Monday, November 13, 2006

Book #44 - The Thirteenth Tale

by Diane Setterfield

My Rating
: 4/5

(click on the book jacket to link to The Thirteenth Tale website)
“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 your skin, enter your blood, numb your thoughts. Inside you they work their magic.”
A great book to read in this season, with winter on its way, and on the tails of the R.I.P. Autumn Challenge. I really enjoyed the gothic mood, and became quickly engrossed in the story. I got ever so slightly bogged down in the middle but it wasn't enough to affect my enjoyment of the story overall. It was described somewhere (can't remember where now) as "a book by a book lover for book lovers" and it certainly is that. The bookish quotes were a joy to read. One of my favourites:
“All morning I struggled with the sensation of stray wisps of one world seeping through the cracks of another. Do you know the feeling when you start reading a new book before the membrane of the last one has had time to close behind you? You leave the previous book with ideas and themes – characters even – caught in the fibres of your clothes, and when you open the new book they are still with you.”
And considering
my recent lukewarm review, I couldn't help but chuckle at Hester's comments about The Turn of the Screw:
“For the book is a rather silly story about a governess and two haunted children. I am afraid that in it Mr. James exposes the extent of his ignorance. He knows little about children and nothing at all about governesses.”
A fun, entertaining, well-written tale, or as Setterfield herself calls it, "a fairy tale for grown-ups". (B&N Book Club)


  1. I loved that last quote about the author knowing little about governesses and nothing about children - good choice! We came awfully close to rating the book the same, in spite of feeling completely different about it. Funny, yes? I had trouble with the first 3/4 rather than the middle, but I think that was partly me. Great review!

  2. I'm a pretty stingy rater, so a 4/5 book for me is still very good. I wavered between 4 and 4.5 but decided it didn't quite move me the same as other 4.5 books I've read this year. A perfect 5 is almost unheard of from me. ;)

  3. And I've had two perfect A+ (10/10) books within one month! Very rare for me, too.

  4. Great review! I'm going to link to your review of The Way The Crow Flies in that entry at OCR (I think you and I were the only ones to read it!) and also when I post about 13th Tale on OCR I'm going to link to this post.

  5. Sounds like you enjoyed it. I am glad. I've been wondering if it may have been a timing thing with me. That it was the perfect book for the mood I was in at the time. I wonder what I would think of it now.

  6. Les, wow!! I do have The Book Thief here now to look forward to! :)

    Thanks Heather. No problem. I just posted over there (finally!). Can't seem to get caught up since getting back.

  7. There were just so many good quotable bookish passages in TTT, weren't there?

    I'm so glad I don't get into formal ratings with my books - it would get very problematic for me, I think!


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