Reservoir logs

29 07 2017

Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor

Rightly long listed for the Man Booker prize this year, this is a terrific book and would be a worthy winner.

 

At its heart this is a mystery in which a teenage girl goes missing in the countryside, sparking a major search and media focus on a quiet village. Everyone joins in the hunt for a while, but life has to carry on and gradually things seem to get back to normal. However, nothing can ever be the same again. Year in, year out, everyone goes about their business, but the disappearance seems to infect every part of village and country life. It’s a beautifully written, deceptively transparent and perfectly paced novel. This is the fourth novel from McGregor, professor of creative writing at the University of Nottingham, and it is undoubtedly his best. Pastoral and poetic, powerful and deep, it is a truly outstanding work and certainly the best novel I’ve read this year.

One of the few copies of the book in which the author included a line from ‘On the Ball City’

 

NB This review previously appeared in THE’s ‘What are you reading?’

 





Lucky 13 – Anticipatory Book Review

30 01 2017

Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor

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Early Amazon Reviews are mixed. I don’t know how people got hold of the book (not out until April) but they don’t seem to have been very well chosen given the range of comments. I tried to add my review but prevented from doing so on a technicality so have posted here.

I’ve had only limited access to this novel. Just the title in fact. I invited the author to furnish me with a copy for review purposes but he suggested I take it one step at a time and just stick with reviewing the title.

There are lots of reservoirs on Amazon: hydration water bladders, ion reservoirs, Reservoir Dogs, a liquid cooling system reservoir and even a Triumph reservoir sock. there are also quite a few albums called this, a number of books and even a Zanussi tumble dryer reservoir flange.

The nearest reservoir to where I grew up was called the Whiteadder Reservoir, my Dad used to live near Edgbaston reservoir and I always like hearing about John Shuttleworth’s visits to measure the level of Ladybower Reservoir.

Some other movies and books featuring numbers include Apollo 13, Starter for 10, Friday 13th, Studio 54,  Magnificent 7, Super 8, Ocean’s 11, Death Race 2000 and The Hateful 8. And while we’re on Tarantino, can it be a coincidence that McGregor has two words in the titles of his novels which make up one of Tarantino’s movie titles and that he writes Fiction (although not Pulp).

But none of these gets anywhere near to the new novel by Jon McGregor, the “absurdly gifted” (Guardian) novelist. Or its title, at least. Looking forward to reading the remainder of the words in the book in due course. In the meantime, it’s full marks from me.

5 star

 








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