Reservoir 13

Getting to the train station early is a cunning plan.  Because it allows a little browsing time in the WH Smith bookshop.  So for my trip to Portsmouth I resisted the gaudy sellers and opted for an old book club favourite – Jon McGregor.  His book “If no one speaks of remarkable things” was a lovely read; the sort of super observant prose that I would really love to have the skill to compose.  Understated, a little bit like building a layered cake of details.  So this is “Reservoir 13” Ostensibly it’s about the disappearance of a young girl from a rural village.  I won’t plot spoil, but he kept me guessing and reading all the way through.

His style is to build up a picture through repetitive rhythms and observations of nature – the round of the seasons, the plant and animal world – but also the growth, slowing and change in the human lives.  Someone described it as cold and forensic – I can see what they mean, but the little pictures of people and village life burn themselves into your mind.  It’s both a frustrating (you need to read it to find out quite why it is so annoying!) and satisfying read.

It is the antidote to fast paced thrillers – which I love.  And yet it seems highly addictive.  I needed to wade through, noting the repetition of detailing which builds each picture – and the variations within that picture.  Which makes you page turn back to where you remember it occuring before to see what has changed. I need to read it again.


2 thoughts on “Reservoir 13”

  1. I’ve just discovered Cadfael – only have another 2 episodes of the very large box set but then methinks it will have to be the books. Meantime I have a futuristic Stephen Lawhead |Arthurian tale to devour – written in 1999 but only recently published & apparently pre-the mobile phone proliferation…….. oh those were the days! Not come across Jon McGregor before, off to investigate.


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