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On a Pale Horse Audiobook

On a Pale Horse: Incarnations of Immortality, Book One

In this, the first novel of the best-selling Incarnations of Immortality series, Piers Anthony combines a deeply moving examination of the meaning of life and death with a gripping story of romance and loyalty, all set in a world of magic and technical wizardry.
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Publisher's Summary

No science-fiction/fantasy collection is complete without On a Pale Horse. In this, the first novel of the best-selling Incarnations of Immortality series, Piers Anthony combines a deeply moving examination of the meaning of life and death with a gripping story of romance and loyalty, all set in a world of magic and technical wizardry.

Don't miss the other books in the Incarnations of Immortality series.

©1983 Piers Anthony Jacob; (P)1996 Recorded Books

What Members Say

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4.1 (1153 )
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  •  
    Jake 04-06-08
    Jake 04-06-08 Member Since 2011
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    "Full Series Review: 5 Stars"

    If your reading this your probably looking for a good series to get into, having read all the books here is my take on the series as a whole to help you make that decision:

    The first book is excellent and sets the tune for the entire series. If you pick up this one and dont like it then you can safely avoid the others in the series as they are very similar in most ways (though the rest of the books tend to be more plot driven and less focused on the powers of the office involved).

    Book 2 unfortunately has the least impressive plot of any, you absolutely must ride with it despite the strangeness for it to make sense and reveal itself as a decent book. The odd points are explained in the end, and when the plot is progressing its very interesting.

    Book 3 and on plot becomes very important, the characters become much more real outside their offices and it takes longer to get around to the overall theme, but is a vast improvement over book 2s interludes. Maybe its just me but book 2 really messed up my perception of the timeline of the series, to the point where I was confused on that point for most of this book - to clarify, this one takes place before either of the other books so far. Much of the structure of the incarnations is revealed in this book.

    Book 4 is interesting and quite diffrent plot-wise, though I have trouble relating to the character of Mars. Mars character makes the story work however, I dont think your supposed to relate to all of his aspects - but its his idiosyncrasies that progress the story.

    Book 5 is the slowest of the series, and would be my least favorite if not for the ending. The ending of this book is one of the great scenes of fiction and makes the entire series worth reading.

    Book 6 is a work of art, it spans the entire series and more filling the perspective of Satan in each novel. This is the perfect end to this series, it binds everything together and gives greater meaning to the work as a whole.

    34 of 35 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia K New York State, USA 10-13-07
    Cynthia K New York State, USA 10-13-07
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    "Unexpected delight"

    I knew nothing about this book or the author when I purchased it on a friend's recommendation, and against my better judgement. Was I surprised! A book about death and the meaning of life and all those serious topics with a sense of humor. George Guidall brings this story alive (no pun intended) and makes it a truly enjoyable and thought-provoking experience. I'm not a Sci-Fi or Fantasy fan, but just purchased the next Audible in the series. Give it a whirl!

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lore SAN JOSE, CA, United States 04-16-08
    Lore SAN JOSE, CA, United States 04-16-08 Member Since 2008

    Fantasy/Sci-Fi Fan

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    "Didn't do it for me"

    Being a fan of Piers Anthony from the Xanth books and also a fan of George Guidall (the reader of this novel) from listening to multiple other books he has read I thought this would be a safe pick for something I would be sure to enjoy, but alas I found myself disappointed.

    Piers certainly portrays the universe in an interesting way but I found little humor in the book. It was too off the wall for me to take it seriously and it was not funny enough for me to to take it in a comical way. I found the larger plot intriguing enough to pick up the second book in the series with the hopes that it would develop in to something I would enjoy; however, book 2 put an abrupt end to that thought and I have moved on to other series.

    To give some reference to my tastes: I am a fan of Fantasy/Sci Fi books in general and I also enjoy books portrayed with a sense of humor like Discworld, Xanth, and The Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy. I listen to audiobooks regularly and I wanted to like this one but I just couldn't get myself to enjoy it. It is definitely better than book 2 though.

    23 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Leesburg, VA, USA 01-24-09
    Chris Leesburg, VA, USA 01-24-09
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    "An Enjoyable Mix"

    I purchased this book during the Discover a New Series sale. It was worth every penny of the $4.95 I paid.
    I have read many unflattering reviews about the narrator, George Guidall. I was introduced to him in Stephen King's "Dark Tower" series. Since then I have listened to a number of other books he has narrated and I think I have discovered that to bring his reading to life, Mr. Guidall requires a certain kind of book. In my opinion "On a Pale Horse" is perfect for him.
    The story is strange but as I began to understand it, I became enthralled. This is the first Piers Anthony book I have listened to and I am going to listen to the second book in the series within a week or two. I don't think I am divulging to much to tell you the book is about the Grim Reaper. I have listened to all the Terry Pratchett books and one of my favorite characters is Death. By reading this book it seems I have a much better understanding of Death and what motivates him. That's not to say that this is a rip-off of Pratchett, instead by treating "Reaper Man" in a somewhat more serious way, the juxtaposition was very enjoyable for me.
    Reviewing what I have just written causes me to assume that most anyone reading this review is going to respond with WHAT? Unless perhaps you are a Terry Pratchett fan.
    I hope that if you take the plunge you enjoy the book as much as I did.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cliff madison, MS, United States 10-09-13
    Cliff madison, MS, United States 10-09-13 Member Since 2015

    I like scifi and urban fantasy. I don't like romance novels. If you are the same my reviews should help.

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    "Not as good as I remembered"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Yes, except for some sexual content it would be a good book for young adults. Unfortunately, as an adult it didn't hold up too well.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    This is a standard Piers Anthony book. It is more about problem solving than character development.


    Did George Guidall do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Somewhat. I couldn't get into the book. I am not sure it it is because of the book or the narrarator.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Yes, probably. I think it would actually make a betetr movie than a novel or audiobook.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a decent book. It definitely is one of the betetr books in this series. Maybe it is just a case of it not being as good as I remembered it from reading as a child. I bought a lot of Peirs Anthony audio books and kind of regret it as most didn't hold up to my earlier memories. Just goes to show tastes change over time.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John amarillo, TX, USA 09-14-07
    John amarillo, TX, USA 09-14-07
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    "A Sci-Fi/Fantasy"

    If you're the type of reader/listener that puts yourself into the book your reading, then you need this in your collection! Imagine yourself... as... "DEATH".. The Grim Reaper... Piers Anthony steps you into your role like none other!
    This is a non-stop thrill ride on the back of a "Pale Horse"! You'll be humored, thrilled, and startled... then you'll start the book and it will only get better!!
    After you've wetted your appetite for Piers Anthony on this audio book, you'll need to follow it up with book 2, Bearing an Hourglass.
    The entire Incarnations of Immortality series is a great read!!
    Then, hopefully his Xanth series will hit audible.com!! One can only wish!!!

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew FAIR OAKS, CA, United States 10-17-14
    Andrew FAIR OAKS, CA, United States 10-17-14 Member Since 2009

    I'm a web developer based out of Sacramento, I listen to books while I work, and love audible.

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    "'80s Urban Fantasy"
    Any additional comments?

    This was a quick fun read. It was urban fantasy from the 80's, and I think the synopsis pretty much describes it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marc 08-01-13
    Marc 08-01-13
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    "100% Anthony. Could say better. Or much worse."
    What did you love best about On a Pale Horse?

    If I had bought this novel as a book, it would have been only half the fun, because I would have skipped over at least 100 pages. In his comments Anthony even admits that he had to fill in text to meet the expected length. Anyway, it's a "typical Anthony": The craftsmanship of his story telling is great, the pace is even (which can be seen as a minus), you won't get a heartache from surprise (there's no surprising turn in the story).But George Guidall, the narrator of this audiobook, makes listening to it a really nice experience. He even gives the more ... sorry: boring ... parts live and vividness.


    Would you recommend On a Pale Horse to your friends? Why or why not?

    If you are looking for an audio book to listen to while doing something else: This is one of them. It won't distract you, but it may make a routine job much more fun.


    What about George Guidall’s performance did you like?

    Guidall does not over exaggerate (like so many Audible narrators do, misunderstanding their "actor routine"), but manages to still give the characters live and individual nuances. His pace is just right for the story, his dramatic does support the style of the book.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Even Death needs a Love to not die from boredom ...


    Any additional comments?

    Don't get me wrong. I really like Anthony's books, because he is a talented writer with a great routine. A little less "constructed, 100% predictable" story, a bit more (real) humor, some suspense would be more than salt to most of his novels. This one is a good example.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roy San Jose, CA, United States 11-09-12
    Roy San Jose, CA, United States 11-09-12

    i am a 48 year old disabled man. i am an aspergers cyber junkie and techno phile. i enjoy cyber punk, net runner epic fantasy and mysteries

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    "A magnificent Book. Worth listening to repeatedly"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    this is the first in a 7 part series about the ultimate struggle between god and the devil. set from a fantasy viewpoint it has major implications on an alternate viewpoint of life death and reality.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Manassas, VA, United States 01-29-12
    Jason Manassas, VA, United States 01-29-12 Member Since 2014

    Hey there! I am a Fantasy/Sci-Fi nut. I also enjoy a good zombie novel or thriller now and then. My likes tend towards Young adult novels as I find most of the "adult" Fantasy novels to be uppity for lack of a better word. Follow me if you like the same as I intend to go back and review every book I had listened to on this site and will keep doing so.

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    "Death rides a sweet car"

    This is my personal favorite book of all time. I love the way piers mixes magic and science, His outlook of hell and heaven, and Zane. The book is both fun and light as well as addressing some very intense topics.

    I first read this book as a child in the 80's and have since read it once a year. Sadly the later book in the series are not as good however still worth reading.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Pete
    LondonUnited Kingdom
    2/11/09
    Overall
    "Listening to a Black iPod"

    Piers Anthony's amazing start to a long series of very fine books is excellently voiced here by George Guidall. The mix of magic, science, metaphysics, religion and - above all - humanity is both fascinating and touching. Follow Zane as he loses his love, manages to kill Death - or at least the human holder of the office - and takes his place ... and wonder continuously at the machinations of Fate, a certain powerful wizard and last but certainly not least the Devil himself.

    The view on our own society seen through the lens of this alternate history where both magic and science have been harnessed to man's will is poignant and often telling - he wields his own scythe with the grim mercy that sometimes only death can bring. Much more than a political work this is about frailty and the shady definitions of sin and guilt.

    As for Guidall - having first come across his audiobook work on Stephen King's Dark Tower cycle I've been a huge fan of his ability to understand the work he is reading and bring such a rich wealth of emotion and nuance to even the simplest sentence. He truly is a master of the art.

    I'm really looking forward to the rest of the series which cover the other "Incarnations"!

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Mr
    2/11/09
    Overall
    "Listening to a Black iPod"

    Piers Anthony's amazing start to a long series of very fine books is excellently voiced here by George Guidall. The mix of magic, science, metaphysics, religion and - above all - humanity is both fascinating and touching. Follow Zane as he loses his love, manages to kill Death - or at least the human holder of the office - and takes his place ... and wonder continuously at the machinations of Fate, a certain powerful wizard and last but certainly not least the Devil himself.

    The view on our own society seen through the lens of this alternate history where both magic and science have been harnessed to man's will is poignant and often telling - he wields his own scythe with the grim mercy that sometimes only death can bring. Much more than a political work this is about frailty and the shady definitions of sin and guilt.

    As for Guidall - having first come across his audiobook work on Stephen King's Dark Tower cycle I've been a huge fan of his ability to understand the work he is reading and bring such a rich wealth of emotion and nuance to even the simplest sentence. He truly is a master of the art.

    I'm really looking forward to the rest of the series which cover the other "Incarnations"!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • jon davey
    11/18/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Death Rides a Pale Horse"
    What did you like most about On a Pale Horse?

    The humor and social judgments the author makes


    What did you like best about this story?

    Social and religious comment


    Have you listened to any of George Guidall’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    Very well he has a good range of characterisations


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    yes


    Any additional comments?

    With his post story commentary's the author may appear to be up his own A## but the debate and questions his books bring to the party make them damm good reading

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • R. Weston
    SALISBURY, United Kingdom
    10/20/11
    Overall
    "Second time around"

    I read the Incarnations series many years ago and enjoyed it so much I decided re-read the series again recently. I have not been disappointed in this, the first re-read. Pale Horse raises many questions about death and the process of death as well as living and life. A very thought provoking and most enjoyable novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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