HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

On a Pale Horse: Incarnations of Immortality…
Loading...

On a Pale Horse: Incarnations of Immortality 1 (Incarnations of… (edition 1989)

by Piers Anthony (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,525821,897 (3.85)83
Zane belongs to a world in which the scientific revolution has been followed by the revolution of magic, and he is thrust into the role of Death.
Member:SMBrick
Title:On a Pale Horse: Incarnations of Immortality 1 (Incarnations of Immortality) On a Pale Horse
Authors:Piers Anthony (Author)
Info:Random House (1989), Edition: Reprint
Collections:Your library, Read, Owned
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

On a Pale Horse #1 - To Buy a Stone by Piers Anthony

  1. 30
    Mort by Terry Pratchett (ijustgetbored)
    ijustgetbored: Similar theme (Death takes on an apprentice): very funny, and not a bad place to enter Pratchett's Discworld series, if you've never encountered it before.
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 83 mentions

English (79)  French (1)  German (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (82)
Showing 1-5 of 79 (next | show all)
Shooting Death was a mistake, as Zane soon discovered. For the man who killed the Incarnation of Death was immediately forced to assume the vacant position! Thereafter, he must speed over the world, riding his pale horse, and ending the lives of others.

Zane was forced to accept his unwelcome task, despite the rules that seemed woefully unfair. But then he found himself being drawn into an evil plot of Satan. Already the prince of Evil was forging a trap in which Zane must act to destroy Luna, the woman he loved.

He could see only one possible way to defeat the Father of Lies. It was unthinkable—but he had no other solution!
  Gmomaj | Jul 25, 2021 |
Well, I enjoyed the author's note. That was entertaining. I read he does that at the end of all of his books.

As for the book, itself, I'm not too sure. What I liked: The idea of the story - Death as a real man, unwittingly thrust into the role, and having to figure it out as he went. I liked Mortis the horse/limousine. I liked Satan advertising on billboards that Hell is actually a Fun place to be! I was a big fan of Dead Like Me and was so bummed when they canceled that series. There were actually quite a few clever ideas in the story line of On a Pale Horse.

What I didn't like: The sexism, the writing of the female characters. Very one-sided and that side was male. I rolled my eyes quite a bit but I found myself wondering if he was deliberately doing this. The book is early eighties and yes, we've come a long ways (in some respects) from then. I have this issue whenever I read older sci-fi books as that genre was dominated by male authors for so long. So maybe a lot of this was Piers Anthony being tongue-in-cheek, but it was enough to make me decide not to pursue the series. It felt a little unsettling. Women are more than their bodies, after all.

So, basically, a great story idea that needed help with the dialog, especially with the female characters. We need an updated version of this with 2017 sensibilities! ( )
  Chica3000 | Dec 11, 2020 |
Ok, I think it's time to delve into my long-evolving and conflicted feelings about this series and about Piers Anthony. Especially since I changed my rating for this book from a 5 to a 1.

When I was young, I loved this series. It was on my favourites list throughout high-school. I was also pretty obsessed with the Xanth series, and would get new books from that series for many christmases and birthdays. These series, and Piers in general, go into my adult category of things-I-can't-believe-I-didn't-realize-were-sexist.

As an adult, I started to revisit some of my favourite series from childhood just to see if they'd hold up. Animorphs, which blew my mind and changed my entire life from grade 4 onward, does not hold up, writing-wise, but the stories are still good and still pretty mind-blowing as the introduction for a 10-year-old to serious (for a 10-year-old) sci-fi. The Giver does hold up magnificently. Piers Anthony just ends up being a sexist old man writing juvenile screeds couched in sci-fi and fantasy. And unfortunately, I still like his stories and ideas. There's a lot in there that's good. Alas, there's so much that's bad that it's really not worth it.

For example, in the very first scene of this book, we meet a gorgeous rich woman who will fall in love with any person who saves her life. This is not even the point of the scene: the point is that the crafty magic stone peddler stole the poor dupe's true love...as women are property and have no minds of their own. What does true love even mean if you can just swoop in and steal it from someone? Is this woman's mind so empty of her own thoughts and feelings that she counts adrenaline as love? That's about where I stopped reading and started skimming. The series as a whole (and Piers' writing as a whole) is filled with gorgeous women who all look exactly the same - big eyes, small noses, long hair, ample bosom but not too ample, just the perfect amount of ample, small waists, and above all, as young as possible without being creepy (though he sometimes just says "fuck it" and goes with creepy). There are, of course, middle-aged women, women with large noses and small eyes, and sometimes they even have brains but it's always despite their looks. Because there is no woman character ever introduced in ANY Piers Anthony book EVER WRITTEN (I haven't checked but I would bet a lot on it) whose attractiveness is not commented on in some way. Hey, a women who has been living for 20 years on her wits in exile, I wonder what she'll say first when she meets someone from her home? "Tell me the truth, do I remain sexually appealing?" Hey, aren't you one of the aspects of FATE, one of the most powerful beings in all of space and time? What wonderful and interesting things are you thinking about right now? "I'm middle aged and therefore ugly." Ah yes. Piers, you have captured a woman's mind perfectly. I AM always thinking about how my nose could be more pert, and am also constantly looking for validation from men that they find me sexually attractive. Literally every second of every day. On the other side, it is exceedingly rare for a male character to think about his own attractiveness. Instead, he is also always thinking about the attractiveness of his female companion.

I would really love for someone to re-write the Incarnations of Immortality so that I could enjoy the stories again while cutting out all the bullshit sexism and frankly poor character development. I think that Piers actually believes he is writing strong female characters, which is pretty scary. The prospect of actually re-reading all of these books is scary too, so I'm just going to spare myself and remember the stories fondly. ( )
  katebrarian | Jul 28, 2020 |
One of my favorite books ever. I've read it several times. ( )
  Sanguinius8991 | Jun 14, 2020 |
There is a new Death in town. An ordinary man named, Zane ends up as Death in an unordinary way. The Universe has been conspiring to put Zane into the job of Death. As Zane grows comfortable in his role he discovers the failing systems of the otherworlds. The living are mostly damned, the damned have no hope to redeem themselves to heaven, heaven is a mystery and the only sane place seems to be purgatory. Love drives Zane to correct a broken system.

I have read many of Pier Anthony’s books before. This is the first time I am delving into the series, Incarnations Of Immortality. It was recommended by a friend that I would like it and they thought that the series was the basis for the tv series Dead Like Me. Well if that is true the book is very different from the tv show. As with most Piers Anthony books it is filled with cheekiness, fantasy, and truth. I love the ideas that the author comes up with, they are so different and I never know what will come next even if I think I do. That is why I enjoy his books so much.

There are those who think his books are sexist. While there are things you could describe as sexist I believe that the author is creating those scenes or dialogs on purpose to make you think. Sometimes the scenes are so over the top in Anthony’s books they just can’t be serious. That is my thoughts on the negative side of his stories even though I really have nothing negative to complain about this story.

I have enjoyed Piers Anthony books from the moment I read the Isle Of Woman, the first book in his Geodessy Series. I will continue to enjoy when I have time to read more. ( )
  lavenderagate | Feb 12, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 79 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anthony, Piersprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Campiti, DavidAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Crisp, StevenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whelan, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Belongs to Series

Belongs to Publisher Series

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
"Death," the proprietor said clearly, showing the stone.
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Zane belongs to a world in which the scientific revolution has been followed by the revolution of magic, and he is thrust into the role of Death.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
The Man Who Murdered Death

Shooting Death was a mistake, as Zane soon discovered.
For the man who killed the Incarnation of Death was immediately forced to assume the vacant position!
Thereafter, he must speed over the world, riding his pale horse, and ending the lives of others.

Zane was forced to accept his unwelcome task, despite the rules that seemed woefully unfair. But then he found himself being drawn into an evil plot of Satan. Already the Prince of Evil was forging a trap in which Zane must act to destroy Luna, the woman he loved.

He could see only one possible way to defeat the Father of LIes. It was unthinkable - but he had no other solution!
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.85)
0.5 3
1 11
1.5 1
2 87
2.5 16
3 228
3.5 51
4 366
4.5 35
5 311

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 160,715,646 books! | Top bar: Always visible