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The Reservoir Tapes

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  1,067 ratings  ·  197 reviews
The Reservoir Tapes returns to the extraordinary territory of Jon McGregor's Man Booker Prize-longlisted novel Reservoir 13, leading us deep into the heart of an English village that is trying to come to terms with what has happened on its watch.

A teenage girl has gone missing. The whole community has been called upon to join the search. And now an interviewer arrives, int
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published August 7th 2018 by Catapult (first published December 28th 2017)
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Jeff The consensus seems to be to read it after, but I haven't read Reservoir 13 yet, and still thoroughly enjoyed this book. I don't know, therefore, if t…moreThe consensus seems to be to read it after, but I haven't read Reservoir 13 yet, and still thoroughly enjoyed this book. I don't know, therefore, if there are spoilers, but my sense is that this is a stylistically-different companion piece to the earlier novel. Well worth reading!(less)
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Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of beautiful prose & fans of Reservoir 13
Recommended to Paula by: Publisher
What a delightful and beautifully written follow-up to Reservoir 13!

The Reservoir Tapes is a superb companion piece to the Booker long-listed and Costa Book Award winner of 2017, Reservoir 13. Reservoir Tapes focuses on specific characters that inhabit the small, quite English village where the 13 year old Becky Shaw disappeared. Where as it’s predecessor had a distant focus to the inhabitants and more towards the overall village’s seasons and it’s surrounding nature.

An interviewer comes to get
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: xx2018-completed
An interviewer comes to the small English village to interview Becky Shaw’s parents after she has disappeared. On the tape, we only hear the interviewer’s words, not those of Becky’s parents. What happened to the tape?

Where we previously (in Reservoir 13) experienced this village from a more distant perspective, we are now invited to see the lives of several villagers much closer in a time frame that is months, weeks, or days before Becky went missing. We catch glimpses of her through incidents
Elyse  Walters
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this companion follow- up book to “The Reservoir 13”,
where a teenage girl has gone missing,
In “The Reservoir Tapes”, interviewer has now arrived.... with the intention of capturing the communities stories -about life in the weeks and months before she vanished. Each villager has a memory to share or secret to conceal.
You’ll meet:
Charlotte, Vicky, Deepak, Graham, Liam, Claire, Clive,
Martin, Stephanie, Donna, Ian, Irene, Ginny, Jess, and Joe
With 15 chapters, each of the above 15 charact
Jenny (Reading Envy)
When I read Reservoir 13 less than a year ago, it lingered with me for days. I couldn't shake the feeling that the book wasn't about what it purported to be about. It kept being pitched as a girl-disappearance, village-reacts story, but that wasn't it. It was about the place and its own secrets. The way time moves fast and slow depending how close you are to a tragedy or a mystery. The way each small person has their own stories that end up with more of the focus than someone else's drama. It wa ...more
Emer (A Little Haze)
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Reservoir 13 and readers of Booker Prize nominees
'The Reservoir Tapes' are a companion piece to Jon McGregor's novel, 'Reservoir 13', that was recently long listed for the 2017 Booker Prize. 'Reservoir 13' was my favourite of all the long listed books and I was disappointed when it didn't emerge the eventual winner. 'The Reservoir Tapes' were initially commissioned by BBC radio as short radio pieces that act as a prequel to 'Reservoir 13'.

In 'Reservoir 13' we were introduced to the inhabitants of a quiet English village that were all reeling f
Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: modern-lit, read-2018
I find it impossible to review this without reference to the book that spawned it, Reservoir 13 which was my favourite book of 2017 and finally gained the award it deserved from the Costa prize after missing out on the Booker and the Goldsmiths.

These 15 monologues were commissioned by BBC Radio 4 and broadcast over the last few months. I caught most of them then but to be honest was a little disappointed because my expectations were so high.

Now, brought together as a book, I was able to read the
Apr 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars

When 13 year-old Rebecca Shaw disappeared on New Year’s Eve while walking an English moor with her parents, an interviewer is dispatched to interview her parents, along with others, at some point in the days after, in hopes of shedding light on where she might be found. There are 14 chapters that follow, and each shares a different picture of Becky, some show her as a spirited, fearless young girl, some show her as a somewhat sassy, cheeky bad-mannered girl, some share glimpses of what
Paul Fulcher
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley, 2017
They'd agreed to talk to Becky about it later, when they went out for their walk.

Reservoir 13 will, I strongly suspect, end up as my book of 2017, one of the most innovative and enjoyable books I have read for years. My review:

It told the story of an English village for the 13 years after the disappearance of a 13 year old girl, Becky Shaw, but in a unique way. In the author’s words from a recent interview:
The narrative spark came first. And it was only
Nov 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Who is responsible for the disappearance of Becky Shaw? I know who. It was Jon McGregor, the author of this book!!!! He keeps on writing about her!!! His conscience won’t let him rest and move on to another subject matter. He wrote ‘The Reservoir 13’ in 2017 in which he writes in detail the events surrounding her disappearance and events that happened thereafter (for many years). Now he is back at it again — he won’t let it rest. I know why…it’s his guilty conscience. 😲

But seriously…I was not pl
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
Reservoir 13 was a world unto itself. Despite a certain lack of character development and sometimes only mere hints about characters’ lives, it needed nothing else. But since I’ve read everything else Jon McGregor wrote, I was excited to read this prequel/companion to Reservoir 13. Each short chapter takes up a different character, one you’ll remember from the earlier novel, but I regret to say this ended up feeling superfluous to me. (And if you haven’t read Reservoir 13, I don’t see how this b ...more
Paula Bardell-Hedley
Nov 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who enjoyed Reservoir 13
Recommended to Paula by: NetGalley
First there was Reservoir 13, Jon McGregor's highly acclaimed 2017 novel in which a teenage girl on holiday with her family goes missing. Eight months later we have The Reservoir Tapes, a companion piece, offering insights into the events leading up to Becky Shaw's perplexing disappearance.

Set in a rural village in England's Peak District - an upland area at the southern end of the Pennines - The Reservoir Tapes was first aired on BBC Radio 4 as a specially commissioned short fiction series (rea
Roman Clodia
Comprising 15 short character studies, this is both prequel and complement to Reservoir 13, filling out backstories and details of people in the first book. Read as a standalone, it feels like a literary exercise: all the characters and tales are deft and full of possibilities but they don't come to fruition in this volume.

An interesting idea to back-fill an existing text.

Thanks to the publisher for an ARC via NetGalley.
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Could you

could we

if we could just talk a little bit about Becky. If you could describe her for me. In your own words. What she was like when she was younger. How's she's changed from being a child to being a young teenager. What her – gifts are, if you like. Any challenges there have been. Anything she has found difficult. Anything that comes to mind.

I know

I know this is difficult

this must be very hard for

of course.

I must have been pretty effusive in my Goodreads review for Jon McGregor's Re
Alice (Married To Books)
The Reservoir Tapes is written as a side novel to Reservoir 13 by the same author. At the time of writing this review, I have not read Reservoir 13 and as of right now, do not have the desire to do so!

Told in an interview format, an interviewer visits the community that has been rocked by the disappearance of a 13-year-old girl. I thought that all of the interviews that were conducted would be around this but sadly not. Instead, each person reveals a hidden secret about themselves that hasn't be
Jon McGregor’s Reservoir 13 was longlisted for the Booker, and appeared on several “end of year” lists as one of “the books of 2017”. It deals with the disappearance of a teenager holidaying in a fictional village in the Peak District and its chapters spread over the 13 years following the incident. Following the novel’s success, BBC Radio 4 commissioned a set of fifteen short stories which are currently being broadcast and will be published in one volume. “The Reservoir Tapes” has been describe ...more
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just as wonderful, if not even more so than Reservoir 13. McGregor writes so lyrically and beautifully that it is a joy to read the words on the page. I particularly liked Ginny's chapter. This is best read after Reservoir 13, and probably would benefit reading fairly quickly after it, as it has been a while since I read the first book, and had to remember all the characters.
McGregor has an uncanny knack of always leaving readers wanting more, and this book is no exception. There are more questi
Katie Lumsden
Jun 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As amazing and moving as Jon McGregor always is.
Gumble's Yard
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Reservoir 13 was without doubt, one of the standout books of 2017.

A book which was shortlisted for two prizes at either extreme of the Book prize spectrum: the Goldsmith Prize (designed to reward fiction that breaks the mould or extends the possibilities of the novel form) and the Costa Prize (which focuses on recognising the most enjoyable book of the year) – a book both mould breaking and hugely enjoyable and which was inexplicably omitted from the disappointing Booker shortlist (despite maki
LeAnne: GeezerMom
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh, the writing! These interconnected anecdotes and memories are far more widely spaced, plot-wise, than those in The Tsar of Love and Techno, but the feel is the same.

This follow up to the outstanding Reservoir 13 does not leave the readers with a solution to the disappearance of 13 year old Rebecca, or Becky, but deepened my suspicions, sprouted new ones, and also gave me hope. Im also awarding brownie points for the introduction of a baby alpaca into a story line and a shrewd act of heroism
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
If I had come to this fresh, without having read Reservoir 13 first, I might have considered it a mystery. I would probably have thought I was invited to guess what happened to Becky from clues in each of the stories and character studies. Certainly it does fill in some of the gaps in Reservoir 13 and sheds light on some characters’ motivations so I feel I could take an educated guess to Becky’s fate now. But that wasn’t my main consideration when I read Reservoir 13 and still isn’t. The Reservo ...more
Kasa Cotugno
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In 2017 Reservoir 13 was my favorite read -- a standout, a truly original book that haunts me even now, almost a year later. This much slimmer book has been called a "companion piece," but I think of it more as outtakes that didn't make the first cut. That doesn't make it any less powerful, but it is completely different in style and approach. In the original, the town where Becky Shaw disappears is the central character, advancing yearly with each chapter. It is almost flat in its descriptions ...more
Jaclyn Crupi
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
He’s definitely one of the best contemporary writers and if you’re not reading McGregor you’re missing some of the most considered and precise writing. This is a truly excellent companion to RESERVOIR 13 but be sure to read that book first.
Jan 07, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was advertised as being 15 mini "prequel" stories to Reservoir 13, and I was intrigued that it was being serialised as a podcast on BBC radio 4 so decided to give it a go. I had been meaning to read Reservoir 13 but had seen really mixed reviews of it, and this seemed an easy way to see if I would like it without actually having to do any reading (yes, I'm lazy).

I have to admit I found this kind of disjointed - each story was pretty stand alone and seemed barely linked to the others, beside
Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jon McGregor’s Reservoir 13 stepped out life in a small town, year by year, over the 13 years since a teenage visitor, Becky Shaw, went missing. One of the most powerful aspects of the novel was the lack of sensationalism about the disappearance; it was mentioned in the first year or two, but faded into the backstory. Occasionally a piece of clothing would turn up or a memory would be stirred, but it was merely incidental.

So the Reservoir Tapes is a companion piece. In that first year, we have 1
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, podcast
I have two strong recommendations: 1) read Reservoir 13 first and 2) listen to this as a podcast (available from the BBC), rather than reading it as a book, and preferably spin out the pleasure in small doses. The voices with their northern accents add so much to these multi-faceted stories around the disappearance of Becky and the quality of reading in every single episode is superb. Special mention to the technical excellence of episode 1, in which you hear just one side of a conversation and ...more
Stephanie Sharp
Dec 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Earlier this year I reviewed Reservoir 13, and although on reflection I realise I may have been a bit harsh, it still fell short of the mark for me. I now realise it was a far more nuanced and subtle novel than I realised at the time I was reading it. But, I still found two major flaws that dampened my enthusiasm considerably: (1) that although there was a lot of breadth, the novel was lacking in depth and (2) there was never anything told from a single character’s point of view, but instead the ...more
Barb in Maryland
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars for this companion piece to last year's Reservoir 13.
In a series of vignettes the reader gets a glimpse of various villagers before and during the time of Becky Shaw's disappearance. Hints at Becky's personality are revealed by several storytellers' recollections of encounters with her. There are also conflicting hints as to Becky's fate scattered about. Other vignettes seem, on the surface, to have little to do with Becky but add to the reader's understanding of various villagers' rea
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars for this. I don’t like the interview format and I found the conclusion and the plot to be utterly simplistic taking the conclusion Into account.
Sep 29, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elizabeth Willis
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: small-press, arc
Immersive, nuanced, and exquisitely strange, the interconnected stories within THE RESERVOIR TAPES are a feat of genius. Jon McGregor offers us snippets of an array of lives within a small English town, which come to assemble the blast radius of the recent disappearance of a young teenager. The sheer range of voices within is stunning, as is the tone, which manages to be at once thoughtful, ominous, and humdrum. No event passes without being challenged, complicated, and re-considered from angle- ...more
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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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