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Thirteen Paperback – 25 Nov 2006

16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Myrmidon Books Ltd; New Ed edition (25 Nov. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 190580203X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905802036
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 21.4 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,577,855 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Sebastian Beaumont's novel Thirteen is the best thing I have read this year and one of the two or three finest books I have come across since the new century kicked in." --Scott Pack

"Sebastian Beaumont pulls off two impressive feats in his first novel. He writes a colloquial, first-person narrative that is consistently engaging; and he creates a dreamlike, alternate world without stretching the reader's credulity or patience." --Nicholas Clee, The Guardian

"Stimulating and entertaining" --Francis King

About the Author

Sebastian Beaumontis apsychotherapeutic counselor." --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Yvonne S. Brotherhood on 4 Dec. 2006
Format: Paperback
Beaumont's debut is assured, compelling and elegant.

Anyone who has ever experienced the lifestyle, stresses and strangeness associated with nocturnal taxi-driving will easily empathise with the narrator, and Beaumont builds nicely on that initial sympathy to draw the reader into a macabre dreamscape where the hypnological and hallucinatory lock horns over the sanity of the exhausted, confused driver.

I read this in two sittings and it lingered for days - a slow-burner of a story, infused with memory, guilt, and dominated by the surreal, Bacon-esque threesome involving the tangled limbs of landscape, memory and relationships.

An excellent debut, and beautifully produced too.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Charles Porter on 5 Sept. 2007
Format: Paperback
I was hooked on this one from the moment I picked it up. I love books that play around with the idea of what is real and what isn't. Having a central character (Stephen Bardot) who is a taxi driver working a night shift is a great way of introducing weird characters and strange atmospheres. The author conjures up that spooky middle-of-the-night way of thinking, and runs with it as far as it is possible to take it. I've never really thought of wrestling with your own unconscious as a life-or-death struggle, but that is exactly what Stephen faces. Self-knowledge comes at a hefty price here and it is sometimes unclear whether it is worth it. I found the story spine tingling, macabre and wildly funny by turns.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Riley on 11 Sept. 2007
Format: Paperback
Reading this book, I felt as if I had entered another dimension, a strange world where everything was slightly off-centre. Stephen ( the central character ) is a believable and likeable companion on the journey. The little anecdotes about the passengers he carries in his taxi are so realistic, that the "fantasy" elements of the story are grounded by these day to day events, and the whole thing just sucks you in. A very readable writing style, it was definitely a pleasure to spend time with this author.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By booksy TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 5 Aug. 2008
Format: Paperback
A couple of reviewers have commented that the conclusion of this book is ambiguous - something I had worried about while reading it. Yes, it was a good read, but I did wonder if it was going nowhere. The fact is, Thirteen isn't ambiguous - and it does end up going somewhere. If it's a neatly tied up, 'rational' explanation you're after at the end of the book, you won't get that (arguably, if you had, that would have spoiled the mystery of 'thirteen'). What you do get is a surreal mystery that's never pretentious, never so mysterious that it loses you and never so far removed from reality that it becomes totally unbelievable. It's an excellent first novel with hints of Graham Joyce or Jonathan Carroll, and I'll be watching this author with interest in the future. Admittedly Thirteen clearly draws on Baumont's own experiences as a cab driver with, it would seem, real life anecdotes in there. It will be very interesting to see, in Beaumont's next novel, whether he's able to create an entirely fictional world that doesn't necessarily rely on his own personal experiences. I should imagine he will be able to. Clearly he has a great imagination and a fantastic way with words. I'm definitely looking forward to his next book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By bloodsimple on 18 Oct. 2007
Format: Paperback
You know that feeling you get when you find some money down the back of the sofa? That sense of cheating dumb fate and actually getting up on the deal somehow? This is the feeling this book gives you.

Beaumont has taken a simple premise - a taxi driver experiencing depression and hallucination while pulling successive night shifts - and has weaved a fascinating tale around it. Neutral and moral at equal turn, he builds a scenario that is clearly too fantastic to be actually true, but not imaginary enough that you tune it out as illogical. Within the world he creates, this all makes sense.

The writing style is easy and colloquial, as if the main character is simply telling you his story in a pub. By the end, you are starting to make sense of what has happened and why, and thinking about wider issues like guilt, self-discovery, and the willingness to endure pain in order to learn.

A lovely little discovery, and something genuinely original.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Archy on 27 May 2008
Format: Paperback
This is an enthralling read that only leaves you pondering the rather implausible and unnecessary loose ends after you've read it. The journey's worth the head scratching. The plot mixes fact and fiction very cleverly; the 'real' cusomer extracts could constitute a book in themselves, and it's the realism of the taxi driving reportage that makes all the uncanny and downright bizarre parts more believable. I still can't work some of it out; it's a puzzle that has lingered in my mind, and only the best books do that. One of the best things I've read so far this year.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Ian Gillibrand on 19 July 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very observant look by someone who knows their subject, about the phenomenon of depression and also,though very much linked, the lives of those who inhabit the "night shifts" and the effect this has on their subconcious.
The mystery at the heart of the book is both believable and yet fantastic in a way that some who have not known the effects of working while the majority of the city sleeps may not appreciate,but the book is highly recommended and ultimately uplifting.
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