This book is completely insulting to women and a thinly veiled catholic sermon. I was expecting a fun scy-fi/fantasy book and instead was hugely disappointed. The book speaks of the inherent "bitchiness" of women, suggests that a baby born in incest has "evil" on it's soul and a describes this poor woman who's father is trying to offer her up as a sex slave for death as "un-special, and un-remarkable" when it's pretty remarkable to me that she didn't run screaming out of the room. Terrible book.
not written it
I don't read much fantasy but this was on sale so I thought I'd try Piers Anthony, knowing he's been around for 2 or 3 decades. I wasn't prepared for an alternate 20th century earth that is much like our own in everyday details but one where science and magic play equal roles, Satan competes with God for souls, ghosts and demons are prominent, and the lead character is not Death itself but someone who holds "the office of Death."
On the positive side, the suspenseful story is cleverly written and fast paced, and there are glimmers of humor and double meaning scattered throughout that keep the story from becoming too grim. Although I was tempted to quit several times, because this is not the kind of fantasy I enjoy, the entertaining writing style was enough to keep me engaged to the end.
On the negative side, the story seemed to me to become both more dreary and more outrageous as it approached the climax and I found myself glad when it was finished. But that may just be my own taste and limited exposure to fantasy. So, in deference to more devoted fantasy fans than I and to the well-established Piers Anthony, I'm giving it four stars, largely because I enjoyed very much the way he told the story.
the first time I read this story it was a novel by Piers Anthony. when I listen to the audible version I realize the story and more dips it makes you think and if you have feelings it will stir them. all in all the paper version or electronic version this is an awesome normal as are all in the series.
First read in my 20's, I loved it and all the rest in the set. Now 30 years later it was still enjoyable, but nothing new discovered, and the stretch marks are audible
Listen on the road!
Piers Anthony stepped out from his normal writing when he wrote this book. It's subject matter is not something seen in most books, and Anthony did an excellent job in making the journey enjoyable. You find yourself sympathizing with the main character, and all the while hoping for the best resolution to a problem. The world the Piers Anthony created was an interesting mix between modern technology (for the time of the book), and a more magical element in the world. I found this the most entertaining part of the book, and really was left wishing for a little more depth into the world he created.
Reminds me of some of Orson Scott Card's work. However; I haven't listened to anything that would directly compare. That's just me though, and it's been a while since I listened so my memory is a little fuzzy.
Definitely Death. George Guidall did a great job, but was sometimes a little flat in the performance. This was the only thing that really brought the book down.
I don't usually do books in one sitting as it tends to eat up credits too fast. I did get through this one rather quickly though, and it helped to finish it up fast because the pacing of the story is pretty quick.
I Like scifi-fantasy,non-fiction, historical fiction genres. Liked Stormlight, Mistborn,GoT. Last read: Well of Ascension
I picked this one from a friend's recommendation and it didnt hold to the standards. I was really excited to follow a series after GoT and WoT. Piers Anthony just dribbles over religious beliefs either sarcastically or not but it took over a good portion of the book. I really really tried to like this one but not for me.
The narrator on the other hand did a great job.
Photographer and office professional
I would listen to On a Pale Horse again. I read it 20 years ago and loved it then. I can see how it has shaped some of my views on things. It is a very enjoyable read.
That would have to be the character of Death. It shows that even the incarnation of death can have some feelings about how things should go. The current Death shows many signs of compassion and a willingness to fix mistakes.
I felt he read it as Piers would have, if he had read it himself.
Proofreader, Editor, Writer & Book Lover Extraordinaire!!
Having read The Incarnations of Immortality repeatedly over the years, I cannot say enough about how brilliant an author Piers Anthony is. How he manages to write from each characters perception, with accuracy, is amazing. I have given this book as a gift many times and will continue to do so. I must say that I am glad I found this series first, because had I found the Xanth novels prior, I wouldn't have tried this work. I didn't like the Xanth novels at all. They were well done, they just didn't grab me and were nothing like this series.
On a Pale Horse will always be my favorite, With Tangled Skein, Bearing the Hourglass, Wielding the Red Sword & Being a Green Mother in that order. The last two in the series were just okay for me. I feel that they weren't really necessary, per se, and weren't as engaging.
As far as some of the remarks as to it being "humorless", where does it say anywhere that it is supposed to be funny? In addition, I saw other ridiculous remarks about it not being Christian, way out there, religious rubbish, childlike etc... Firstly, it is a FICTION novel (that means make believe). Secondly, if you wanted a Christian or religious book, sci-fi/fantasy isn’t the genre you should be looking in (or is it?). Thirdly, as a writer, editor & proofreader I find nothing childlike or boring. I would love to see any of these reviewers write 7 novels from 7 perceptions so flawlessly.
In closing, I am in awe of Piers Anthony’s talent with this series. Everyone deserves their opinion, but at least write something with knowledge, relevance and purpose. Not every novel speaks to a person, not every novel is easily read or understood by an individual, and those type of remarks could and would be appreciated. Absurd remarks with idiotic ranting, that I believe would never assist a person in deciding whether or not to purchase a book, should be deleted.
In a world where Magic and Science, offer their wares and compete for the almighty dollar, under the surface Satan uses his influence draw people to evil so he can claim their souls. The personification of evil is killed in the line of duty and his predecessor must now learn to be the new Grim Reaper and avoid the influence and out right control of Satan.
I thought this book was a lot of fun and it was a really cool concept. the performance was good. I enjoyed most of the series but this one was by far my favorite.
I'm a web designer in Southern California that loves a good thick book - especially epic fantasy, sci-fi, and contemporary thrillers. My favorite authors include Stephenson, Erikson, and Sanderson.
I didn't particularly love this book, but I'll admit that it's got some interesting things going on. The deity, "Death", is new to the job and essentially wanders around collecting souls and engaging in "episodic" internal debates over the merits of man's life here on earth and whether or not a soul should go to heaven or hell.
Cool story bro. It reminded me of the television show Grey's Anatomy - but replace the intense personal drama with heavy philosophical arguments.
The story just didn't really engage me in any real way, but I'll be the first to admit that I've read a lot of material like this and that, ultimately, if I'd read this when I was a bit younger, it would have become one of those cherished novels that I push on my friends and children. I suppose I'm a bit jaded by the whole heaven and hell world structure, so this felt a little stale. To be fair though, the book is 30 years old and has aged as well as any book has in the genre.
The ideas here are great - even if you don't love the world, there's tons for a young mind to ponder over and it gave me plenty to chew on myself... I just got bored of the chewing and wanted to move onto something else. It's solid writing, has a great narrator, and is worth a listen - if only to say that you've touched on this classic.