Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Pale Horse, Pale Rider: Three Short Novels” as Want to Read:
Pale Horse, Pale Rider: Three Short Novels
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Pale Horse, Pale Rider: Three Short Novels

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  1,715 Ratings  ·  200 Reviews
First published in 1939, these three short novels secured the author’s reputation as a master of short fiction.

From the gothic Old South to revolutionary Mexico, few writers have evoked such a multitude of worlds, both exterior and interior, as powerfully as Katherine Anne Porter. This collection gathers together the best of her Pulitzer Prize-winning short fiction, includ
Mass Market Paperback, Signet Classic, 175 pages
Published October 1962 by New American Library (first published 1939)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-10)
Rating details
Sort: Default
mark monday
Jan 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
O Death, where is thy sting? O Grave, where is thy victory? such soothing words. the afterlife as a just reward - Jesus has taken the sting of death away; the victory that lies beyond the grave - for all those who love Him. but alas, there is no such savior, no such leavening of pain, no embracing of the afterworld in the three novellas that comprise Pale Horse, Pale Rider.

"Old Mortality"

first: death is a mask, a veil, a shadow cast long and dark... it reshapes those it has taken, makes them mor
João Carlos

Katherine Anne Porter, commemorative postage stamp, 2005, US Postal Service – Michael J. Deas, Oil on Panel

“Cavalo Pálido, Pálido Cavaleiro” é uma pequena “colecção" de três novelas “curtas” da escritora norte-americana Katherine Anne Porter (1890 – 1980) – “Velha Mortalidade” (1936), “O Vinho do Meio-Dia” (1937) e “Cavalo Pálido, Pálido Cavaleiro” (1939).
A produção ficcional de Katherine Anne Porter foi limitada – um romance “A Nave dos Loucos” editado em 1962, que levou vinte e dois anos a esc
Sep 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers who want to be chilled & astounded
Recommended to John by: many folks; I got to it late
In this review I'm speaking only on the title piece, a "short novel" according to Porter, but I do have to say that "Old Mortality" (in the same collection) is also nothing short of magnificent. Still, "Pale Horse, Pale Rider" is the one that clings to the nerves, a masterpiece of illness and the implacable rooting after truth. The illness is personal, to be sure; this is the great work out of the influenza epidemic of the late 19-teens, a border-jumping holocaust that no other artist has found ...more
Apr 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Blue was never my color.” She sighed with a humorous bitterness. The humor seemed momentary, but the bitterness was a constant state of mind.
William Gass's Fifty Literary Pillars, which is a list of the 50 books that influenced him most, contains this book: one of only 4 by female authors (the others were Virginia Woolf, Colette, and Gertrude Stein), so I thought I had to check this out.

It's a book of 3 novellas (or long short stories). Immediately I was gripped by the voice in 'Old Mortality':
Oct 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Porter, Katherine Anne. PALE HORSE, PALE RIDER. (1939). *****. The three short novels that comprise this collection, in addition to the title story, include “Old Mortality,” and “Noon Wine.” They are all three excellent examples of story-telling at its very best. “Old Mortality” traces the life of Amy, a long-dead aunt of the two young girls who tell her story – or reassemble it – over a period of years. “Noon Wine,” – my favorite of the three – tells of the relationship between a farming family ...more
Jan 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this as a teenager and to this date have never ever forgotten it. I get goose bumps remembering it. One day I will reread, and see what I think of it almost 40 years later, especially now that I know it was about the 1911 flu pandemic.
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This holds characterizations that are struck deeply. Some of the best I've read in my life to sickness and to the discontent of "not fitting"- as well. All three novellas are brilliant.

I'm doing a reread and the review will be forthcoming. Probably after Thanksgiving.
Aug 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I was given this book in the early 1970’s from my Army buddy Butch Drury, himself in the Ph.D. program in English when he was drafted; he now is in the Hospital Administration department at Northwestern, but remains a Renaissance Man, but I digress. This wonderful short book by the author of Ship of Fools contains three short novels about change, sadness, tragedy, sometimes hope, and deep character study, about both individuals and the environment they’re in. Her prose is carefully and thoughtfu ...more
How on god's green earth hadn't I picked this up before? A girl I worked with and took classes with in college wrote her senior thesis on Porter's 'feminist' revisions of Faulkner, but I suppose I was so busy with my own thesis & worries about grad school that I didn't pick her up at that time and simply forgot about her until forced to read these three short novels (not "novellas", says Porter!) for a seminar last month. Books remain neglected on my shelves for years & years and nothing ...more
While all three novellas in this book are excellent, both "Noon Wine" and "Pale Horse, Pale Rider" quietly tragic, my heart belongs to "Old Mortality." The first story in the collection, it explores how a family's reverence for its past generations tends to be as romantic as it is based in reality. There's tragedy in this story too, but it's the everyday tragedy of unmet expectations.

"Pale Horse, Pale Rider" continues where "Old Mortality" left off, with the story of the family's youngest gener
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • A Curtain of Green and Other Stories
  • The Portable Faulkner
  • Eudora Welty
  • One Matchless Time: A Life of William Faulkner
  • A Visitation of Spirits
  • October Suite
  • The Circus in the Attic and Other Stories
  • State of Grace
  • Tell Me a Riddle
  • The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze and Other Stories
  • Revolutionary Petunias
  • The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories
  • The Collected Stories of Peter Taylor
  • Seven Gothic Tales
  • Lie Down in Darkness
  • Selected Short Stories
  • Lands of Memory
  • Valerie Solanas: The Defiant Life of the Woman Who Wrote SCUM (and Shot Andy Warhol)
Katherine Anne Porter was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist, essayist, short story writer, novelist, and political activist. She is known for her penetrating insight; her works deal with dark themes such as betrayal, death and the origin of human evil.
See also
More about Katherine Anne Porter...
“Death always leaves one singer to mourn.” 21 likes
“Don't you love being alive?" asked Miranda. "Don't you love weather and the colors at different times of the day, and all the sounds and noises like children screaming in the next lot, and automobile horns and little bands playing in the street and the smell of food cooking?"
"I love to swim, too." said Adam.
"So do I," said Miranda, "we never did swim together.”
More quotes…