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The Thirteenth Tale

Written by: Diane Setterfield
Narrated by: Jenny Agutter
Length: 14 hrs and 12 mins
4 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Thirteenth Tale is a compelling and emotional mystery, in the timeless vein of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca, about family secrets and the magic of books and storytelling.
©2006 Diane Setterfield (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Thirteenth Tale

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

really dry story.

really dry story. the narrator tried hard to make it sound impressive but failed. couldn't finish it

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • S
  • 29-12-09

Amazing

I can not recommend this enough. My only complaint was that it finished. I eagerly await anything more from this talented Author.

The gothic beauty, the mystery and the prose is all perfectly aligned to bring you hours of delight. You won't be able to turn this one off.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • BookLady
  • 26-10-12

For lovers of stories.

Beautifully written, Diane Setterfield takes you on a great journey to another world. I was enveloped by the characters and their stories. Loved it!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • karen
  • 26-10-10

the thirteenth tale

A real "page turner". I loved this book. It's full of loyalty, love, twists and turns - I could almost touch the characters and Jenny Agutter is an excellent narrator.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Fiona
  • 03-01-12

It will take you into the story and hold you

I have just finished this story and found an old fashioned sense of satisfaction in the ending that had the pieces tied and completed. It weaves beautifully in and out of the characters stories and time past and present. It never left me confused about who was who but always moved forward like a sturdy craft on the water sure of its destination. A fantastic read as I sat, drove, rode and walked.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Hui-Chang
  • 15-07-08

Marvellous

As soon as I finished this book, I wanted to go back to the beginning and start all over again. There are so many intriguing aspects to the story and the author has been skillful enough not to leave any of the threads dangling unintentionally. A very satisfying read and highly recommended!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Juliet
  • 20-06-13

Measured magic!

Verbally intoxicating. By turns, chilling and mesmerising -thank you Ms Setterfield.
Hats off to Jenny Agutter for her excellent narration. Skilled, accessible and honest narration is that vital link between author and reader.

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  • Kate
  • 06-01-12

A must read

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Up there with Water for Elephants & The Time Travellers Wife. Compelling, I loved it and this is one of the few books I will listen to again.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kirstine
  • 24-05-12

Atmospheric and gripping

I couldn't stop listening to this wonderfully atmospheric story. The pleasure greatly enhanced by Jenny Agutter's accomplished narration. It's difficult to pigeon-hole the book: it delves into psychology and the paranormal; into a quest for the truth about identity and echos some of the themes in Jane Eyre. It's one of those books that sucks you into it's world and leaves you wishing it hadn't ended.

43 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Sararara
  • 27-01-19

Hot sweet tea, Jane Eyre and cocoa

A frumpy story. Despite the mellifluous narration of Jenny Agutter, I almost stopped listening half way as the constant references to hot sweet tea, Jane Eyre and cocoa were too annoying. This is a very slight story wrapped up in all the tropes and repetitive detailing found in Victorian classics. Aside from why there are so many glowing reviews for this book, the biggest puzzle is when it was supposed to be set. It seems deliberately vague- presumably wanting to give it a timeless air- but I’m plumping for the 1950s, with a yearning for a century earlier.

36 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jo
  • 27-03-11

A Fabulous Twisting Tale

I first came across this book in paperback form and although it was a bit of an epic novel I waded my way through hooked by its secrets and saga. I really wanted to experience the story a second time but just didn't have huge chunks of time to sit down and read it so I purchased the audio version and it is as wonderful as I remember it!

The book takes place over two time periods and I must admit it is the older era which I find the most enrapturing and interesting. By the end of the audiobook the twists and turns will have you on the edge of your seat and you will want to listen to the whole thing again in order to consume every little detail.

Fantastic!

33 people found this helpful

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  • H. Kendall
  • 24-06-17

Riveting, disturbing, amazing

A little way into this brilliant, Jenny Agutter narration I started to realize that I had seen a TV drama version and could just about remember the basics of the plot. It says something about the strength of the writer that this did not undermine my enjoyment of it one bit! Even the twist, the gist of which I was waiting for.
I'm not certain the plot really adds up to something entirely credible but that doesn't matter at all as one is swept along on this unsettling gothic ghost story.
The framing device of interviewer and interviewee and the rather common place, unlikely heroine of the latter day story, to me, perfectly offsets the darkly unfolding family saga of ages past. Angelfield House is not a place one would wish to reside for very long. It is a relief to be whisked back to the present day from time to time.
This is also a book about books. About publishing and the experience of both writing books and reading them. A rich literary feast which haunted me for some time after it had ended.

11 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Linda
  • 01-08-19

Undecided

There is no doubt that this is a wonderfully inventive book very well read - but oh dear I found it extremely depressing. I may go back and finish it - as I'd like to know the ending - but for the moment I've had to give it a break.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Debbie
  • 01-04-17

Great book, well written.

I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it. There is a twist to it and I didn't see coming but when he arrives you realise that it was there all the time. It is well written and well narrated. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

7 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
  • blueskythinker
  • 12-10-08

A great reader but a dodgy plot.

Although the author spins a good yarn, this book left me feeling dissatisfied.
We do not know what year it is and the themes of the story are unmistakenly gothic. It has an engrossing atmosphere but the convoluted plot left me wondering if I'd got it right by the time I reached the end.
The main strength of this audiobook is the excellent narration by Jenny Aguter. This is what kept me listening.

16 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-09-19

literary diet pudding

Saved by the narrator. I persevered but had to give up. OK if you need background noise.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Mrs Wendy Huggins
  • 19-02-19

Goes on too long ..........

I was 4 hours from the end of the story when I thought “this must be the end” I struggled to finish the book 😕. So many false endings. Not an enjoyable book, unlike ‘Once upon a river’ which was superb. I love Jenny Agutter but felt that the different characters could have been emphasised more so we knew who was who. I know I could have returned the book but based on ‘once upon a river ‘ I kept thinking that it would get better 😕

4 people found this helpful

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  • Pawsthevizsla
  • 13-04-16

Gets better each time

This is the second time I have listened to The Thirteenth tale partly because the story is so cleverly entangled that I wanted to make sure I did not miss a single bit .
I was not disappointed!! A beautiful story, with characters you feel like you understand and encage with.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Helen Fearn
  • 05-12-17

Do you believe in ghosts?

This book will stay with you for some time. It really gets into your soul.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Maria
  • 31-10-16

Possibly the best!

OMG what a wonderful story. I became part of this book. The 13th Tale was a magical journey of words, phrases, sentences that became living characters for me. It will be a long time before I can put this story aside and begin another. Thank you so much for such an amazing experience

3 people found this helpful

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  • Nola J Pearce
  • 02-03-19

Almost hits the mark

I enjoyed this book and was avidly moving through it enjoying the story and looking to find the ending. But I felt the author almost tried to be a bit too clever and I’m still not really sure i fully grasped or believed the ending. Also I found the part of the story that focuses on the narrator’s own tale to be forced and unnecessary. It didn’t help that the audio production wasn’t great - cutting in at odd places made it clear where recordings had stopped and started overall a good story.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-01-19

Fantastic read

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I'm looking forward to her new one .. Loved Jenny Agutter as narrator

1 person found this helpful

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  • Chris
  • 24-11-19

A long tale!

You need to pay attention to this one! Easy to get lost and lose your way. Lots of layers but fascinating and disturbing at the same time . I enjoyed “once upon a river “ more

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  • Sunny
  • 24-09-19

Beautiful Tale !!

I loved, loved this story Unique storytelling which kept me enthralled until the end Beautifully narrated by Jenny Agutter I did not want it to end, but it did so in a way that was immensely pleasing

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • justine
  • 11-06-19

the 13th tale

THANKYOU THANKYOU THANKYOU not only were I sent in a truly amazing story i were also carried away to another place in time altogether

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  • Lisa Maree Wain
  • 18-05-19

mystery, scandal & unexpected twists

A book of family secrets, love, life and death.....of protecting the innocent from the incestuous web of a life that ultimately consumes them.