Wysteria's Reviews > The Thirteenth Tale

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
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's review
Jan 28, 2013

liked it
bookshelves: read-2012, no-longer-own
Read from May 09 to 11, 2012

The blurb on the back cover leads you to believe that this novel will be a ghost-story-mystery for book lovers. That's not exactly true. It flows quickly but it has a very meta feel to it. It is a book about the writing of a book. A biography, actually. And there in lies the "ghost-story" aspect of it. All histories can be considered ghost-stories in some way, and this book is the history of a family. A dysfunctional yet wealthy family, but really, aren't they all?

There are some interesting plot twists, but the ending feels a little contrived. Instead of the ending you were expecting, the author throws in a "Just Kidding! This is what REALLY happened because I forgot to reveal some things to you along the way." That really irritated me. Or maybe I'm honestly just not a close enough reader to have caught all the little hints. I don't know. It feels like I'm being underestimated as a reader though. And I don't like that.

Despite my inability to catch everything during a first read through, the story is set up to grab your attention and keep you trapped. I didn't really care for the story but I couldn't stop reading. I needed to know what happened. It's on that same level of interest that Soap Operas have to me. I don't know why I'm watching it but I can't stop looking.

All in all, not a terrible book but not great either.

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Reading Progress

05/09/2012 page 4
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by Nicky (new)

Nicky A friend of mine has sworn that this is the best book she's ever read. I got a really cheap used copy years ago and I still haven't forced myself to sit down with it.

Wysteria It's really not a horrible book, but I just couldn't like the characters enough or really care about the story enough to call it fantastic. I'm also a fast reader so I miss a lot of detail, especially reading at work, where I read most of this. It's probably my own fault I didn't like it more. Oh, My Mother was unimpressed as well, if that makes any difference.

message 3: by Nicky (new)

Nicky I haven't found anything that's really impressed me lately. Probably because I keep reading teen books with ridiculous storylines. I want a good piece of fiction that really just sinks it's teeth into my head.

Wysteria You can always go back to the classics: The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway is great, The Sound and the Fury by Faulkner is infuriating but one of those books that creeps into your soul and changes things in your brain. The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald, or any of his short stories.

I've been reading through my collection of books that I will not be keeping. It's been interesting.

message 5: by Nicky (new)

Nicky I may be clearing out some books myself tomorrow. Tired of all the clutter!

message 6: by Jen (new) - added it

Jen I listened to it as an audio book and I think that heightened the experience. LYNN REDGRAVE.

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