR CHAMELEON and CASTLE ROAGNA) are truly wonderful while others are less so. SWELL FOOP is above average in this hugely popular series.
If you enjoy the Xanth novels, you'll find SWELL FOOP a fine addition to the series. If you aren't familiar with this series, you may start with this novel, but I recommend starting with the first book in the series (A SPELL FOR CHAMELEON).
She must find the Six Rings of Xanth that only the zombies know anything about. Upon obtaining the six Rings, Cynthia must use them to locate the SWELL FOOP so that she can use that in turn to rescue the Demon Earth from an abductor. Without the Demon Earth, this planet and Xanth will lose its gravity and ultimately vanish forever.
Though action-packed, fast-paced, and loaded with the tons of puns, SWELL FOOP is clearly for those Xanth fans that need word play with every meal. The problem with the tale is that with two worlds at stake and the adventure quite harrowing, the quest seekers spend much of their time exchanging humorous often-sexual barbs (Hans Solo where are you?). Though the jokes are amusing, the plot becomes sidetracked and secondary to the bon mots. This reviewer can understand a shoetree, but the gravity of this story line is too much swill in the soup for those readers who enjoy the simplicity of A SPELL FOR CHAMELEON.
Most recent customer reviews
I have finished Swell Foop and I can't wait to get Piers Anthony's next book. I have read the Xanth series from the first book (Spell...). Read morePublished on Oct. 11 2002 by Chrisy Maggiolo
I love Piers Anthony's Xanth novels.This one my favorite next to Demons don't dream and Zombie lover.