The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel Audiobook | Diane Setterfield | Audible.com
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The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel | [Diane Setterfield]

The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel

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.
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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

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Performance
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  •  
    Scott & Cissy Wolfe 10-12-07 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    48
    6
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    1
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    Overall
    "The Thirteenth Tale"

    This book was beautifully written and the narration was mesmerizing and so perfect for this novel. If you only listen to one book this year, this should be it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Woodridge, IL, USA 10-09-07
    Christopher Woodridge, IL, USA 10-09-07
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    89
    6
    Overall
    "Interesting read"

    Thought it was slow as first, and it does have it slow moments, but interesting story line and characters that keep you listening

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy Sherman Oaks, CA, United States 02-03-07
    Kathy Sherman Oaks, CA, United States 02-03-07 Member Since 2004

    I am a busy executive who has a passion for reading, mostly novels. This passion was passed down to me (and my brother) by my father who was never without a book in his hand. I regularly have two or three books going at the same time..always have audible books in my ear during long car rides in Los Angeles.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    28
    7
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    1
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    "So good I listened to it twice!"

    I have recommended this book to everyone I know. It is a treat to discover such a gifted new talent in the literary world. I cannot wait to see what Ms. Setterfield does next. If I ever wanted to be an author, this is the kind of author I would want to be

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris merced, CA, United States 11-15-06
    Chris merced, CA, United States 11-15-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    59
    4
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    0
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    "Gush Fest"

    I'm a little surprised by the gush fest for this book. The writing and narration were solid, but the plot was predictable, especially to anybody who has read Jane Austen.

    Also, I take exception with some reviewers referring to the book as a "ghost story" or "mystery". It's neither. On the whole, it doesn't rate more than 3 stars.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim chino, CA, United States 08-03-13
    Tim chino, CA, United States 08-03-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    320
    17
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    Story
    "???"

    blah blah blah. Just could not get into this book at all. Just couldn't do it. I'm sorry.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martha East Hampton, NY, United States 08-18-10
    Martha East Hampton, NY, United States 08-18-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    51
    16
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    1
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    "Was not captivated"

    Listened to a good part and then realized I was bored and didn't return to it.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. McMillen Danville, IL USA 08-13-07
    J. McMillen Danville, IL USA 08-13-07 Listener Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    40
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    132
    33
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    0
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    "Different"

    This book is different. What I mean by that is there were times when we really enjoyed this book and then there were times we didn't.
    This book may be one of the few you should listen to the unabridged version.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rhonda Worcester, MA, USA 10-12-06
    Rhonda Worcester, MA, USA 10-12-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    5
    4
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    "snore--characters depressing"

    You can only so long about unattractive people who act the same--bore.

    6 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Pawnee, IL, USA 12-18-07
    Lisa Pawnee, IL, USA 12-18-07
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    2
    Overall
    "Forced myself to finish"

    I was extremely disappointed with this book.I made myself listen as I did not want to waste a credit and I had hoped it would get better.Unfortunately, that did not happen. I enjoyed the narrator.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paula beaverton, OR, USA 06-11-08
    Paula beaverton, OR, USA 06-11-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    14
    2
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    0
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    Overall
    "better then the book"

    could not get into book audio kept my interest every chance i got to listen

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
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