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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 (7624 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Katie buchanan, MI, United States 11-18-10
    Katie buchanan, MI, United States 11-18-10 Member Since 2016
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    20
    4
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    "The best audiobook I've ever listened to."

    It's so refreshing to listen to something that wasn't predictable!! I will certainly read more from this author in the future. The ending was complete and left me satisfied. This book kept my interest from beginning to end. This is a must read :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Asiye Gokdar 11-16-10 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
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    22
    7
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    "Captivating"

    Wonderful writing & exceptionally captivating and well-crafted story. I thoroughly enjoyed the 15+ hours and was completely immersed in the novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William 11-14-10
    William 11-14-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    14
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    "A new favorite"

    I enjoyed this book when I listened to it the first time, as it is well written somewhat in the style of old favorites from Austen, Dickens, and the Brontes. Excellent pacing and real, complex characters allowed the intrigue to develop and continue to suck me in. Then when I had a second listen for a new bookclub, the richness of the story and the writing revealed itself even further. I've listened to it 4 times now and find something new every listen.

    For those who love 19th century english literature, this novel is destined to be a new treasure. For those who simply enjoy a great mystery, a well written book, or a good story, this novel is a worthy investment of time and money.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pat Martinez, CA, United States 11-05-10
    Pat Martinez, CA, United States 11-05-10 Member Since 2015
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    8
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    10
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    "One of my Absolute Favorites!"

    Dark and British... puts me in that Dickens mood... I listened 3 times from start to finish. Each time I caught another piece of the puzzle. Well written and expertly narrated. I have followed Bianca Amato to her work with Alison Wier's The Innocent Traitor. I am in my vehicle all day and if a book is not written or narrated well, I can't listen. This one was a blue ribbon winner. Please, Ms. Setterfield.... more of the same!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joan CLIVE, IA, United States 10-28-10
    Joan CLIVE, IA, United States 10-28-10 Member Since 2009
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    9
    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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    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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    81
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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
    10
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    98
    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
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    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

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