TEXT ☆ The Thirteenth Tale Ï Diane Setterfield
Ing but remains suspicious of the author's sincerity She demands the truth from Vida and together they confront the ghosts that have haunted them while becoming finally transformed by the truth themselves The Thirteenth Tale is a love letter to reading a book for the feral reader in all of us a return to that rich vein of storytelling that our parents loved and that 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 li I know that most people like to work out to Gnarls Barkley or Metallica or what have you but I find gym based exercise so exceedingly boring that I reuire narrative to keep me going Since my motor coordination isn't sufficient enough to allow me to turn the pages of a magazinebook AND pump the pedals on an elliptical trainer sometime last summer I turned to Audible to solve my problems Now what one reuires from printed matter may not at all do for the recorded book and in my case it turns out that I can only sustain listening interesting in heavily plot driven novels or extra dorkified pod casts of Wait Wait Don't Tell Me sigh Peter Segel Unfortunately the intersections of a compelling plot and interesting writing are fairly few and far between plus the narrator has to be a strong reader whose vocal stylings are not reminiscent of one's old junior high schoolhigh school drama club classmates This is difficult The literary writer trying on genre often works well John Banville as Benjamin Black is pretty good forgive my snobbery but only because the conventions of a straightforward mystery or sci fi novel can be a little cringe inducing when you actually hear them recited aloud But seriously I love Science fiction so no dissAnyhoo The Thirteenth Tale seemed as though it would fit the bill perfectly I mean premise wise it's the kind of book editors slaver over personal experience alert esp vis a vis potential audience in other words well heeled women possibly of a certain age The whole freaking novel is in effect a love letter to Jane Eyre and the other mega hits of the 19th century I'm browsing Audible thinking to myself ok talking out loud to myself Dark family secrets? Check Wheels within wheels narrative? Check Gloomy old English estate? Check Both Victorian and presumably post war setting? Check Antiuarian bookstore? Check Lonely main character whose best friends are books? Secondary main character who is a mysterious isolated writer? Check and CheckUnfortunately I think the voice I was hearing in my head was actually Diane Setterfield's cajoling coercive whinging and not my own Emphasis on coercive my main gripe about this mess of a novel is that while reading I couldn't shake the feeling that the author is constantly trying to impress upon the reader HOODWINK INTO BELIEVING like it that this piece of moribund trash is actually a work of serious literatureMight I illustrate this vexing complaint for you? Let's talk theme for a moment The central preoccupation of this novel is twinning or twinness The two main characters are both twins not each other's whose core identity has been formed by this as Diane Setterfield would have it division of one soul one egg one person into two bodies The concept of the twin is the leitmotif of The Thirteenth Tale Unfortunately Setterfield's entire take on the idea of the twin can be fairly summarized in the above italicized line Over the course of the book she uses the same metaphor at least four times to describe separated twins or non twins the amputee She has nothing but the most obvious predictable easy pop psychology thoughts to offer vis a vis twins but these ideas are all delivered in overwrought hyperbolic purple prose Every time the main character Margaret catches sight of her reflection which occurs at least ten times she swoons into an overheated almost laughable disuisition about her twin her reflection who waits for her just on the other side of this mortal coil Every Single TimeHow about books? Well could you imagine that some clever minx would have us believe that books are like the ghosts of dead people? I mean as a committed life long reader I have never encountered nor thought of such a bold notion author's words outlive their bodies and thus reading might be an act of communion with the dead? Whoa And also dead folk might get lonely it's so lonely being dead and the act of reading is akin to an act of friendship andor companionship? Fortunately for my feeble and limited imagination Setterfield ensures that such concepts are inescapable in her novel's groundbreaking treatise on the delights literature has to offerSetterfield makes the further mistake of declaring that Margaret's counterpoint Vida Winter is the greatest living English author of her day a point that is crucial to the story's operation Her books have won legions of awards and generations of journalists and biographers have been rebuffed in their frenzied attempts to discover her life story But Setterfield is not capable of convincing us that Winter is a great one of THE greats talent The narratives that Winter spins for Margaret are pale imitations of AtwoodByatt esue storylines Setterfield's insistence that we believe Winter is a cannonized author damages the credibility of the rest of the novel especially as it relates to the reader's reuired suspension of disbelief Of course the problem is that Setterfield is not nor should she be the greatest living English author nor even close to it and she's overreaching in trying to depict Winter as such It's sort of like an unfunny writer trying to write a funny character; the author doesn't possess the tools to show us that the character is funny but can only tell us she is Honestly I could continue on in my screed for uite a while longer but I think I should save my energies for positive reviews Let me just mention that this novel's construction pacing and plotting are all askew as well and that its ultimate resolution is a huge disappointment Perhaps my take is soured by the fact that I spent fourteen hours listening to this novel instead of four or so hours reading it But my feeling is that what could have been a fun homage to the nineteenth century novel became instead a dull trainwreck of a book derailed by its own inflated sense of literary import If anyone knows of a better but similar in texture novel to accompany me on my upcoming travelsadventures in exercise I'd love to hear it Thanks
EPUB The Thirteenth Tale
The Thirteenth TaleAll children mythologize their birthSo begins the prologue of reclusive author Vida Winter's collection of stories which are as famous for the mystery of the missing thirteenth tale as they are for the delight and enchantment of the twelve that do exist The enigmatic Winter has spent six decades creating various outlandish life histories for herself all of them inventions that have brought her fame and fortune but have kept her violent and tragic past a secret Now old and ailing she at last wants to tell the truth about her extraordinary life She summons biograph Sigh I really really wanted to like this book I heard good things about it and it has many elements I usually love in a novel a Victorian sensibility uestions of identity and sisterhood as well as siblinghood generally meta commentary on writing and a plain uiet somewhat chilly protagonist who prefers books to people The protagonist Margaret grew up in a bookstore and learned to read using 19th century novels and there are clear parallels in the story to Jane Eyre Wuthering Heights The Turn of the Screw and so onAnd yet with all it had going for it somehow it fell flat for me Somehow it felt slight and eventually tedious at the same time There were definitely many interesting moments but for some reason the gothic elements of the story never swept me up in the passion and scandal the way it would if the Brontes or Wilkie Collins wrote it Obviously this is an unfair comparison since the Brontes and Collins are my favorite writers but then again if you're going to model your story on Jane Eyre and indeed there were parts that really beat you over the head with it stating the obvious instead of allowing the reader to infer for herself you should be up to the task right? One of the problems in my opinion is that it seems Setterfield wanted a Chinese box construction ala Wuthering Heights but whereas that novel drew me in and made me feel like I was personally sitting at Nelly's feet as she told me the story of Heathcliff and Cathy somehow Setterfield's construction in which the novelist Vida Winter tells Margaret her story and does so using third person for a reason revealed later in the novel feels very distanced Margaret has a personal obsession which is supposed to parallel Miss the novel's term not mine Winter's but this obsession for me at least had me wishing Margaret would just get over it already Miss Winter's story stops adding much new information at a certain point and later we are given the diaries of a minor character which essentially only goes over information we already know Yet despite this the ending feels rushed and the mysterious thirteenth tale which Margaret receives in writing toward the end is only excerpted One wishes AS Byatt had written this novel as I suspect Setterfield may not have felt up to the task of writing the thirteenth tale which has a fascinating premise Byatt I am sure would have written a gorgeous tale to end the book withThat's the bottom line I suppose I just don't think Setterfield is that good a stylist The story should have drawn me in but didn't and I set it down to writing that simply wasn't as imaginative or lovely as it could have been If I read that someone made hot sweet tea ONE MORE TIME I was going to go crazy I like hot sweet tea as much as the next Victorianist but can't you find something else to describe or a different way of doing it? With all of the wonderful Victorian style writing going on now from former academics like Sarah Waters and AS Byatt it's too bad this book didn't measure up I kept comparing it to the in my opinion wonderful The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova which is also a first novel by a former academic The Historian has faults it's a little repetitious in certain points it's unwieldly there are some logic issues but it is so true to its Victorian predecessor Bram Stoker's Dracula in feeling and it completely sucks you in pun intended I have discovered a personal preference I would rather have an overlong unweildy messy wonderful novel that completely absorbs me than a shorter tidier but slight novel that doesn't touch me emotionally Wow did I just write a review that's longer than the book I just read?
Diane Setterfield Ï The Thirteenth Tale KINDLE
PDF Æ BOOK The Thirteenth Tale ´ DIANE SETTERFIELD ´ ➶ [Reading] ➸ The Thirteenth Tale By Diane Setterfield ➫ – Eyltransferservices.co.uk All children mythologize their birthSo begins the prologue of reclusive author Vida Winter's collection of stories which are as famous for the mystery of theEr Margaret Lea a young woman for whom the secret of her own birth hidden by those who loved her most remains an ever present pain Struck by a curious parallel between Miss Winter's story and her own Margaret takes on the commission As Vida disinters the life she meant to bury for good Margaret is mesmerized It 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 a topiary garden and a devastating fire Margaret succumbs to the power of Vida's storytell Tell me the truth These are the words that a young journalist speaks to Vida Winter in the beginning of this book Vida is an author famous for spinning magical tales In books and about her life Each time she releases a new story she grants multiple interviews in which every journalist asks her the story of her life and leaves thinking that they finally after decades of deceptions are the one she's told the truth to But she never does Until now Out of the blue she writes to an amateur biographer named Margaret Lea telling her that she has chosen her to be her official biographer That she is finally ready to tell the truth What follows issomething I find myself at a loss to describe Setterfield's prose is of the magical variety The kind that lifts from the pages to wrap you in its spell and transport you bodily into the book At one point in the story Setterfield perfectly describes how I felt when I finally set it down There was a sudden rush in my head I felt the sick dizziness of the deep sea diver come too fast to the surface Aspects of my room came back into view one by one My bedspread the book in my hand the lamp still shining palely in the daylight that was beginning to creep in through the thin curtains It was morning I had read the night away I immediately woke up my fiancé at 5 am on a Saturday and began to whisper to him about what I had just read Speaking at full volume didn't seem right sacrilegious even because I was still caught in this book's thrall and the ghosts of those who haunted the pages seemed to stalk my waking mind I finished it four days ago and still my fingers twitch toward my beautiful hardcover copy Because The Thirteenth Tale is a book that you need to read at least twice in your life The first time to learn the truth The second time to see with eyes wide open what is really taking place within these pages This is easily one of my top 10 books of all timeBlog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest