Reservoir 13

Pub Date   |   Archive Date Not set

Member Reviews

Great book, well written. Good storyline, good depth of characters. Has a flow that makes it understandable and engrossing. Highly recommended.
Was this review helpful?
I haven't read any Jon McGregor before but could instantly see why his writing commands so much respect. There are certain drawbacks to not having a central character - there are far too many here to keep track of - and I'm a bit disappointed that he chose to involve the overdone 'missing child' trope, which nearly put me off reading this at all and is really just a device. But I'm glad I did - it's one of my favourite books of 2017 and I'll be giving it to several people as a gift. Alongside the beautiful evocations of nature and the passing seasons, a very touching sense of humanity and compassion runs through the novel.
Was this review helpful?

This was long listed for the Man Booker. It is a wonderful book. About the disappearance of a teenage girl on holiday in mysterious circumstances. At first everyone in the village is searching and shocked and there is no other topic of conversation. `But in that strange way that life goes on when something terrible happens and it is hard, if you are in the thick of it, to understand how normal things still happen, life does go on. Jon describes how, over 13 years and in 13 chapters, the shock becomes less and slowly the ripples run still. He notices how the cows must be milked, the sheep dealt with, nature carries on and people do too, all the time keeping the tensions there that the girl...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?

More a novel with a crime in it than a crime novel, this book nevertheless carries one along the life of a village, exploring a number of characters over more than a decade, for healthier for poorer, charting the rhythm of the seasons. The village it concerns itself has a drowned past, from when thirteen reservoirs were connected at the cost of flooding a series of small hamlets, whose buildings reveal themselves only in times of drought. These prior villages form a kind of archaeology of the area, but nobody thinks much about them. The title’s 13th Reservoir appears to have special status. The book was longlisted for the 2017 Booker Prize and was one of the Guardian’s ‘Notable Books’...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?

I have very conflicted feelings about “Reservoir 13” by Jon McGregor because I admired so much about its technique and ingenuity, but I often wasn't engaged by the story in that satisfying way I hope a novel will make me feel. The novel centres around 13 year old Rebecca Shaw who goes missing and the effect her disappearance has on the local village. It traces the reverberations of this occurrence for over a decade recording small slices of the villagers' lives and the changing seasons as well as speculation about what happened to Rebecca or “Becky” or “Bex.” In this way, the novel accurately reflects what it's like to be vaguely aware of a missing girl and periodically see references to...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?

This is an extremely rare case of Did Not Finish for me. I tried reading Reservoir 13 back in January when I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy from NetGalley, but ended up abandoning it a third of the way through. I returned to it last weekend and again it defeated me. Apologies to Jon McGregor and Fourth Estate - it's just not my cup of tea. The story is set in a remote village of England's Peak District. Rebecca Shaw, a 13-year-old holidaymaker, vanishes without trace. The locals organise a search party and spend the following weeks covering every blade of grass in hope of clues. Rebecca's parents are at first frantic with worry, then overwhelmed by grief. As time progresses...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?
Undeniably beautiful writing, McGregor manages to make even the most mundane interesting. The small elements of people's lives become important. A literary soap opera of sorts. Really enjoyed this, although I know some people will say that 'nothing happens', that's true and also not true, it's simply about real people in a real place.
Was this review helpful?
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and read it over a day and night. The repetitive depictions of nature set the scene beautifully and were a nice echo to the idea of time passing for the main characters, even though it wasn't passing for the missing girl
Was this review helpful?
A unique perspective of writing the life of a reservoir around the mystery of a missing girl. Unfortunately, I found this utterly dull and a bore to finish.
Was this review helpful?

Jon McGregor's Reservoir 13 made the Man Booker 2017 long list, his second novel to be long listed (his If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things made the 2002 list) and it's good candidate to take the prize. The story revolves around the disappearance of Rebecca Shaw, a teenager holidaying in the timeless unnamed village at the centre of this novel. Unlike every other novel with this plot-line, instead of focusing on the mystery of the disappearance, the whodunit/what-happened aspect, McGregor tackles the impact of that disappearance on the village and its residents. Village life is repetitive: cows are milked, foxes mate, and villagers form committees. Nothing of any importance appears to...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?
I read the first 15% of this Booker-longlisted novel and set it aside. I knew what to expect – lovely writing, much of it descriptions of the natural world and the daily life of a small community – but I guess I hadn’t fully heeded the warning that nothing happens. You hear a lot about these Hardyesque locals you can’t keep straight (because what do they matter?) but never anything about what happened to the missing girl. I won’t rule out trying this one again in the future, but for now it couldn’t hold my interest.
Was this review helpful?
A seductive and beautiful read that well deserves its critical acclaim. I found its rhythmic prose both compelling and hypnotic and really fell under its spell one hot afternoon last week in our rented cottage in the highlands. I've read lots of reviews where it seems that Jon McGregor's style isn't for everyone but I really fell hard for it. Maybe the fact that I was surrounded by nature made the changing seasons all the more appealing to me. I was captivated by this beautiful rendition of this rural community and their changing lives across the year. Absolutely fell under its spell and I'll be recommending it to everyone.
Was this review helpful?

Thanks to NetGalley and to Haper Collins UK Fourth State for offering me an ARC copy of this book that I freely chose to review. I had never read one of Jon McGregor’s novels before but I was curious by the description of this novel and more curious when I saw it had been long-listed for the Man Booker Prize. The biography of the author intrigued me even more and I finally managed to read the book. The book starts with the disappearance of a thirteen-year-old girl, a visitor holidaying, with her parents, to a village in Britain (not too distant from Manchester and also near enough to Leeds and Sheffield for those cities to make appearances, so probably in the general area where I live)...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?