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Reservoir 13

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  7,830 ratings  ·  1,409 reviews
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, se ...more
Paperback, 291 pages
Published November 14th 2017 by Catapult (first published April 6th 2017)
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Lisa The print version is divided into chapters and the chapters are short, and there are paragraphs within the chapters though they are long ones. But if…moreThe print version is divided into chapters and the chapters are short, and there are paragraphs within the chapters though they are long ones. But if I may share my experience as a reader, I would say that you're going to miss out on some terrific books if the lack of paragraphs puts you off. We all have different tastes in reading, and I respect your choice, but this is a beautiful book that teaches us much about the impact of an unexplained disappearance on a community. I think the author constructed the book this way to show how events blur into each other as the cycle of life progresses and as nature continues on its way no matter what humans may do. I found that as I read on, the patterns of life became more and more recognisable. (less)
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Karen
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Community Reviews

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3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,830 ratings  ·  1,409 reviews


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Paromjit
This is the first novel that I have read by this author and I loved it. This is less a novel about crime and more a reflective meditation of the flow and rhythms of nature, the lives and actions of characters throughout a period of years. It is a story of ordinariness, the reality of how life is in the country and delivered with understated prose. I could not help but be moved by the narrative and enchanted by the poetic and lyrical writing.

It is set in a village in the Peak District and is oste
...more
Hannah Greendale
Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.



Lovely descriptions of nature are insufficient compensation for an uneventful plot and a slew of forgettable characters.

Kris
I'm not sure that the world needs another review of this fine novel, so I'm going to keep this short. I think by now most of you may already know the basics: the novel opens as a search begins for a teenage girl, Rebecca Shaw, who has gone missing while her family was vacationing in the village for the New Year. However, the novel is not a mystery or a thriller, but instead provides, year by year, micro-updates on life in the village. Each of the novel's 13 chapters covers one year, just as the ...more
Paula Kalin
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of beautiful prose
Recommended to Paula by: Carol
I loved this wonderfully written novel with it’s beautifully detailed prose and unusual style. Winner of the Costa Book Award and Booker nominee, Reservoir 13 was such a fulfilling read.

The book is considered a mystery of sorts as it starts with a 13 year old girl going missing when vacationing in an English village with her family. The author describes the continuation of life as the seasons change with the village events of one year for each of the books chapters.

I’ve never read such an extra
...more
Jaline
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: xx2017-completed
This is my kind of book. Slow moving like the surface of an undisturbed river, yet with currents underneath prepared to carry one away, toss a person like dross in its swirling, or pull one into subterranean depths.

From the beginning, we know that a young girl of 13 goes missing and the village where this occurs is never the same. Each chapter explores yet another year in the life of the village and its people, and for me there was a slow-growing undercurrent of nebulous unease as more and more
...more
Cheri
Beautifully written, with an ever-present sense of the narrator being less of a person or a being, and more as the all-seeing village that overlooks all, and looks over all. It looks over the landscape that surrounds them, the village and the villagers, watching as life changes with the seasons and the passing of time.

“Once my heart was filled with the love of a girl.
I held her close, but she faded in the night
Like a poem I meant to write.
And the leaves that are green turn to brown,
And they wi
...more
Jeffrey Keeten
”She could have walked high over the moor and stumbled into a flooded clough and sunk cold and deep in the wet peat before the dogs and thermal cameras came anywhere near, her skin tanned leather-brown and soft and her hair coiled neatly around her. She could have fallen anywhere and be lying there still.”

The whole village spreads out across the moors looking for this 13 year old girl who simply vanished without a trace. They search everywhere, and for the next 13 years, everyone touched by her
...more
Adina
Oct 15, 2017 marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
I first gave up on Reservoir 13 after the first chapter and I should have left it there. After I read a couple of praising reviews from friends that I trust and it got shortlisted for the Goldsmith prize I decided to give it another change. I struggled to read another chapter but I cannot continue.

I guess it is because of the higher importance the writer gives to the structures than to the plot and characters. There are too many characters and too many lives to follow and I just don't care.

The
...more
Doug
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Top 13 Alternate Titles for 'Reservoir 13':

13. Stone Sisters Vs. Millennium Milestones: Discuss
12. The River Rushed Under the Packhorse Bridge, or At the Allotments
11. Cathy & Richard: On Again, Off Again, On Again, Off Again ...
10: A 325 Page Shaggy Dog Story
9. Mundane Minutiae of Village Life
8. Her Name Was Rebecca. Becky. Bex.
7. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ (AKA 13 Zs)
6. Match the Aberrant Behavior to the One-Dimensional Character
5. Twin Peaks Minus the Weird Stuff
4. Who is Responsible for This Year's H
...more
Hugh
This is my second book from this year's Man Booker longlist, and for me it already looks like a potential winner. I had been intending to wait for the paperback but decided to buy the hardback as soon as the longlist was announced, since it was the one I was most looking forward to, especially after the positive reviews.
Update 29/8/17: Having read all but four of the longlist, this one is still my favourite. The rest of my shortlist would be Autumn, Home Fire, Days Without End, Solar Bones and
...more
Elyse Walters
Aug 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I finished this yesterday mid-morning. I’m still thinking about it. I had a few discussions already.

No paragraphs - at all!!!!
Creative unique writing. It works - kinda lovely.
However - I began to tire of the repetitiveness . (Great beginning).
Then even color of clothes kept being repeated ...
The repetitiveness-started to make me a little restless.
Yet....life is repetitive.....
I can get tired of cycles of how repetitive life is at times, too. ( so, sure, I thought about this valuable message)
...more
Marita
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The girl’s name was Rebecca, or Becky, or Bex. She had been looked for, everywhere. She had been looked for in the lambing sheds on Jackson’s farm, people moving through the thick stink of frightened ewes and climbing up into the lofts and squeezing behind the stacks of baled hay, and in the darkness outside great heaving lungfuls of fresh air were taken as people made their way across the field to the other barns. She had been looked for in the caves, and in the quarries, and in the reservoir
...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I am SO TORN about this book. I've been thinking about it for days. I think part of my issue is that how it is being sold to the reader - the disappearance of a girl, the fallout - is not really what the book is. It is true that there is a disappearance but it's a much slower book - about the town, the nature in the town, the seasons, all the little people and all their little lives, the cycles they go through, the long reaching effects of all of the tragedies, the girl included - the way secret ...more
Fionnuala
I usually write my thoughts about books immediately on finishing, sometimes even while reading, but during the last two months I've had no time at all to reflect on the books I've read. Now that I have more leisure, I'm realizing how interesting an exercise it is to look back and ask myself whether it is worthwhile to try to recall the reactions I had to each particular book. What makes one book cry out to be written about and not another? So curious.

Reservoir 13 is a book I'm certain I need to
...more
Katie
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: published-2017
Admiration rather than love is what I felt for this. Eventually, I found myself thinking it was too long and would have been more powerful as a novella. The narrative voice of Reservoir 13 is just about as dispassionate as a narrative voice can be. It's like we see what goes on in this English village from a drone hovering overhead whose recording apparatus finds the interactions of human beings no more significant than the weather and the activity of wildlife. It's almost Homeric in its unrelen ...more
Carol
The Hook - There are many fine reviews of Reservoir 13 written by my GoodReads friends but it is this one by Kasa Cotugno that convince me I must read this book. Thank you.

The Line(s) - ”On the reservoirs the water was whipped up into whitecaps. It was a decade now the girl had been missing, and although little talked about she was still in people’s thoughts. Her name was Rebecca, or Becky, or Bex. She’d been wearing a white hooded top with a navy-blue body-warmer. She would be twenty-three yea
...more
PattyMacDotComma
5★ +
“She’s likely just hiding, people said. She’ll be down in a clough. Turned her ankle. She’ll be aiming to give her parents a fright. There was a lot of this. People just wanted to open their mouths and talk, and they didn’t much mind what came out.”


Experiencing this novel was like flying slowly above a village at every change of season and watching the ebb and flow of people’s activities and relationships. A girl disappeared. Everyone has an opinion, and some are on the hunt. Parents keep a
...more
Emer
This book has deservedly been added to the long list for the Man Booker Prize 2017.

----

'Reservoir 13' opens with the case of a missing persons; a young girl who had been holidaying with her parents in a quiet English village...
But what follows isn't the expected crime thriller or whodunnit but a quiet look at the effects of this mysterious and tragic occurrence on village life over the following thirteen years.
And it is utterly spellbinding.


I highly recommend this to anyone who loves reading
...more
Rebecca Carter
13 year Rebecca, or Bex, or Becky Shaw goes missing over New Years from a small village in the Peak District area. She had been staying in a rented holiday cottage with her parents over the New Year period. Search teams, emergency services and volunteers relentlessly look for her up the hills, rivers, cloughs, streams, valleys, moors and reservoirs, but to no avail. She just appears to have vanished. The media appears in full force, following the search teams, appeals, and the press conferences ...more
Gumble's Yard
Finally recognised for an award.

The Costa beats the Booker and Goldsmith this year as second most perceptive judging panel of the year.

Re-read this book after its longlisting for the Booker. I can't add anything to my review below and it remained my firm favourite to win the Booker prize. I was therefore very disappointed that it did not even make the shortlist.

However delighted now that it's innovative approach was recognised by the Goldsmith judges; so much so that with a small group of Good
...more
Roger Brunyate


WINNER OF THE COSTA NOVEL AWARD, 2017.

A Pennine Almanac
They gathered at the car park in the hour before dawn and waited to be told what to do. It was cold and there was little conversation. There were question that weren't being asked. The missing girl's name was Rebecca Shaw. When last seen she'd been wearing a white hooded top. A mist hung low across the moor and the ground was frozen hard. They were given instructions and then they moved off, their boots crunching on the stiffened ground and
...more
Meike
Aug 11, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-mbp, 2017-read, uk
Winner of the Costa Book Award 2017 *sigh*
I have thought long and hard about why I dislike this text, especially because so many people whose opinion I value just loved it, and I could even find all the points they have raised in order to explain why they liked this novel so much in the text, but their well-made arguments did not change the fact that this book did almost nothing for me. So here are some attempts to explain why I found myself so underwhelmed:

The structure of the book dominates (i
...more
Diane Barnes
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
I am having a hard time with the star rating here, because some facets of this book were brilliant, but it was also very repetitive and a tad bit tedious because of that. I had been warned from other reviews that this was not a traditional mystery, so that was okay, no expectations. I also knew it was a quiet kind of book, with very little plot, but that was okay, I like that kind of read. Also a bit experimental, 13 chapters, each representing a year in the life of a village after the disappear ...more
Paul Fulcher
Longlisted for the Booker, shortlisted for the Goldsmiths, now winner of the Costa Prize - indisputably the book of 2017 ....

In April he first swallows were seen, swooping low over the pastures in the early morning and taking the insects which rose with the dew. And still the sound of a helicopter clattering by was never just the sound of a helicopter but everything that sound had once meant.

Update: The book that should have won the Booker but was inexplicably dropped at shortlist stage - but no
...more
Trish
Nov 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
McGregor's remarkable achievement in this novel long-listed for the 2017 Man Booker Prize is the flammable combination of his intimacy and his distance. He is daring in never mentioning Reservoir 13 again after naming his novel after it and insinuating, merely by its prominence, that it had something to do with the disappearance of Rebecca, or Becky, or Bex, the 13-year-old girl who disappeared one year and was never accounted for, though she’d been looked for and not forgotten for the thirteen ...more
Maxwell
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: man-booker, i-own-it, 2017
I didn't really enjoy this one, sadly. I thought the novel's structure—13 chapters, each representing a year in the life of a village after the disappearance of a 13-year-old girl—was interesting but had me struggling through the book. It was repetitive by nature and while some people might enjoy that I found it to be tedious and was glad to be done by the end. The writing about nature and the village's surroundings were beautifully mixed into the story, but I didn't care enough about the charac ...more
Paul
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: english-novels
One of my favourite books this year. The novel is set in a village in Derbyshire, the Peak District (the well dressing gives that away). It starts at New Year in the early 2000s with the disappearance of a thirteen year old girl, staying in a holiday rental with her family. The village is a tourist spot close to the moors and the title refers to a series of reservoirs in the hills above and beyond the town. The narrative consists of thirteen chapters, each of them covers a year, the chapters bei ...more
Dianne
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don’t think I’ve ever read a book quite like this one. I’m not sure I can explain it or do a review that does it justice, but I’ll try.

“Reservoir 13” starts with a search for a missing thirteen year old girl named Rebecca Shaw. Rebecca has gone missing in a rural English village. She and her parents were visiting and staying in a barn conversion. The three of them went for a walk on a cold winter’s day and Rebecca lagged behind – and then disappeared.

The book has thirteen chapters and aside f
...more
Simon
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this in two sittings. I just need a bit of time to think on it before I review... and I might make it a 5/5. Maybe. I need to think.
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Jon McGregor is a British author who has written three novels. His first novel, If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things, was nominated for the 2002 Booker Prize and was the winner of both the Betty Trask Prize and the Somerset Maugham Award in 2003. So Many Ways to Begin was published in 2006 and was on the Booker prize long list. Even the Dogs was published in 2010, and his newest work, Reservoir 1 ...more
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