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Up in a Heaval (Xanth Novels) [Hardcover]

Piers Anthony
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (Oct 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312869045
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312869045
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16.2 x 3.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,175,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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It all started, others agreed later, with Umlaut. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
By Roger
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Book missing from my old collection, it filled in a gap. Handy it was a paperback that could be carried in my pocket.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Punny Day in Xanth 14 Dec 2002
By Arthur W. Jordin - Published on Amazon.com
Up In a Heaval (2002) is the 26th Xanth novel. As usual, the plot is just a framework for the characters and puns. The hero is Umlaut, a facsimile, whose talent is emulation.

Umlaut "accidently" takes shelter at the Zombie castle. As he is mucking out the dungeon, Umlaut uses 19 questions to discover that the male dragon is really Sesame, a female Sea Serpent. They also discover a pile of long overlooked Snail mail and meet Sammy the Cat. Umlaut is charged with delivering the mail and both Sesame and Sammy join him in an extended tour of Xanth locations and personalities while the demoness Metria tries to distract and obstruct them.

At the isle of cats, the trio meet Claire Voyant, the knowing cat, who also joins them. In Euphoria, they meet Surprise, the daughter of Grady Golem and Rapunzel, who becomes Umlaut's sweetheart and keeps visiting him in various ways during the journey.

Umlaut is faced with many temptations and doubts in his travels, but perseveres despite all. Of the many puns encountered, Ptero-bull stands out, but other groaners abound. Naturally, Anthony tells all, or at least enough, in the Author's Note.

This book is for Xanth fans and those who are not too proud to groan at a real stinker of a pun. A really fun book.

-Arthur W. Jordin
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Likable character and more bad puns 18 Jan 2003
By booksforabuck - Published on Amazon.com
A bet between Demons Xanth, Jupiter, and Fornax sends Umlaut on a quest to deliver messages sent from our Earth to Xanth. Although Umlaut is a construct, he is endowed with excellent ethical judgement and good luck in finding friends. Demoness Metria will do anything to stop the quest because her son's soul is at risk.
Umlaut's quest takes him through Xanth and into contact with characters familiar to readers of the Xanth series, as well as introducing new characters. Author Piers Anthony delivers a rich assortment of the bad puns that readers of this series delight in. The Xanth series is also known for its sexual teasing (say PG-13). I thought that UP IN A HEAVAL did a good job delivering the tease without dramatically overstepping the bounds of taste. Umlaut's romance with Surprise was teetered at the edge between sweet and sensual--about right for a teenage relationship.
Umlaut was an interesting character because of his compassion. Although he lacked a lasting reality (being a construct of the demons for the sake of their game), Umlaut had a conscience and a drive that made him sympathetic.
3.0 out of 5 stars Typical modern Xanth 9 Oct 2002
By Amberblade - Published on Amazon.com
Up in a Heaval is as good as the last few Xanth books. In my opinion, that means not really that good.
I have been reading Xanth for years, and I loved the earlier books. The more recent ones though...I haven't been as fond of.
Mainly, the story and the characters seemed shallow. The plot was messy, and hurried, and just not very interesting. And what was the point behind the letters in the first place? We never find out who this woman was, or how she's solved any of her problems. In my mind, this is one major loose end that is left hanging.
As always, there are puns, and odd talents, and strange creatures and happenings, but they appear seemingly at random, and with no connection to the story or the characters.
The Demons are back in this book, and I, for one, am getting a little tired of them. Thought we'd all seen the last of Fornax? Think again.
The plots involving the Demons are all the same. Demons are contesting, Xanth wins out in the end. Predictable in the extreme.
The story is very rushed, and nothing connects the way it should. It has a totally random quality that I don't like. Sure, Xanth is a little crazy, and unpredictable, but this is just silly and pointless.
All in all, if you liked the last few Xanth books, you should like this one as well, but if you are a fan of earlier Xanth...Well, this book won't have much appeal.
4.0 out of 5 stars usual pun per line tale 17 Nov 2002
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Mundane snail mail ending up in Xanth is forwarded to Demon Jupiter. Irate by what he receives, Demon Jupiter hurls his dreaded red spot at Demon Earth. If he throws a strike, Xanth will be destroyed.
Umlaut, who now knows that all good deeds including forwarding snail mail leads to adventure, learns from the Good Magician that he must deliver the remaining mundane mail to hope to avert the disaster he started. Umlaut accompanied by his pals Sesame Snake and Sammy Cat begin the treacherous trek to save Xanth by delivering the mail even as other demons try to manipulate his raging hormones.
The twenty-sixth Xanth tale (Grafton has a few to catch up) is the usual pun per line tale that shows Mr. Anthony has no piers when it comes to irreverent "adult conspiracy" humor that sends readers diving off the dock into a wild fantasy play on the English language. The story line is typical of the Xanth tales, but during the Myth-Adventures with no Asprin for pain relief, many of the participants in the glory of Xanth make an appearance. Though newcomers might struggle in the realm of punning, fans will delight in this comic endeavor as Mr. Anthony shows his usual amusing cat tail of a tale
Harriet Klausner
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly an amazing book. 5 April 2003
By Demoness - Published on Amazon.com
A magificant book to read, as well as the other fascinating Xanth series. I really think this book opens the mind to explore new imaginative things, a wide variety of creatures, and the great puns of course. The story line is really creative with the mixture of mundanes and talents, and as well as different spells and characters. Was really a good book to read, I recommend it to all fantasy readers.
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