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The Thirteenth Tale Audiobook

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

4.2 (6588 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Tatiana bethany Beach, DE USA 09-02-08
    Tatiana bethany Beach, DE USA 09-02-08 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    17
    3
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    "ARRESTING AND ORIGINAL"

    I sampled the story and was immediately captivated by the narrator. After finishing the book, I read the reviews and was surprised by the number of reviews written! Clearly something to talk about! Struggling to finish one of The Best Authors, this book was a breath of fresh air, the kind of book I have not read before. The story within the story so passionate and painful, it was hard to put down.
    The author brilliantly anatomizes the relationship between characters, delicately takes the reader back into the past and captures the very essence of the human relationships: love, revenge, hate and lust. It is a gripping tale and, like a great painting, can be revisited and rediscovered. I highly recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amber Rose 08-28-08
    Amber Rose 08-28-08 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
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    222
    11
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    "Fun to listen to"

    This was an enjoyable book. The time flew by and the story kept me listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tanja 08-26-08
    Tanja 08-26-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    152
    8
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    "What a story!"

    Like a fly in a web, I succumbed to this story almost immediately. What an amazing tale, within a tale, no to mention the final revelation in the 13th tale!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Samantha 08-24-08
    Samantha 08-24-08 Listener Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    41
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    138
    16
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    "Every audio book should be this good."

    This is a well crafted story, constant and engrossing. Narrated very smoothly without the slightest bit of interference on the writing. I enjoyed this book so much and have recommended to several others who have enjoyed it equally. With out a doubt this is one of my favorites in my audio library!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MJ Quincy, MA, United States 07-27-08
    MJ Quincy, MA, United States 07-27-08 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    92
    4
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    "A really good read."

    This is a great performance of a well written book. The story is captivating, and the plot unfolds well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Colorado Springs, CO, United States 07-02-08
    Barbara Colorado Springs, CO, United States 07-02-08 Member Since 2011

    I'm a SAHM with a passion for books. But raising 4 kids leaves me with little time to read. Enter audible and I am a happy camper!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    70
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    "wonderful"

    I listened to this book last summer and it is still one of my favorite books. The readers of this book contributed greatly to my enjoyment and I still look for other books they have read. I highly recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edythe Pinellas Park, FL, USA 06-26-08
    Edythe Pinellas Park, FL, USA 06-26-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
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    50
    21
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    "Fantastic"

    I loved this book. A good read that keeps you from wanting to put it down. I highly recomend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joan 05-12-08
    Joan 05-12-08 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
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    146
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    "Couldn't put it down"

    This was beautifully written and beautifully read--a wonderful, juicy, gothic-style story I just couldn't put down. The characters were engrossing, and the twists totally unexpected. One of my favorite reads in a long time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    04-21-08
    04-21-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
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    "An English classic!"

    This was a great listen. I found the story fascinating and very well written! She says so much with great economy of words and kept my interest captivated from the very first line.
    Aditionally, the narrators did an excellent job at interpreting and conveying the mood and feeling at each turn. An A++

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura 04-18-08
    Laura 04-18-08 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    106
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    361
    27
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    Overall
    "Brilliant"

    I am blown away by this novel. It is not only spellbinding but characters are incredibly well developed. There is the mesmerizing main story and then several sub stories within which are all complete. I also immediately looked for other works by the author and discovered it is her first. I will be impatiently be awaiting the next.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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