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Bio of an Ogre by Piers Anthony

Bio of an Ogre

by Piers Anthony

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I had put in for this member giveaway as I had read some of Mr. Anthony's books and wanted to find out a little bit more about him.

I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading about him and how he had gotten to the point at which the book ended.

I would, most certainly, recommend the book to fans of his fiction, people who like reading non-fiction that isn't always 'dry' reading, and those who would like to find out a bit more about how an author came into being. ( )
1 vote strogan | Jan 13, 2010 |
In August of this year I noticed that it was the month of Piers Anthony’s birthday and since I had his autobiography in my TBR pile, I felt that it was the time to read it. Now, four months later, I just feel sad that I put in the effort.

When I was in high school I discovered Anthony’s world of Xanth books. At that point I think he had written up to Golem in the Gears, which I don’t believe is even the halfway mark in the series. I loved those stories and coming across this book all these years later made me think it would be wonderful to read about someone with such an awesome imagination. This book covers Piers Anthony’s life up to age 50, and he did really live quite a full life being born in England, traveling to America and entering the military along the way getting married and watching his wife suffer two miscarriages, before finally having two daughters. Through the book it became clear that Mr. Anthony is an honest, hardworking person with a strong love of his family and ideals. He also came across as arrogant, litigious and fractious. He joked about being seen as an ogre throughout the book and I could easily see just from his words and point of view where one would get that impression. Mr. Anthony worked for many years before selling his first short story and for years after that before he sold his first novel at the age of almost 40. It does show he has perseverance in the same way his rendering of his dealings with various publishers, fanzines (which I need to look up because I have only a very general idea of what they even are) and even his fans show that he has quite a tendency towards belligerence with an inability to compromise, although I know he argues that this is not true.

He does do an interesting enough thought process analysis of his early science fiction works along with harping on how nobody really understood his social commentary or standing. A very brief foray into Xanth was given and it makes me so sad that he would discredit his own work, the work for which I knew and love him as an author, to simply commercial fantasy fluff that he first forayed into out of curiosity and stuck with simply because it became his cash cow (my words not his). He disparaged his own work while at the same time talking down to the fans of it IMHO which has left me with a very bad taste in my mouth.

Generally I’m now wishing I hadn’t ever decided read the book in the first place. I had at first thought I would be maybe getting an irreverent look at a man to admire and his history along with some indication of a writer’s thought process. Instead I discovered that one of my favorite authors really is an ogre, and not at all as nice as Smash. This autobiography would probably be good for those who want a hard analytical opinion of the publishing industry from someone not very enamored of it, but I wouldn’t recommend it to fans of Mr. Anthony’s lighter works, as he doesn’t seem to like them very much himself. ( )
  Jenson_AKA_DL | Dec 1, 2009 |
While revealing, it wasn't as much of an insight as I'd hoped. I'd gotten much the same thing out of his author's notes over the years. ( )
  SLHobbs | Feb 9, 2008 |
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Most of this volume is self-explanatory, but soem few things should be understood early.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Prepare yourself for a rich, compelling journey into the very private mind of a brilliant storyteller; creator of the beloved "Xanth" and "Apprentice Adept" series; an artist as provocative and disarmingly honest as he is wondrously original ...
The incomparable Piers Anthony
This is his story. A personal odyssey as colorful and unique as the worlds he creates ....
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