Reservoir 13: A Novel - Jon McGregor

From the description this sounds like a crime book - teenage girl goes missing on the hills above a small village - doubt - suspicion - secrets - yet it's on the Mann Book Longlist so I was expecting something with a twist.

 

I wasn't expcting something so difficult to engage with.

 

The story is told in an authorial voice that reports what little diaglogue there is rather than using direct speech.  The narration is a dispassionate description of events with all the passion of a more academic wildlife study.

 

This is mostly a pencil sketch sprinkled with small details highlighted in colour for no apparent reason.

 

There is a  focus on time passing and routines like seasons governing people's lives that gives the book a pleasant rhythm without providing any narrative thrust.

 

No access to the inner thoughts or emotions of the people. It has all the intimacy of a

camera drone filming a landscape:  all-seeing but from an alien non-human perspective.

 

I suspect the author is trying to do something new with form and that I should be delighted that he is eschewing the conventions of the genre. Instead, at more than an hour in to and eight hour book, I am still wondering what will make this book worth reading.