Reservoir 13: Book summary and reviews of Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor

Reservoir 13

by Jon McGregor

Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor X
Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor
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  • Published in USA  Oct 2017
    304 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

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 tragedy refuse to subside.

Midwinter in an English village. A teenage girl has gone missing. Everyone is called upon to join the search. The villagers fan out across the moors as the police set up roadblocks and a crowd of news reporters descends on what is usually a place of peace. Meanwhile, there is work that must still be done: cows milked, fences repaired, stone cut, pints poured, beds made, sermons written, a pantomime rehearsed.

As the seasons unfold and the search for the missing girl goes on, there are those who leave the village and those who are pulled back; those who come together and those who break apart. There are births and deaths; secrets kept and exposed; livelihoods made and lost; small kindnesses and unanticipated betrayals.

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Book Awards

  • award image Costa Book Awards, 2018

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. An ambitious tour de force that demands the reader's attention; those willing to follow along will be rewarded with a singular and haunting story." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. McGregor's (This Isn't the Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You) writing is extraordinary, and while the narrative technique is initially wearing in the way village life can be - the monotony, the knowledge of everybody's business - it coheres remarkably into a knowable, comforting, ultimately compelling world." - Library Journal

"Starred Review. McGregor masterfully employs a free, indirect style that forgoes quotation marks and seamlessly blends narrative, dialogue, and wonderfully observant, poetic musings. ... Longlisted for the Man Booker, McGregor's novel's subtly devastating impact ultimately imparts wisdom about the tenuous and priceless gift of life. For fans of Elizabeth Strout and Richard Russo." - Booklist

"A wonderful book. [Jon McGregor]'s an extraordinary writer, unlike anyone else." - Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train and Into the Water

"A new novel from the absurdly gifted Jon McGregor, seven years after the IMPAC-winning Even the Dogs, Reservoir 13 is haunting and heartbreaking, the tale of a disappearance and its aftermath - his best yet." - The Guardian, "Fiction to look out for in 2017"

"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." - The Rumpus

"Jon McGregor's haunting mystery novel about the ways in which we measure our lives will get under your skin. Let it." - Bustle

"Reservoir 13 is an extraordinary achievement; a portrait of a community that leaves the reader with an abiding affection for its characters, because we recognise their follies and frailties and the small acts of kindness and courage that bind them together." - Observer (UK)

"Fascinating... McGregor is a writer with extraordinary control… Reservoir 13 is an enthralling and brilliant investigation of disturbing elements embedded deeply in our story tradition." - Tessa Hadley, The Guardian

"Making clarity gleam with poetry, McGregor again highlights the remarkable in the everyday." -The Sunday Times (UK)

"Award-winning Jon McGregor defies expectations with this superbly crafted and mesmerizingly atmospheric portrait of an unnamed village ... Unsentimental and occasionally very funny, this is a haunting, beautiful book." - Daily Mail

"This is above all a work of intense, forensic noticing: an unobtrusively experimental, thickly atmospheric portrait of the life of a village which, for its mixture of truthfulness and potency, deserves to be set alongside the works of such varied brilliance as Ronald Blythe's Akenfield, Jim Crace's Harvest and Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood." - Times Literary Supplement

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Reader Reviews

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jo

Reservoir 13
One of those self indulgent pieces of writing where the quality of the writing is believed to be good enough to carry the book forward. It isn't.

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Author Information

Jon McGregor

Jon McGregor is the author of four novels and a story collection. He is the winner of the IMPAC Dublin Literature Prize, Betty Trask Award, and Somerset Maugham Award, and has twice been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. He is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Nottingham, where he edits The Letters Page, a literary journal in letters.

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