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Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor
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Reservoir 13 (edition 2017)

by Jon McGregor (Author)

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5763127,336 (4.01)106
WINNER OF THE 2017 COSTA NOVEL AWARD A GUARDIAN BOOK OF THE YEAR AN FT BOOK OF THE YEAR A TLS BOOK OF THE YEAR A TELEGRAPH BOOK OF THE YEAR From the award-winning author of If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things. Reservoir 13 tells the story of many lives haunted by one family's loss. Midwinter in the early years of this century. A teenage girl on holiday has gone missing in the hills at the heart of England. The villagers are called up to join the search, fanning out across the moors as the police set up roadblocks and a crowd of news reporters descends on their usually quiet home. Meanwhile, there is work that must still be done: cows milked, fences repaired, stone cut, pints poured, beds made, sermons written, a pantomime rehearsed. The search for the missing girl goes on, but so does everyday life. As it must. An extraordinary novel of cumulative power and grace, Reservoir 13 explores the rhythms of the natural world and the repeated human gift for violence, unfolding over thirteen years as the aftershocks of a stranger's tragedy refuse to subside. WINNER OF THE 2017 COSTA NOVEL AWARD LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE SHORTLISTED FOR THE GOLDSMITHS PRIZE 'A rare and dazzling feat of art' George Saunders, author of Lincoln in the Bardo'McGregor writes with such grace and precision, with love even, about who and where we are, that he leaves behind all other writers of his generation' Sarah Hall, author of The Wolf Border'Reservoir 13 is quite extraordinary - the way it's structured, the way it rolls, the skill with which Jon McGregor lets the characters breathe and age' Roddy Doyle, author of Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha… (more)
Member:alanca
Title:Reservoir 13
Authors:Jon McGregor (Author)
Info:Fourth Estate (2017), Edition: ePub edition, 336 pages
Collections:Kindle library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

Reservoir 13: A Novel by Jon McGregor

  1. 00
    On Beulah Height by Reginald Hill (AdonisGuilfoyle)
    AdonisGuilfoyle: Similar setting and premise - girl goes missing, reservoirs formed from flooded villages - but more of a plot from Dalziel and Pascoe.
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Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
Beautiful work with an appreciated eye for the natural world and the cycles of an ecosystem, of a life, of a community of lives. ( )
  Alex_JN | Dec 10, 2019 |
Reading this book is like listening to a symphony being played where the chorus is a tale about a missing girl. The book reminds you that there are still very talented writers that can weave together the beauty and tragedy that is life. Well played, Jon McGregor. ( )
  kerryp | Apr 30, 2019 |
This is my second book from this year's Man Booker longlist, and for me it already looks like a potential winner. I had been intending to wait for the paperback but decided to buy the hardback as soon as the longlist was announced, since it was the one I was most looking forward to, especially after the positive reviews.
[Update 29/8/17] Having read all but four of the longlist, this one is still my favourite. The rest of my shortlist would be Autumn, Home Fire, Days Without End, Solar Bones and Elmet. Of the remaining four, Lincoln in the Bardo is the most likely to change my mind.
[Update following shortlist announcement] I am hugely disappointed that this missed the cut!

McGregor's debut novel If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things is still one of my favourites, and although his two subsequent novels (So Many Ways to Begin and Even the Dogs) were more difficult reads they still contained some luminous prose and demonstrated his versatility.

This one is a story of a fictional village which is never named, but is a composite of various locations in the Peak District. Like Sarah Hall's Lake District, it consists of landscapes and features which are very familiar to those of us who know the area, but these are concentrated into a smaller space than in reality. The story takes place over a 13 year period, with each chapter following the events of a single year.

The starting point is the disappearance of a thirteen year old girl who was staying in a holiday cottage in the village one New Year's Eve. She is never found, and the case is never solved, but instead we see its effects rippling as the omniscient narrator describes the lives of the villagers and the natural cycles, plants, wildlife, weather and other things that frame them - this gives the whole a rather satisfying structure in which some things recur but we see the characters develop and the character of the village itself subtly evolve. McGregor has an eye for detail and some of the landscape descriptions are very beautiful, he also allows breathing space for all of his characters, and writes equally convincingly about the young and the old, the male and the female. He is unsentimental about the nature of rural life but very sympathetic to the lives that make up the community.

This is a quiet, mature and richly rewarding book, probably his best yet. ( )
1 vote bodachliath | Apr 3, 2019 |
Astonishing. This is a remarkable book that uses the tragic disappearance of a 13 year old girl as a stepping off point for tracing the lives of an entire community through 13 years. It's not about unraveling an individual mystery, but more about revealing both the mysteries and mundanities of ordinary lives. Filled with tiny moments of love, misunderstanding, disappointment and satisfaction, this is an immensely human novel. I read it in a day and I think it's marvelous. ( )
  asxz | Mar 13, 2019 |
My brain can understand why people like this book, but my heart says it's like reading an almanac. I went with my heart and quit at page 75. The writing is so understated and gentle that I could have skim-read the rest of it in a day, but it would have been a disservice to the book. I read it for an in-person book group, and the group was about evenly divided between liking and disliking, but the liking was mild and the disliking was pretty vehement. ( )
  badube | Mar 6, 2019 |
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The river is moving.

The blackbird must be flying.


— Wallace Stevens
Dedication
i.m. Alistair McGregor 1945 -2015
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They gathered at the car park in the hour before dawn and waited to be told what to do.
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