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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 (7420 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Joan CLIVE, IA, United States 10-28-10
    Joan CLIVE, IA, United States 10-28-10 Member Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    3
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    "Bookishly Twisted!"

    A very engaging tale about a book lover for book lovers. It made me want to re-read some of my favorite classics. I didn't want this book to end!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Lyter Kempton, PA 10-14-10
    L. Lyter Kempton, PA 10-14-10 Member Since 2012

    Runner, Commuter, Dietitian with a passion for U.S. History.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Beautifully narrated"

    Another book that is probably superior to listen to than to read. The main character, Vida Winter, is far more interesting than the narrator, Margaret Lea. The plot is engaging but the book drags a little in the re-reading of diaries and the re-telling of preparation of many cups of sweetened hot beverages that are apparently addictive to survive Yorkshire winters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mercedes Chicago, IL, United States 10-08-10
    Mercedes Chicago, IL, United States 10-08-10 Member Since 2014
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    REVIEWS
    40
    1
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    "Slow and primarily uninteresting"

    I finished the book because I bought it and needed something to listen to on my walk to work. I did stop about 30 minutes before the end and started a new book because it seemed more exciting - I only went back to finish this title after I finished the new book. So not worth the credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thayer Boxford, MA, United States 09-26-10
    Thayer Boxford, MA, United States 09-26-10 Member Since 2008
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    77
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    "Expectations exceeded!"

    I read the reviews and must say the promise of a compelling story with superb narration was exceeded! I savored it right to the end and look forward to future books by Diane Setterfield!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dawnmichelle West Palm Beach, FL, United States 09-22-10
    Dawnmichelle West Palm Beach, FL, United States 09-22-10

    frg

    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    4
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    "Great First Listens"

    This was my first Audible Book I have ever listened to. It kept my attention word to word, through all the chapters. I even found myself longing to hear more when I was occupied with other matters ongoing through my day.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura Abrahamsen 09-11-10 Listener Since 2010
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    6
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    "First Audible Download for me"

    I chose this as my first download because my book group had chosen it for the next month. As it happens, I was taking a group of students to Italy for spring break, and this novel made the flights more than just bearable. I love a good gothic novel, and the matching of voices and characters was perfect. It was almost more like a radio play than a novel. As a book, it was so well-written that I could actually catch the literary imagery and leitmotifs even without seeing the words on the printed page. A truly enjoyable experience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    thomas cathcart Starkville, MS United States 09-08-10
    thomas cathcart Starkville, MS United States 09-08-10 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Beautifully crafted novel"

    Excellent story and well written. The readers were superb. This was a thoroughly enjoyable listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dennis 08-24-10
    Dennis 08-24-10 Member Since 2015
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    133
    4
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    "The Thirteenth Tale"

    The book is beautifully written and the readers compliment the wonderful writing. I am only disappointed that I cannot find another book by Ms. Setterfield. I would rank this as one of the best books I've read. You'll not be sorry for choosing the "Thirteenth Tale"

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Louise 08-16-10
    Louise 08-16-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A new favorite!"

    What a great book!! This Gothic mystery is more for women than for men (I think) but it is not a "chick lit" typical mushy love story. It is a fantastic mystery filled with hidden corners and seams along the way. A reclusive writer asks a reluctant biographer to take her story. As the story is told, their lives unravel and begin to heal along the way. I didn't want it to end. This is another new favorite of mine! I loved it completely!

    The narrators were fantastic!! I am so happy that I was treated to the audio version. Beautifully read!
    I would give it six stars if I could.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet Medway, MA, United States 08-06-10
    Janet Medway, MA, United States 08-06-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Wonderful tale"

    This was my thrid audio book and has been my favorite so far. It is a dark story that is richly narrated by two wonderful women's voices. They made the story come alive and kept my rapt interest throughout the suspenseful book about a young woman who has been hired to write the biography of a secretive and demanding, though celebrated and well-known British novelist. It's a wonderful story that is perfectly narrated, and I highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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