Reservoir 13

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 May 2018

Member Reviews

I started this book 6 months before I finished it, mid reading slump. I didn't get far through - the book was boring, it was wordy and confusing and dull.

Six months later, brain more engaged, and I read this in as short a time as I could fit it into, desperate to find out who "done it". I can see why I struggled - until I realised what the structure was it continued to trip me up, but as soon as I did it drew me into its genius. I've raved about this book ever since. Loved it!
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There are more simultaneous story-lines in Reservoir 13 than in any soap opera, but the writing is often at the level of poetry.

From the launchpad of the disappearance of a 13-year old girl, it charts equally the mundance and miraculous occurrences that comprise the biography of a small town over a period of years. All nature is here from insects to the female vicar. Interestingly, the small sample of young people who grow up during the novel are revealed as predictable at times as badgers or foxes. Only rarely does McGregor burrow deep into any of the feelings of a character, yet the non-revelation for most of the characters makes the reader have to interpret the surface signs and...

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A girl goes missing but life in the village carries on. The thought of the missing girl was in the back of my mind all the time. Will she be found and if so, alive or dead? 
At first there were too many characters for me to remember who was who but as I got into it they all fell into place. An intriguing read.
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I finally got around to reading this book on the strength of its Costa success which always indicates a readable book to me.  It is very different, almost like a very well written diary from a member of a small community.  A girl has disappeared but although the terrible incident is referred to at intervals, it is not the central issue.  The writing is almost mesmeric, a mix of observation of people and of nature, both of equal importance, all everyday stuff but it does suck you in. Worth reading but don't expect a thriller or whodunnit.
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A thirteen year-old girl disappears in a village in the Peak District - the police are called, searches are carried out, newspapers are primed. As the months pass, we are drawn into the lives of the people left behind and examine what happens in the aftermath of a tragedy. Jon McGregor has created an addictive and compelling story of village life under a microscope, the rhythm and momentum of the prose drawing the reader in utterly. In conventional hands this would be a straightforward police procedural whodunnit, but instead of ‘Broadchurch-ing’ it the author takes us away from the well-beaten path and into the wilderness. Reservoir 13 deftly manages to simultaneously convey both tranquil...

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A really beautiful book that looks at how life goes on in the wake of an unresolved missing persons case. Thirteen year old Becky, holidaying with her parents, goes missing in the Peak District. As the search extends over days, weeks, months and then years, life continues in the village but with the constant presence of Becky hanging over their lives. As she becomes part of the fabric of the history of the town, rumours abound about her fate - from definitive ends to appearances around the world, as well as talk of sitings of what might be her father, roaming the hills, seeking his lost child.
This is a wonderfully paced story, that draws you into the simple life of a small English town...

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Under Milk Wood, meets The Archers, meets Midsummer Murders.
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“The missing girl’s name was Rebecca, or Becky, or Bex. In the photo her face was half turned away from the camera as though she didn’t want to be seen, as though she wanted to be somewhere else. She would be twenty years old by now but she was always spoken of as a girl”.

This short, tender, masterpiece tells the simple story of a village in the aftermath of a devastating tragedy that’s a weirdly familiar story. A 13-year-old slight blonde girl in a white hoodie vanishes while on holiday with her family in the Peak district over New Years. A media frenzy ensues, and then slowly drains away. But life must continue for the residents of the small town now synonymous with her disappearance...

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Reservoir 13 from Jon McGregor and I would read his shopping list I swear. He’s the most beautiful writer and you feel like he doesn’t waste a single word, you know? Like every syllable has been carefully considered and placed for maximum impact. His books are often about the ordinary but he makes it into something extraordinary and he sees things. He writes about normal people and every day experiences and he makes them into things that you feel down to to your very bones. Oh God, I don’t even know what I’m trying to say and I do not at all want to come across like I’m fawning over him even though actually I totally probably am. Shit.
So Reservoir 13 is about loss, about a girl on...

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This book is written with such beautiful descriptions of nature I almost forgot it is a crime novel.

When a girl goes missing from a quiet village the people all unite in trying to find her.
but the oddity is that the villagers still get on with their lives such as preparing for a pantomime.

The circle of life is the main message in this tale and it is an excellent read.

It reads like a poem and I got lost in the wonderful details of the Peak District and the changes in the seasons as life went on amidst the sadness of the missing child
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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.
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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...

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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’.
...

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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...

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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...

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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.
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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
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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.
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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...

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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.
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