The Blue Light Project

The Blue Light Project

3.0 493
by Timothy Taylor
     
 

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Spanning a four-day hostage situation in the not-too-distant future, The Blue Light Project looks on as a city unravels and three lives intersect in unlikely ways.

When an armed man seizes a television studio in the center of town, Thom Pegg, a former investigative journalist turned tabloid reporter, is as surprised as anyone to learn that he is the only

Overview

Spanning a four-day hostage situation in the not-too-distant future, The Blue Light Project looks on as a city unravels and three lives intersect in unlikely ways.

When an armed man seizes a television studio in the center of town, Thom Pegg, a former investigative journalist turned tabloid reporter, is as surprised as anyone to learn that he is the only person to whom the hostage taker will speak, bringing him inside the studio and in contact with the frightening truth.

From outside, meanwhile, the drama of the enthralled and horrified city is revealed through the eyes of two very different people thrown together by the crisis. Eve is an Olympic gold medalist and local hero. Rabbit is a renegade street artist who has just completed a massive and mysterious installation on the tops of hundreds of buildings throughout the city.

As events churn to chaos, Taylor paints a powerful picture of the sinister side of our interconnected world, taking us on a dizzying journey through black sites, 24/7 media cycles, cults of celebrity, gang stalking, underground art, societal paranoia, and dangerous cynicism. The result is a gripping work of dark brilliance, from which Taylor ultimately surprises us with grounds for hope.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Alternating between former Olympic gold medalist Eve Latour, a street artist named Rabbit, and disgraced journalist-turned-tabloid-reporter Thom Pegg, Journey Prize-winner Taylor's new novel (after Stanley Park) depicts a cynical future wherein the only two options—"Fame and anti-fame"—are equally corrupt. KiddieFame is a reality TV show whose symbolic video-game method of eliminating contestants—called "Kills"—has generated controversy. But when a terrorist takes up residence in the theater, threatening to take it literal unless he's granted an interview with Pegg, the show's young contestants are forced to face the media's increasing speculative narration. The show connects Taylor's main narrative threads and allows him to implicate the viewer (read: reader) by raising a hope of carnage to be exploited. Taylor takes a risk by eschewing the standard blunt-plot-force of the thriller genre and opening his narrative to renegade street art, self-reflection, and cultural references (Werner Herzog; 1984; Parkour), often with an air of indulgence. But Latour, Rabbit, and Pegg, bonded by their resilience, their violent times, and their nameless North American city, finally emerge, if narrowly, as characters. Taylor has a wild and vast imagination, and his work bursts with originality. Though his new novel threatens to break apart under the weight of cleverness, it never does. (Mar.)
Library Journal
An Olympic gold medalist no longer certain of who she is or the choices she has made; a former engineer-turned-street artist planning one lasting piece before going off the radar; and a once prominent journalist now shunned in the professional community he once dominated are intertwined in the midst of a city in chaos. In the distant future, a man with a bomb has entered a studio for the TV series KiddieFame, releasing hostages one by one without any demands until only children are left. Immediately outside the walls, the city is thrown into turmoil as religious groups, anticelebrity activists, and law enforcement personnel indulge in paranoia that erupts into violence.Verdict Taylor (Stanley Park; Silent Cruise) has written a thriller that challenges our perceptions as both individuals and as a species. His in-depth look at how group mentality, fear, and uncertainty can lead to apocalyptic destruction is recommended for readers interested in neo-Luddism, mob mentality, and psychological fiction.—Jennifer Funk, McKendree Univ., Lebanon, IL

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781593764029
Publisher:
Soft Skull Press, Inc.
Publication date:
04/12/2011
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

TIMOTHY TAYLOR is a bestselling, award-winning novelist and journalist. He lives in Vancouver.


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The Blue Light Project 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 493 reviews.
grumpydan More than 1 year ago
The Blue Light Project is a social commentary into today's society. What starts out as a mysterious person takes hostages at a television studio during a children's talent show, it is certainly not the central arc of the novel, but more of an action that somehow connects the characters of the story. You have the street artist, a former Olympic athlete, and a journalist whose points of views are the crux of the novel. This is not a thriller but a study of today's culture and the obsession with fame. One has to be in the right mind set to read this book as it doesn't follow the norm with no clear plot line. I had a times difficulty getting into it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Have you ever gone to see a movie and about 20 minutes into it, you're thinking it's a terrible movie, but you stay thinking maybe it will get better? Then more than half way through you realize it hasn't gotten any better, but you stay to the end because you've already invested so much time in it and, who knows, it might get somewhat better, but it never does. That's exactly what happened to me with this book. The story meandered and never quite came together and the language was often very cumbersome .
thewanderingjew More than 1 year ago
This novel is strange. It is difficult to ascertain a specific time frame or a locality. The story moves back and forth from one location to another, from one character to another and also from one time frame to another. It does come together at some point, but not all of my questions were resolved. It seems to be set in a time when the whole world is suffering from ADD, taking risks, almost just to attract attention and dazzle crowds that love meaningless soundbites to which they assign great meaning, street cultures are revered and have taken on the persona of the "gang" in a completely different, almost more acceptable way, it is as if the street sub-culture is all on drugs, spaced out, looking for trouble, yet they are perfectly accepted by the younger generation and media. They seem hyper, and several rival gangs vie for street space, turf, to voice ideas or plaster walls with them. The defiance is justified and applauded, authority is mocked and disrespected, greed and envy are thriving as is schadenfreude! Does this pattern sound familiar yet? There is little transparency in the world and it sounds awfully close to the way we live today; it makes the premise of the book even more frightening; it is almost too close for comfort. The book comes together around a hostage crisis. Some of the children from KiddieFame, a children's talent show, of sorts, have been taken captive during a "kill" episode, in which one of the contestants is removed from the competition, often the best one, as schadenfreude often does rule. It turns into a real rather than a pretend, game of violence. But, no one knows why, no one knows who is behind this heinous act. Who would capture children, and yet, it is vaguely familiar, isn't it? It is reminiscent of the Russian hostage crisis, in Chechen, which took place on the same date, years before. The populace seems to identify with issues far too deeply, to assume too much self importance and a pretense of having influence to change things dramatically in bizarre and unusual ways. Discontent and anger permeate the atmosphere and this novel surely illustrates what can happen when a "world goes mad", when someone goes mad and tries to infect the world with that madness; in order to achieve redemption for his "crimes" he spreads the feeling of terror, like a disease which moves out into the ether. We have only to think about the cult of people that arose to follow Casey Anthony, for and against. We have only to think of the bizarre ways in which the lawyers used facts to influence judgment, to know that our time is dangerously close to the time in the book. Society is failing. There is an equal feeling of vicarious pleasure and disappointment, shared by the mob. It comes in waves. When the hostage taking begins, there are people making frantic predictions, having no idea whatsoever about what they are saying. They are assuming the hostage taker is a terrorist, they accuse a government they don't trust of orchestrating the event, they think it will blow over, be nothing. They live in a fantasy. They actually seem to enjoy this crisis. They, the people, that is, seem to have been geared up for this. Maybe it is all the reality shows that have prepared them to feel this way. They like being voyeurs, feeling like authority, defying authority, feeling like they are important. One has to wonder why we are obsessed with the dysfunctional, especially after reading this novel. Are we simply obsessed with schadenfreude?
The_TravelerGA More than 1 year ago
With the mixed reviews I wasn't sure about reading it, but I'm so glad I did. Learned a few things about the physical social world out on another level, one that very few of us ever see. Although the hostage crisis is proported to be the center of the interaction between the characters, I felt that their own stories rode over that crisis - that their stories were really the center of the stage of the book. You can put this book down, and pick it up later, but the veins of the storylines keep running through your brain when you're not reading it. It's a story of hope and change - give it a try, you won't regret it.
hdsumm More than 1 year ago
I wish I had not wasted my time reading this book. There was a lot of detailed character development which was unnessary for this weak plot.
strange25 More than 1 year ago
This was not my favorite. It took forever (like months!!) before I could get interested in the story, and even then, I found the overall story confusing as there was no clear plot line. Also, the author's style of writing was hard to understand. Sometimes he would write sentences and I couldn't tell if it was what the character was thinking or actually saying, so that was confusing. Definitely didn't pull me in. Considering it took me over 3 months to read it because it wasn't super interesting, I'm surprised I finished it at all. I mostly picked this one up because at the time it was free, and I thought the hostage situation would play a bigger role in the overall story. But it doesn't.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the worst books I've evr read. Spends way too much time on character stories with no real conclusion. It took a long time to read as I just couldn't get into the book...I had to force myself to finish it
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Multilevel novel unites many stories to brilliant conclusion.
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I couldn't even finish it, enough said. And I believe in finishing every book I start.
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I have had this on my shelf almost two years since it was offered as a FREE FRIDAY selection. Tried to get into it numerous times and couldn't. It was just way to out there for my taste. If there is going to be violence, I want to understand the reason why.
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