A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away - the 1980s, to be precise - I read a bunch of the Xanth books. I think I quit long about book #8, Crewel Lye (a caustic yarn)
because the painfully bad puns were the best part of the books. (As of 2012, the series is up to #36.)
Last weekend I picked up a copy of A Spell for Chameleon
for 50¢, because I *thought* I had enjoyed the first several books. Surely at least the first one. I guess it's entirely possible - my tastes have become somewhat more discriminating in the 25+ years since my first encounter. Let's just say - I don't know what I was thinking back then, nor do I know what the British Fantasy Society was thinking in awarding it Best Fantasy Novel in 1978. Perhaps the British Fantasy Society's membership demographic is 14 years old and male - not that I think 14 year old boys should be subjected to this crap either.
"Cheesy" doesn't begin to describe it. The characters, even the protagonist, have about as much depth as a puddle, and the sexism - my god, the sexism. Madonna & Whore, anyone? This time around I didn't even finish it. I have better books waiting.
The moral of the story is: just because it has become a "classic" (i.e., has hung on long enough to produce 36 volumes) does not make it good.
P.S. I resent having to give it one star in order to have my rating count. GoodReads, you should offer a way of giving a book ZERO stars. Or negative stars.