Be careful what you wish for...
"I'm actually a smart girl who would make any man an excellent wife. But no man sees that. No man is interested in my mind or personality, just my whatevers. So here is my wish: I'm board stiff. I want Adventure, Excitement, and Romance.”
So begins Piers Anthony's 38th Xanth novel, in which Irrelevant Candy, looks at her reflection in the water of the shallow well and sees luxuriant midnight black hair to her breathtakingly slender waist, matching dark eyes in a lovely face. A torso coming yea-close to absolute perfection. She was man's desire. That was part of the problem.
And in the shallow magic of a wishing well, she asks her wish to be granted. Something happens. A sudden whirlwind surrounds her, lifting her up and ripping off her clothing. She is changing, somehow. Then she falls flat on the ground.
Literally. She has been transformed into a flat, stiff board with two knotholes for eyes.
* * * * *
I remember when I was much younger and would wait anxiously at the book store for it to open so I could get my next Xanth fix. It has been over twenty years since I have read one of this series yet the memories are vivid. And I do have to say that reading BOARD STIFF sent me right back to those days.
Now I do have to admit that the plot itself isn't that intricate and there was no question about how the book would end. And there were a lot of puns and some were rather lame. Regardless of these facts, this book was fun to read. And there are times when simple is better if it is fun. Would I recommend to my readers? In a heartbeat. Just beware that it is that 'punny.'