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The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield

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I'm glad a at least a few people enjoyed this, as it's rather high on my wishlist. I very nearly bought it in a charity shop last week but was put off by the bane of my existence, the book's unsatisfactory condition...!

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I'm glad a at least a few people enjoyed this, as it's rather high on my wishlist. I very nearly bought it in a charity shop last week but was put off by the bane of my existence, the book's unsatisfactory condition...!

 

Oh yes ...I know exactly what you mean BookJumper. This past week, my bookclub met to discuss our summer read and I silently cringed when I saw the condition of one member's book. It looked as though he found it in a ditch somewhere it was so beat up and dirty. Tsk Tsk Tsk :lol:

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I almost bought this book recently, but it was almost new (retail) priced at a used book store, though in fairly good shape. But I buy used for a 'bargain', and this one wasn't.

I have wanted to read this for a while since it seemed like something I'd enjoy. It's interesting to see the varied reviews here.

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I know I am way behind everyone else with what I am reading but I have just finished 'The Thirteenth Tale' and thoroughly enjoyed it.

 

I like the unbelievable, although I must admit the first few chapters were hard to get into too, but I stuck with it and then had problems putting the book down.

 

I half guessed the end but did not get it quite right, so that has to be good.

 

In my younger days, says the OAP, I was a great fan of John Saul and Virginia Andrews, and their books are not believable either. I am not too sure what that says about me. :smile2:

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I enjoyed this book, read it all in one sitting. I did find it slightly frustrating not to know the time period, I kept thinking I had worked it out, then something else would make me change my mind.

The angelfield family were over the top, but it apparently wasn't uncommon for the rich to be seen as eccentric and strange. What villager would argue with the people that paid half the wages in the village? This was what bothered me about timing - that seems very old fashioned, against machinery and yellow hard hats and industrial kitchens. Confused, to say the least. But a good read that had me gripped.

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I've reviewed this on my book blog, but will add my thoughts here too, as I can see from this thread it has certainly had a mixed response.

 

The opening chapters of this book held such promise (how can an avid reader not be drawn in by the description of someone who lives in a bookshop!), but as the story began to unfold, I became disenchanted as I felt it was laden with cliché and melodramatic. There were parts of the story I thought were completely predictable, while the twists I didn't see coming seemed to be almost shoe-horned in as if to prove that the author could be unpredictable. I also felt the tone of nostalgia throughout the book made the story slightly cloying.

 

Having said all that, it's an easy read and the plot does run along at a spritely pace, keeping you turning the pages. I liked the way Vida told her story to Margaret, and the description of how Margaret chose to record the sessions. Most of the loose ends are tied up neatly at the end of the book, and left with the promise of what is to come in Margaret's own life.

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Just found this thread - I was very surprised to see how many mixed reviews it has received. I absolutely loved it - one of the best I've read this year, but then again I love slowly unraveling mysteries where the last chapter or so changes the whole perspective of the book. I can't say I felt bothered by not knowing what period it was set in. I assumed it was around the 1990's and didn't really give it much thought.

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I do have it, however have never got around to reading it as each time have picked it up, have never been in the frame of mind or concentration to get beyond the first two or three pages. 

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I was checking out the forum and found this thread. I've recently finished this book (audio version) and I loved it. The story held you in it's grasp and built in suspense till the very end. I liked the setting and never once was bothered by the lack of a date line. I felt it was assumed...the beginning of the 1900's or so. I loved the twist at the ending. I, too, was surprised as I was spectulating and didn't get it right. The audio version was well narrated with the right tone at the right time. I am sure that I shall re-read this book again.

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Quite oddly this is a book that I really loved and enjoyed while I was reading it, but now that I think back on it, I'm like, what was so amazing about it? :shrug: I don't know what's wrong with me.

 

Edit: I've just spotted my post on the subject in the earlier pages and back in the day I was like 'how can anybody not have liked the book'. :rolleyes: Jeez, I sound all annoying to myself :D

Edited by frankie

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I think we're still waiting on another book form her...?  Unless I completely missed something  :huh:

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I went on-line to look and can't find anything else from this author.

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Thanks for the heads up, Chesil. I've added her upcoming book to my wishlist. :)

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How cool, Chesil!  Hopefully it'll make it's way to BBC America sometime soon after so I can see it.

 

I didn't know about her new upcoming book, either, so thanks for that.  Looking forward to it! :D

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