Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield


  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Washington Square Press; Reprint edition (October 9, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743298039
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743298032
  • List Price: $15.00
  • I finished this book on Dec. 18
This book was recommended to me by an English teacher at my school, who said to me: "If you like Rebecca, you will like this." P.S. I effing love Rebecca. Lurve. Anyway, so I got the book, and I must say: I was not disappointed.
Okay: Margaret Lea loves books about as much as I do. She works in a family owned Antiquarian Bookshop and reads lots of history, and occasionally writes a biography of various crusty old dead men for fun. Vida Winter is a prolific author. She has written about a bajillion books and has an air of mystery, mostly due to the fact that she has never ever told the truth about her personal life. One day Miss Lea gets a letter from the mysterious Ms. Winter, requesting her services as a biographer. Best part? Lea has never read any of her books. Hee.
Margaret reluctantly signs on to a trial run with the author, but Ms. Winter insists on telling the story her way - as a story, in order without answering questions. So she proceeds to spin a yarn of such craziness, such gothic goodness, that Miss Lea cannot resist seeing the story through. Let me tell you my lovelies, this is some good shit. Insanity ensues. Ms. Winter tells the story of Angelfield, the place she grew up, otherwise known as nutbar central, or, the house that fucking crazies built.
There's a lot about twins and family and secrets. Very cool stuff. The parts where Mrs. Winter is telling the story are the best parts, and the parts where Margaret is researching are not as good at first, but totally get better. This is good rainy day reading, or good snowy weekend reading (as we have just had here). Okay, it's pretty much good reading regardless of the meteorological conditions.
I have not heard of Diane Setterfield, the author, before, but I can tell you she has fantastic hair. Beyond that, you'll have to look here. Also: the book has a rather dramatic, clunky website with little meat and lots of graphics, but A for effort, you know?

2 comments:

Carl V. said...

Isn't it a fantastic book? I love it and have recommended it to as many people as I possibly can. It has been a little over a year since I've read it and I'm starting to get the urge to read it again. Love it! Glad you enjoyed it as well. And it did indeed remind me of the feel of Rebecca.

Maw Books said...

I also just read this book and enjoyed it. I have not yet read Rebecca, so I now I must add that to my must read pile as well (which gets longer everyday). Thanks for the recommendation.