My Account | My Wishlist | My Cart | Log In

Facebook logo Twitter logo Pinterest logo Pinterest logo

The Reservoir Tapes (Kobo eBook)

The Reservoir Tapes Cover Image
Available Now


Following the success of his novel Reservoir 13 (an ABA Indie Next List Pick, Amazon Best Book of the Year, longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and the recipient of rave reviews by critics like James Wood in The New Yorker), The Reservoir Tapes returns to the novel's setting in an English village where a teenage girl disappears, and to the characters whose lives are forever altered by the tragedy

These stories will satisfy McGregor fans' appetites to dive deeper into the mystery and characters surrounding Becky's disappearance, while also standing alone for readers new to McGregor's work

Originally written, adapted and recorded for BBC Radio, the linked collection reads like a fast-paced episode of a true crime podcast or a season of the television drama Broadchurch; the stories in The Reservoir Tapes are quickly digestible, elegantly tension-filled, and a smart, subtle commentary on humanity's best and worst tendencies in the face of grief and loss

The characters McGregor gives voice to will surprise you; the different narrators are not necessarily central to Becky's disappearance, but their voices fascinate us and offer a portrait of a whole community

Like a season of the television drama Broadchurch, the structure and order of the stories in the collection touch upon questions of the limits of knowledge and memory, and how what we remember defines us and shapes the traumas we seek to forget

"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 reconsidered from angle upon angle, perspective upon perspective. I both gloried in the small details and tactile prose⎯a llama that wasn’t even a llama, the bike grease that refuses to be scrubbed from one’s hands⎯and furiously flipped pages. This brilliant book is haunted by the specter of normality, which creeps back into the lives of townspeople altered by tragedy."—Elizabeth Willis, Avid Bookshop (Athens, GA)

"Exquisite and brilliantly styled, Jon McGregor's The Reservoir Tapes is a dark and fascinating story told in such a way that I found myself reading with a furrowed brow page after page. Such an intense character and story development in so few disturbing words. Could not put this book down." —Mary O'Malley, Anderson's Bookshop (La Grange, IL)

"In a brilliant counterpoint to Reservoir 13, McGregor’s earlier work that detailed the evolution of the town and countryside following the disappearance of a young girl, the mystery is explored in a totally different way. Through interviews of a dozen or so villagers, all of whom had some connection to the missing girl, or a secret to hide or to share, McGregor creates a verbal mosaic representing the circumstances of the missing girl’s disappearance. Wonderful monologues lead the reader to the cusp of understanding the village, the villagers, and this inconvenience of a missing girl imposed on them by outsiders. What a clever writer!" —Darwin Ellis, Books on the Common (Ridgefield, CT)

"Jon McGregor returns to the world of his Man Booker–nominated Reservoir 13 with his companion piece The Reservoir Tapes. This new book takes the approach of a short story collection and ultimately succeeds on its own merits apart from its sister volume. Each story centers on a different villager sharing their story of village life and their relationship to Becky Shaw and her disappearance, however tangential. McGregor’s gifts for the written word and intimate character work shine throughout this collection, and his use of the short story form gives The Reservoir Tapes a strong sense of structure and aim throughout." —The Raven Book Store (Lawrence, KS)

"The Reservoir Tapes is a wonderful follow-up to McGregor’s Reservoir 13. McGregor focuses in on snapshots of the townspeople’s lives, with Becky Shaw—the girl who disappeared—flitting in and out of their stories but always remaining on the periphery. It’s a fascinating exploration of unstable narratives, rumors, and small towns that I devoured in one sitting." —Sarah Cassavant, Subtext Books (St. Paul, MN)

"The Reservoir Tapes chronicles the disappearance of a young girl in a small English village, and each chapter is written from the perspective of a different resident. It’s not an easy writing feat, but Jon McGregor is able to instill a unique narrative clarity for every single character, interweaving the young girl’s disappearance alongside the distinctive stories of each villager. More than a missing persons story, The Reservoir Tapes is a story about the very universal and human struggle to find meaning—and the sacrifices we have to make to feel safe, loved, and truly at home. Once I started The Reservoir Tapes I couldn’t put it down, and if you haven’t read anything by Jon McGregor before, make sure not to miss his latest novel!" —Morgan McComb, The Raven Book Store (Lawrence, KS)

"In Reservoir 13, Jon McGregor created a universe filled with humanity and pathos from the sparest accumulation of detail. In The Reservoir Tapes, he takes a different approach to that same universe, shedding light on many of its mysteries, but that again leaves the reader stunned at the end, wishing for yet more of McGregor's elegiac prose."" —Community Bookstore staff (Brooklyn, NY)

"Reading The Reservoir Tapes is like listening to a remix to an album I was obsessed with six months ago. Rather than retreading old themes or styles, it explores new facets and tones, revealing complexities that only an artist fully immersed in their craft can hear. Jon McGregor invites us into this immersion and breaks every expectation we had if we thought his newest work was a sequel. Rather than linear, it jumps around in time, and rather than softly idyllic, it is quietly disturbing. It is rare for an artist to to be self-aware enough of their craft to follow it up with such a strong and original offering, but Jon McGregor is and does." —Adelaide Costas, East Bay Booksellers, (Oakland, CA)

"Atmospheric and scary. I read it in one sitting and now I'm trying to stop thinking about it . . . but I can't!" —Ann Holman, King's English Bookshop (Salt Lake City, UT)

"Reservoir Tapes is a slim and gripping novel about a young teenager’s disappearance, told from perspectives of the inhabitants of the town she vanishes from. Written with crisp prose, and in an inventive form that brings to mind a viewer’s first exposure to the first episodes of Twin Peaks, Reservoir Tapes is hard to put down." —Elijah Watson, A Room of One's Own (Madison, WI)