The Thirteenth Tale

Completing my first book in the October Reading Challenge, I read The Thirteenth Tale , by Diane Setterfield.

It seems like everyone and their brother has read and reviewed this book, but I’ll give my two cents as well. I purposefully didn’t read any details on The Thirteenth Tale, wanting to have a fresh take on it.

It was a perfect read for this Halloween season, spooky and mysterious. The story was so beautifully written, that I was captivated from the start and never once wanted to put it down. Setterfield wove a brilliant web of stories within stories, revealing parts at different times, as everything came together at the end.

I do have a few criticisms. One, I didn’t care for Margaret’s constant complaining about her dead twin that she had never known. Yes, it’s sad, but she’s now an adult and needs counseling if she’s still that wrapped up in the ghosts of her past. I guess I don’t have a lot of sympathy for such week women portrayed in books. That’s why I thought it hilarious when the doctor prescribed for her to read Sherlock Holmes, instead of her usual Jane Eyre.

My other major complaint is that Setterfield took so long to wrap everything up at the end. The end seemed to drag (the only part in the book that did). And the explaining what happened to everyone was overkill. Why would we care what happened to Judith and Maurice? I don’t remember who Maurice even was! I believe he was referred to once or twice in the story.

But overall this was a fun novel that I’d recommend to anyone who loves a good, spooky mystery.

And of course, I have to comment on last night’s Heroes episode.
We finally got to see Niki’s “Mr. Hyde” persona. And I have a new theory on Peter. (And I’m sure I’m not the only one). I think maybe he has the ability to adopt anyone’s powers when he’s near them. This would explain why he could fly only near his brother. (Remember he was falling the first time he tried to fly, until he was close to Nathan in the air.) It would make for a cool twist. And it would also mean that Peter could match Sylar’s abilities, making him the only one who could possibly take him down. Since it seems that Sylar has multiple powers: mind control, healing, flight, super strength, freezing ability, etc.

9 thoughts on “The Thirteenth Tale”

  1. We really enjoyed last night’s episode.

    That’s an interesting theory on Peter. Do we have any other incidents to support it?

  2. I just thought of it as time stopped for him in the subway, I know it could have just been Hiro but…
    And in the previews for upcoming episodes, Peter’s eyes glaze over like the painter’s did when he was painting the future…

  3. I heard too on another site that he’s got abilities akin to Rogue’s in the X-men … I think that’s right!

    Also I’m wondering if Niki’s Mr. Hyde IS Sylar?? OH and the african american guy that was surpressing the dude’s mind reading powers … wonder if he’s Niki’s ex (the father of her son?)

  4. Glad you enjoyed Thirteenth Tale. I respect but don’t share your criticisms. I hated for it to end as it was just so enjoyable.

    Another great Heroes episode. I’m really enjoying this. Great theories going there. I haven’t had much of a chance to talk to anyone lately about this so I’m sure we’ll get into a good discussion about it at the comic shop on Wed.

  5. angela, I agree 100 per cent with your critique. Perhaps it had been built up too much in my mind. I DID like it, I just didn’t love it. I felt that the twin analogies were contrived for Margaret, then mad at myself because how would I know? I’m not a twin. Also, I felt the end was anti-climatic. It just withered away, instead of socking it to me. Nice review!

  6. Zeek – I’ve wondered those things too.. but I’m kind of hoping that Sylar is someone we haven’t met yet.

    Carl – I’m glad you thouroughly enjoyed it.. I’m sure there are more with your view than mine!

    Bellezza – Yes, I kept telling myslef that I don’t know what it’s really like having a twin either.. but I figured she should have sucked it up by the time she became an adult.. glad to know I’m not the only one!

    Jules – If he doesn’t remember, you should have said that YOU were the one who said so. heheh

  7. That James and his memory loss!

    Again, I think your points on the book are valid, I just didn’t have that experience myself. The worse thing about coming to Thirteenth Tale today is that it has been so hyped that people are bound to be disappointed by it. I’m glad I got it and read it before I read anyone’s reviews of it.

    Now that you mention it I did notice the eyes glazing over thing. That would be really cool. I loved Hiro’s future look. He is such a fun character, I really think he’s my favorite.

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