Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tuesday Intro: The Thirteenth Tale

"It was November. Although it was not yet late, the sky was dark when I turned into Laundress Passage. Father had finished for the day, switched off the shop lights and closed the shutters; but so I would not come home to darkness he had left on the light over the stairs to the flat. Through the glass in the door it cast a foolscap rectangle of paleness onto the wet pavement, and it was while I was standing in that rectangle, about to turn my key in the door, that I first saw the letter. Another white rectangle, it was on the fifth step from the bottom, where I couldn't miss it. 
I closed the door and put the shop key in its usual place behind Bailey's Advanced Principles of Geometry. Poor Bailey. No one has wanted his fat gray book for thirty years. Sometimes I wonder what he makes of his role as guardian for the bookshop keys. I don't suppose it's the destiny he had in mind for the masterwork that he spent two decades writing."
The Thirteenth Tale
by Diane Setterfield

It seems like most people have read The Thirteenth Tale.  It is my book club's May selection, so I'm finally getting around to it now. Approaching halfway mark, I'm involved in the story and curious about the outcome, but not loving it... yet.

Have you read this one? What do you think of the opening?



Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.

49 comments:

  1. I haven't read this and am intrigued by the setting and want to know what's in the letter!

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    1. Book Dilettante - The setting is wonderful. I'm really enjoying that aspect of the book.

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  2. I loved this book because of the setting; the story itself was good too but sort of beside the point. I wonder if she'll write another book? It's been a few years since this came out.

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    1. Trish - I agree, the setting is extra special here! Ti just mentioned in the comments below that she has a new book coming soon.

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  3. Great timing... I just finished The Matroika Sisters last night and will be reading this "first paragraph" today.

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    1. Lilea - Yes, perfect timing! This is a very atmospheric novel. Can't wait to hear what you think.

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  4. I haven't read this one yet...but now I do want to know more!

    Here's MY TUESDAY MEMES POST

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - The letter really seems to draw in the reader... very interesting opening chapter, too.

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  5. I haven't read this book but the opening para is intriguing.

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    1. booksaremyfavouriteandbest - It's really held my interest so far.

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  6. It's one I would love to re-read! I hope you enjoy it JoAnn!! It's one of my favorite discoveries from blogging (way way back in the day).

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    1. Trish - I can't wait to see where this story is headed. Want to know how Vida Winter got from her childhood situation to reclusive famous author!

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  7. I just started this on audio and am really enjoying the narration and writing so far.

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    1. Lisa - I'm mostly reading, but have listened to parts, too. Audio may be the best way to experience this one!

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  8. I bought a copy of this book about two years ago at a library sale, but haven't had the chance to read it yet. I am still hoping to try it sometime soon, and I thank you for the reminder.

    Here's my Tuesday intro: http://www.bookclublibrarian.com/2013/05/first-chapter-first-paragraph-12-and.html

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    1. Catherine Healey - I've had this book in the back of my mind for years, so am glad my book club provided the extra push to finally read it.

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  9. I've heard so many good things about this :) A copy is on its way to me from Paperbackswap and I'm looking forward to reading it!

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    1. Jennifer - Hope you enjoy it, too!

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  10. I have read this book and loved it!

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    1. Nise' - It seems to be a much-loved novel!

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  11. I haven't! I think I'd try it, based on this opening, but as I'm stacked up with books for a while I'll wait to hear what you think. :)

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    1. Audrey - Oh, I know that feeling!!

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  12. I loved this one and after all these years, she is finally coming out with a new book!

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    1. Ti - I'm sure her loyal fans will be happy to hear that! Wonder if it will be similar to The Thirteenth Tale.

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  13. The Thirteenth Tale is on my tbr list. I need to read this one soon. Enjoy!

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    1. Linda - Hope you get to enjoy it soon, too!

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  14. I have such an affection for this book. The audio is incredible. It reminds me of Kate Morton...gothic and spooky with secrets and mysteries. I'd love to do a re-read.

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    1. Sandy - This was supposed to be a read/listen combo, but I've been mostly reading. I agree that the audio is excellent and can definitely see the Kate Morton comparison. Think I need to spend more time listening!!

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  15. I've seen this book so many times but haven't really picked it up. The next time I see it I just may. But, is it a ghost story?

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    1. Arti - There are definitely ghosts, or ghostly elements, but doesn't really have the feel of a 'ghost story' yet. We'll see...

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  16. I remember loving this book, but not many of the details.

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    1. Carol - Remembering that you loved it is the most important detail ;-)

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  17. Oh yay! It's been about 5 or 6 years since I read this one, but I absolutely loved it! I hope you enjoy it.

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    1. Melissa - Setterfield is a marvelous storyteller! She's has really pulled me in.

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    1. Kelley - Hope you get the chance to read this. It would make a great fall/Halloween book.

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  19. I haven't read The Thirteenth Tale but I like the way it starts. Very atmospheric. Hope it gets better for you.

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    1. Margot - At the halfway mark now... it's definitely picked up.

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  20. I know this is bad, but I can't remember if I read the whole thing or not. Guess you're committed since it's for book club. Hope you like it. Here's Mine

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    1. Paulita - LOL! I'm enjoying it more now.

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  21. I read this when it was first released, and know I enjoyed it, but honestly can't recall much about it now:( enjoy

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    1. Diane - I'm the same way, but knowing that you enjoyed it is the important part :-)

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  22. I loved this one. Would read it again for sure!!

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    1. Staci - I ended up loving The Thirteenth Tale. Now I want to reread Jane Eyre!

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  23. I read this back in 2006 and I'm definitely in the minority. I only thought it was "fair." When you're finished, feel free to take a look at my review. Then we'll chat. :)

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    1. Les - It's funny... we marked several of the same passages again! The book started out strong for me, went downhill (I actually disliked it somewhere in the middle), and then I loved it again. I'm very curious to see what the rest of my book club though. Have no idea how I'll review this one...

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    2. Great minds think alike! :) Glad you wound up lovin' it!

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  24. I think i made a list of the books mentioned in this one so I could read those as well! Lord only knows where that is. Hope you enjoyed it :)

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    1. Jenny Girl - I know I've made lists of books mention in books before. The Thirteenth Tale made me want to reread Jane Eyre!

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