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On a Pale Horse (Incarnations of…

On a Pale Horse (Incarnations of Immortality, Bk. 1) (utgåvan 1986)

av Piers Anthony (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
4,560851,910 (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.
Titel:On a Pale Horse (Incarnations of Immortality, Bk. 1)
Författare:Piers Anthony (Författare)
Info:Del Rey (1986), Edition: Incarnations of Immortality, Bk. 1, 336 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek


On a Pale Horse (Incarnations of Immortality, Bk. 1) av Piers Anthony

  1. 30
    Mort av 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.

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What can I say? This was an absolutely appallingly bad book. I'm new to fantasy, and was really excited for this series. By five pages in, I was regretting that decision. By page thirty, I was openly laughing.

There's an interesting idea at play here (more interesting in 1983, I daresay, than in our world where "guy becomes Death" has been done to, well, death). But unfortunately, I'd assumed this was adult fantasy, whereas this is written like a youth book - in fact the prose reminds me specifically of the lesser "Choose Your Own Adventure" works. Zane, the central character, has the thought processes of a 13-year-old boy, and as a result, we're punished by having to endure every single mundane thought he has. (Without a trace of irony, one line of narrative voice says "This was unreal!")

It's clear that Piers Anthony has a lot of good ideas but has no way of expressing them. At one point, he describes a watch: "It was mechanical, but had a way of magic about it". Describe how Zane could sense this magic, Mr. Anthony. Or show us some glimmer or spectral presence, rather than just tell us that. This is fifth-grade writing at best. The world Zane inhabits, similarly, is not in the least appealing. Winged horses in this world? Are known as "air-horses". It's like a bad "Futurama" parody. (Note to Mr. Anthony: we didn't call aeroplanes "air-cars", nor did we call cars "metal-horses". This is not how the world works.)

Perhaps if I'd got further into the book, this would have been revealed as an elaborate literary device to show us Zane's simplistic surfer dude brain patterns, but somehow I doubt it. I'd only recommend this to fifth-graders, but even then, I'm sure they can find something better to read. ( )
  therebelprince | Oct 5, 2021 |
I have always enjoyed Piers Anthony's books but I had never read this series. As a whole I quite enjoyed this series of books. I found the characters and story to be clever and interesting. It sort of reminded me of a more adult version of a Rick Riordan series of books. ( )
  KateKat11 | Sep 24, 2021 |
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 |
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» Lägg till fler författare (4 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Anthony, Piersprimär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Campiti, DavidFörfattarehuvudförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Crisp, StevenOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Whelan, MichaelOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat

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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.

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