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15+ Works 3,945 Members 223 Reviews 15 Favorited

About the Author

Includes the names: Jon McGregor, Jon MacGregor, Jon Mcgregory

Also includes: J. MacGregor (2)

Works by Jon McGregor

Reservoir 13 (2017) 888 copies
So Many Ways to Begin (2006) 537 copies
Even the Dogs (2010) 421 copies
Lean Fall Stand (2021) 210 copies
The Reservoir Tapes (2017) 146 copies
If it Keeps on Raining (2010) 4 copies
The Letters Page: Vol. 3 (2018) 3 copies
Trawl 1 copy
La Paraula per vermell (2022) 1 copy

Associated Works

Granta 83: This Overheating World (2003) — Contributor — 174 copies
Granta 78: Bad Company (2002) — Contributor — 135 copies
Granta 119: Britain (2012) — Contributor — 109 copies
Sex and Death: Stories (2016) — Contributor — 44 copies
The Best British Short Stories 2012 (2012) — Contributor — 16 copies
Reverse Engineering (2022) — Contributor — 8 copies


Common Knowledge



I loved this collection. From the first page, it was clear that McGregor is pushing the boundaries of what a short story is, as 'he' and 'she' write alternate pages with only the faintest of references to one another's inner dialogue. Some 'stories' are a mere 2 lines long (Grimsby) but in the context of a book rooted within the English eastern coastline, this makes perfect sense. I haven't yet finished this collection: it's not one I want to devour at a sitting, but one to dip into and savour.
Margaret09 | 3 other reviews | Apr 15, 2024 |
Fantastic book. I thought the parts from Doc's perspective while he was having his stroke were really well done, very intense, although sometimes hard to follow (I think that was the point, though). I also thought Anna's response was very realistic, feeling trapped in the situation and cut off and overwhelmed. She's also a bit of an odd duck herself, what with often not understanding context or appropriate responses, but I liked it, she was interesting.
blueskygreentrees | 21 other reviews | Mar 11, 2024 |
Interesting. Almost certainly as the audiobook than I would have found the print version.
Treebeard_404 | 48 other reviews | Jan 23, 2024 |
A real gem of a book: such sensitive and loving writing, applying a sculpted, concise style. Sometimes you get fooled by book recommendations – Screaming recommendations in parenthesis by famous writers, which then turn out to be duds, making you doubt the sanity of that famous author. But this novel about a man and his wife, dealing with the aftermath of a stroke, is simply ‘beautiful’ as Hilary Mantel apparently said.

The novel consists of three distinct parts. First there is Lean – which describes an accident (sudden storm) befalling an Antarctic expedition team of three men: Doc Wright, the experienced technical hand, and Luke and Thomas, the two young novices. When shooting a picture, Doc climbs a cliff edge, to provide perspective for Thomas’ picture. Once the snow storm has hit, we witness three POVs, allowing the reader to try and make sense of what happens – Thomas drifts away on an ice floe that broke loose; Luke tries to establish contact over the radio and ultimately manages to claw back to the hut; Doc struggles for his life on top of the cliff, starts thinking like flocculated milk, and somehow manages to get back to the hut before Luke. What follows is a fatal misunderstanding: Doc losing it and trying to cover for self-inflicted mistakes (did not charge satellite phones, and he fails to raise the general alarm over the radio, wanting to solve the situation without their help). Luke notices that Doc is losing it, but does not dare to stand up to him. Hence the botched rescue operation and loss of Thomas’ life.

The second part, called Fall, engages with Anna’s POV (Doc’s wife) and follows Doc’s painful and slow recovery of some form of speech in the hospital. The final part, Stand, encompasses many POVs (Liz the speech recovery therapist; Sara, Doc and Anna’s daughter; and occasionally Anna still). By now the lives of many have changed – Anna’s career is put on the back burner in her work at the University; Doc is slowly recovering but not quite coming back to his old self, mourning for the loss of his old life as an Arctic explorer; feeling frustrated about his limited, impaired role at the inquest about Thomas’ death; and Amira, who got funds for experimenting with a new approach for patients recovering from Aphasia (involving dancers and a group performance around each patient’s story).

What makes this book really good is the sparse, almost clipped, style of writing and the meticulous and compassionate understanding of the main characters’ lives, motives, drives and doubts. The three parts also cover different genres and phases of the process of recovery from a stroke. Indeed as one critic observes – the book provides a ‘bold and masterful investigation into the weather system of the human mind’.
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alexbolding | 21 other reviews | Jan 2, 2024 |



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