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April 10, 2019


#Dublin Award shortlist 2019 Jon McGregor

by NancyElin


Shortlist: 3/10 ( not wasting my time on 6 selected books, sorry)

MY SHORTLIST …books I think should have been shortlisted 0/6




  • Idaho by Emily Ruskovich –  SHORTLIST (family epic, rugged Idaho)
  • American author Emily Ruskovich has won the prestigious 2019 International Dublin Literary Award for her debut novel Idaho.
  • The €100,000 prize is the world’s largest prize for a single novel published in English and Emily is the fourth American author to win the prize in 24 years.


  • A Boy in Winter –  Rachel SeiffertNOT reading  (WWII, review Lisa)
  • History of Wolves –  Emily FridlundNOT reading – SHORTLIST (review Lisa)
  • Conversations With Friends S. Rooney  NOT reading –  (…had enough of Rooney)


MY SHORTLIST  …books I think should have been shortlisted

  • Pachinko –  Jin Min Lee – (500 pg saga, review  Sue and Brona)
  • Brother –  David Chariandy  (Powerful, bold and timely, Canadian)
  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine –  G. Honeyman  (review Reese)
  • The Hate U Give –  A. Thomas –  (..must read this, NYT Bestseller YA novel))
  • Tin Man –  Sarah Winman –  (review Lisa)
  • Taboo Kim Scott (Indigenous Australian) –  (review Lisa and Brona)



  1. Timeline: 10 years.
  2. Ch 1 : A young girl goes missing on a walk.
  3. The parents and villagers are in shock.
  4. Now in just about every chapter McGregor tells us
  5. what  the foxes,  sheep
  6. …swallows, badgers, pheasants, magpies
  7. woodpigeons, a whippet and Mr. Wilson’s dog are doing!
  8. We listen to village gossip,
  9. …spy on teenagers kissing in the  fields.
  10. We celebrate with the characters just about
  11. every holiday imaginable:
  12. Harvest festivals, Xmas pageants, May Day
  13. …Ash Wednesday, Valentine’s Day
  14. and New Years Eve when the fireworks go off.
  15. In the background we are told the
  16. reservoirs are silver-metallic grey
  17. …rising higher, flooding, the water resides lower,
  18. …rise again and are whipped into whitecaps.
  19. This goes on and on for another 12 chapters.
  20. …but still not real investigation about the missing girl.
  21. This story is a circle going round and round
  22. …what’s the point?
  23. First chapter was the hook.
  24. Short sentences keeping the pace and plot moving.
  25. Then…BAM!
  26. I ended up in a 12 chapter nature walk
  27. …through a quintessential English village!
  28. Huh?
  29. Where is the suspense of a missing teenage girl in the quarries?
  30. Winner of the Costa Novel Award
  31. A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice
  32. Named a Best Book of the Year by
  33. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kirkus, and Los Angeles Review.
  34. WTF?
  35. Life’s too short to read long winding books like these.
  36. Clearly winning prizes does not guarantee a good book.


Last thoughts:

  1. Initially I thought I found a
  2. strong point in the first few chapters.
  3. McGregor’s writing style reminded me of episodes
  4. of BBC Broadchurch detective series!
  5. Not a narrative  filled with junk science CSI
  6. but the human side of a story based on
  7. the tragedy of a missing girl and
  8. …how it bleeds into the lives of the villagers.
  9. But the hemorrhaging….just kept on going
  10. …until there was no more life in the story!
  11. Needless to say after 7 chapters of this senseless talk
  12. I skimmed the rest of the book.
  13. How could Reservoir 13 be
  14. …shortlisted for the Dublin Literary Prize?
  15. Where’s the literature in this book?
  16.  I’ve seen recipes for boiled eggs that were more exciting!
  17. #HugeDisappointment


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