The Reservoir Tapes

Jon McGregor. Catapult (PGW, dist.), $23 (176p) ISBN 978-1-936787-91-3
On the heels of his Man Booker Prize–longlisted Reservoir 13, McGregor brings readers back to that novel’s English Midlands village, subtly shining new light on the novel’s central mystery: the disappearance of 13-year-old Becky Shaw. When a reporter arrives to conduct a series of interviews about the girl’s disappearance, the tightly knit villagers try their best to go on with their daily lives: squirming their ways out of stagnant marriages, leading Girl Guide expeditions, and risking lives working in the quarries. Becky and her outsider parents exist as a sort of background noise—a terrible, still unsolved event that lingers over the years. Readers are spies into the lives of those affected by Becky’s absence, and into those affected before she disappeared: the young teenager who flirted with her, the lonely women who once caught her eating apples in her backyard. McGregor is a maestro at demonstrating the reverberations of catastrophe across space and time, building strong backstory and consequences in only a few lines. As a standalone, the novel is quietly consuming, but as a companion to Reservoir 13, it serves as an exquisite elaboration on the mysterious characters that are the heart of both novels. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/18/2018
Release date: 08/01/2018
Open Ebook - 978-1-936787-92-0
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MP3 CD - 978-1-982527-53-2
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