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The Thirteenth Tale Audiobook

The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel

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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: AudioFile magazine called Jill Tanner's performance in The Thirteenth Tale a tour de force...and I couldn't agree more. Both Tanner and Bianca Amato are absolutely marvelous in this haunting debut novel, their voices seamlessly weaving the best story-within-a-story plot that I've ever heard. Reminiscent of Rebecca and Jane Eyre, The Thirteenth Tale is a real thrill for fiction lovers. —Diana Dapito

Publisher's Summary

All children mythologize their birth... So begins the prologue of reclusive author Vida Winter's beloved collection of stories, long famous for the mystery of the missing thirteenth tale. The enigmatic Winter has always kept her violent and tragic past a secret. Now old and ailing, she summons a biographer to tell the truth about her extraordinary life: Margaret Lea, a young woman for whom the secret of her own birth remains an ever-present pain.

Disinterring the life she meant to bury for good, Vida mesmerizes Margaret with the power of her storytelling. Hers is a tale of gothic strangeness, featuring the Angelfield family, including the beautiful and willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess, and a devastating fire. Struck by a curious parallel between their stories, Margaret demands the truth from Vida, and together they confront the ghosts that have haunted them.

The Thirteenth Tale is a return to that rich vein of storytelling that our parents loved and we loved as children. Diane Setterfield will keep you guessing, make you wonder, move you to tears and laughter, and in the end, deposit you breathless yet satisfied back upon the shore of your everyday life.

©2006 Diane Setterfield (P)2007 Simon & Schuster Audio

What the Critics Say

  • Audie Award Finalist, Literary Fiction, 2007

"Bianca Amato is stunning as Margaret....[her] respect for the power of story and the written word is heard in every utterance. Jill Tanner accomplishes a tour de force as the enigmatic and mysterious Vida. In conversation her voice has the hesitancy and fragility of an elderly woman, but her voice takes on the strength and power of a master storyteller as she weaves her spellbinding life story." (AudioFile)
"Readers will be mesmerized by this story-within-a-story tinged with the eeriness of Rebecca and the willfulness of Jane Eyre. The author skillfully keeps the plot moving by unfurling a new twist in each chapter and leaves no strand untucked at the surprising and satisfying conclusion. A wholly original work told in the vein of all the best gothic classics. Lovers of books about book lovers will be enthralled." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (7174 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jessica San Francisco, CA, USA 05-05-10
    Jessica San Francisco, CA, USA 05-05-10 Member Since 2006
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    857
    1
    Overall
    "The Thirteenth Tale"

    One of the finest books ever written. I just listened for the 2nd time and it was even more wonderful than the first. Beautifully narrated. For those who love to read and need to read, this is a must.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ivy Sciandra New York 05-03-10
    Ivy Sciandra New York 05-03-10 Member Since 2008

    Ivy

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A wonderful story"

    Absolutely gripping from the very beginning. This is a beautiful told ghost story that will keep you guessing until the end. Add to it the fantastic narration by both Bianca Amato and Jill Tanner and you'll find it impossible to not listen straight through to the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 04-26-10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    27
    1
    Overall
    "If there were pages to turn, they'd fly!"

    This was one that held my attention from the opening sentence to the final words. I was captivated by the premise and the intertwined stories. The narrators were wonderful to listen and really produced the imagery & emotion the author so masterfully spun for our imagination and enjoyment. I am really looking forward to Setterfield's next novel. One more thing, a thank you! For not feeling the need to include vulgar descriptions and sexual content. I was able to enjoy this book with my children present and for that I am grateful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nina Olney, MD, United States 04-10-10
    Nina Olney, MD, United States 04-10-10 Member Since 2008
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    "Captivating"

    Sometimes the narration spoils an audio book. Most of the time the narration is fine, and I don't regret "reading" the audio version. But, occasionally, an audio book comes along that is SO perfect in the format that I can't imagine reading it any other way.

    The Thirteenth Tale is such a book for me. It is extremely well read, and the story carried me away. It's been quite some time since I've read a book with strong Gothic undertones. But, I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I found myself caring about the principal characters and was caught quite off-guard by one of the plot twists.

    I didn't care for how a couple of the characters' problems were wrapped-up at the end of the book (don't want to give anything away!). But, it didn't detract from the overall experience of The Thirteenth Tale.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alyssa New Ulm, MN, USA 04-08-10
    Alyssa New Ulm, MN, USA 04-08-10
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    3
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    "Came out of nowhere to be one of the best."

    Normally I only purchase the classics, but found the idea of this book to be too interesting to pass up. I was thrilled to be ensconced with the story from the very beginning. The narrations are excellent, the book was superbly written and the plot twists ever so slightly (less than a mystery, but more than a drama). I was terribly disappointed when the story was done. Diane Setterfield has done an amazing job at story telling. I would highly recommend this book, even if you don't think it is your normal style or genre.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lee Blue Anchor, NJ, United States 04-03-10
    Lee Blue Anchor, NJ, United States 04-03-10 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Kept my attention"

    Not my usual type of book, but it was good and kept my interest.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle Hannum 03-25-10 Member Since 2014
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    33
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    "Hmmmm"

    I was really hoping that I would like this book, but I didn't. I was having such a hard time staying interested that I stopped listening to it altogether! I hate to waste money, so I will try again but the plot is ploddingly slow! I hope that something happens soon.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sernearia United States 03-17-10
    Sernearia United States 03-17-10 Member Since 2010
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    "Not what I expected"

    I read so many different opinions on this book I thought I should listen to it for myself. It had its good moments but I haven't been able to finish it. It didn't keep my attention.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emilia Chicago, IL, USA 03-15-10
    Emilia Chicago, IL, USA 03-15-10
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    "Please make the movie!"

    I found this story addictive and was very pleased with the way the tangled web became unraveled in the end. I really enjoyed the narration as well- it was very engaging. I truly hope they make this story into a movie. I've already started casting the characters in my head. I will definitely listen to this story again in the future!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rosemary New Haven, CT, United States 03-11-10
    Rosemary New Haven, CT, United States 03-11-10 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "atmospheric, but slow at the start"

    I probably wouldn't have listened beyond the paaaaainfully slow and aimless-feeling first couple of hours, but I was trapped in a car with nothing else to listen to. I'm glad I did, though. This is a very atmospheric book that draws you into its little world. It requires some suspension of disbelief to really get into the story (like, about everything you think you know about how human beings behave), but I ultimately found it pretty entertaining.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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