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Reservoir 13
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2018 Book Discussions > Reservoir 13 - Chapters 1 to 6 (Spoilers) (Aug 2018)

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message 1: by Hugh (last edited Aug 01, 2018 03:30AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Hugh (bodachliath) | 2627 comments Mod
This is the place for initial thoughts and anything else on tge first half of the book. What were your first impressions? How do you feel about the omniscient narrator and the constant switches of focus? And by the halfway point you will also be getting used to the seasonal structure and the repetition with variation - how well did this work?


Peter Aronson (peteraronson) | 516 comments The structure keeps me reading. As soon as I finish one "block" of text (they are not, in the normal sense of the word, paragraphs) I feel a gentle pull to read the next. This does have the effect that the chapters seem more like arbitrary collections of blocks then real parts of the book's structure, though.

The repetition feels to me more like repeated themes (like in music) than the novel simply repeating itself. There is always the arrow of time moving forward; people leave, new people come; people grow up, they change, they age. This constant change seems to dominate more than the repetition.


message 3: by Lily (last edited Aug 02, 2018 09:46AM) (new) - added it

Lily (joy1) | 2472 comments Peter wrote: "...This constant change seems to dominate more than the repetition...."

The little bits that do or do not get added to "truth" as the story moves on in time fascinate me.

I live in a town that lost seventeen lives at the time of 9/11, a number of them from Cantor Fitzgerald on the fatally struck 100-105 floors of the North Tower. In rethinking Reservoir 13, I am finding parallels between our history here and the thirteen years of R13. I wonder to what extent McGregor has or has not captured some universals of trauma in a geographic area.


https://www.theguardian.com/world/200...


Chris Rogers | 3 comments Your summary really resonates with me Peter-I similarly kept feeling the draw of “just one more segment”. And there definitely was a musical/hymnal feel to the structure; I’ve never really been one for poetry but it had an enjoyable flow to it that felt poetic.

One aspect I struggled with initially was my usual terrible memory for names not being helped by the continual jumping from character to character, with most characters often only getting one short mention in a calendar year. Once I’d got used to the book being more about the ebb and flow of village life rather than what was happening to the individuals this abated though, and I was able to enjoy it more.


message 5: by Lily (new) - added it

Lily (joy1) | 2472 comments Chris wrote: "One aspect I struggled with initially was my usual terrible memory for names not being helped by the continual jumping from character to character, with most characters often only getting one short mention in a calendar year...."

So true for me as well, Chris. But rather how like living in a community over time for those of us who are perhaps more focused on a day-to-day basis on ideas than on people? We pick up this tidbit about someone, add another later, forget about some other until that, "oh, yah, I heard that" recall.


Suzy (goodreadscomsuzy_hillard) | 161 comments I'm loving this for the flow of it as you all have said in this thread. I'm surprised that I have a hard time putting it down at night, not for the page-turning to find out whodunnit, but because I'm so invested in these people's stories!

I listened to the first 2 chapters and couldn't get the hang of the ever-changing topic so switched to the hard copy. I agree, Chris, that it has a musical aspect to it.

I don't really have anything to say about the content. I think instead it will all add up in the end, when I'll port over to the spoiler thread.


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