Reservoir 13

  • by Jon McGregor
  • Narrated by Matt Bates
  • 8 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A Guardian Book of the Year
A Financial Times Book of the Year
A TLS Book of the Year
An Observer 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 13 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


What the Critics Say

"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)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Highly tedious

A drab and protracted tale of village life. Such a disappointment after the author's exceptional first novel
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- David

Draws you in then won't let go. Deceptively good.

I have read Jon McGregor's previous novels and have always been amazed at his talent for making the lives of ordinary people seem somehow extraordinary. And this novel continues that theme, but on a much larger scale.

Told over a lengthy time period, the narrative tells of the lives of numerous characters who all live in a northern village which is dealt hammer blow when a young girl, a visitor to the village, goes missing. Some of the villagers remain, some leave and then return to it; but throughout the tale their lives and backstories are described gradually and with bittersweet humanity against a backdrop of the everyday rhythms of village life, seasonal events and references to the surrounding geography and nature. Secrets are revealed and concealed, relationships break against or survive the trauma of the mystery surrounding the missing girl and tension builds up towards the final chapter. Towards the end, one character becomes a focus for doubt and I began to wonder if I had guessed the fate of the girl.

The ending of the novel is ambiguous (to my mind) and I found this quite frustrating. That aside though, I loved the languid pace of the novel, the beauty of the language and the variety of the characters. I felt that I had shared their hopes and dreams, their tragedies and their secrets. The author reveals much about character and motivation in the smallest of details and in spare but incisive dialogue.

I really loved this novel and it will stay with me for a long time, I'm sure.
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- bookylady

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-04-2017
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited