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The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Like New

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Book Overview

Instant #1 New York Times bestseller "Readers will feel the magnetic pull of this paean to words, books and the magical power of story."--People "Eerie and fascinating."--USA TODAY Sometimes, when you... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

2 ratings

A very intriguing story

I picked this up for 50 cents at my local library and it sat on my bookshelf for nearly a year before I got around to reading it. It was vey much not what I expected. At all. I loved the writing: even when the story threatens to get a little thick, the writing keeps you gliding along. The characters are flawed, but in the way that makes them feel like people, not two-dimensional; one can empathize (or at the very least rationalize) with them. It was dark and bright and confusing and perfectly sensible.

a praising, non-spoiler review

It is a dark and stormy night as I write this. Or, to be more accurate, a dark and stormy morning. The weather reflects the exquisite melancholy that has settled itself upon me at the completion of The Thirteenth Tale. Diane Setterfield's debut novel is one of those all-too-rare stories that gets under your skin, that grabs hold of your imagination with both hands and won't let go. I have cherised the reading of this book over the last week. All other books were set aside. When I wasn't reading The Thirteenth Tale, I was thinking about it, remembering it. I looked forward to those stolen moments when I might be able to read but a few pages as much as I did those hours that I could devote to the tale. I hung on every word and savored The Thirteenth Tale as one would a well-prepared meal. And now it has ended and, contrary to my normal habits I am not anxious to pick up the next story. I am not yet ready to move on. To put it plainly, The Thirteenth Tale was bound to fail. It had to overcome the weight of considerable expectations. It seemed that everywhere I turned prior to its release someone or some thing was inducing me to buy this book. Comparisons to Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca only served to heighten those expectations. And as I stood in the bookstore holding this beautiful volume in my hands (raised letter dust jacket with an image to make a book lover swoon, serrated pages that smelled of new paper and fresh ink, gold embossed designs on the spine of the book itself) my expectations were at a fever pitch. As I read those first pages I was nervous. Diane Setterfield was obviously attempting to speak with the voice of her gothic ancestors a century or more gone. A few of the initial sentences worried me. This style of writing seems always to be balanced on the edge of a precipice...one sentence fragment too many will tip it over that edge. I needn't have been concerned. Within a few pages it was apparent that Setterfield was a skilled performer. And really, if you think about it, she had an ace up her sleeve. Her protagonist, Margaret Lea, is a book lover. Sentences like: "There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner. Wind themselves around your limbs like spider silk, and when you are so enthralled you cannot move, they pierce you skin, enter your blood, numb your thoughts. Inside you they work their magic." and "I still believe in stories. I still forget myself when I am in the middle of a good book." could be mantras for those of us who have shared our love of books of late. With the kindred spirit of the bibliophile I was willing and anxious to follow Margaret on her adventure. And what an adventure it was. As I indicated at the beginning I will not spoil any part of the story for you. Simply put, The Thirteenth Tale is a grand novel in the gothic tradition. If you have read the book jacket you know that the story features a ghost, a grand old house, and family secrets. The novel al

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