Read The Blue Light Project by TimothyTaylor Online

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From one of Canada’s finest writers comes a masterful novel about the clash of art and advertising, the cultish grip of celebrity and the intense connections that can form in times of crisis. An unidentified man storms a television studio where KiddieFame, a controversial children’s talent show wherein kids who are too talented are “killed off,” is being filmed. He is armeFrom one of Canada’s finest writers comes a masterful novel about the clash of art and advertising, the cultish grip of celebrity and the intense connections that can form in times of crisis. An unidentified man storms a television studio where KiddieFame, a controversial children’s talent show wherein kids who are too talented are “killed off,” is being filmed. He is armed with an explosive device, and issues only a single demand: an interview with journalist Thom Pegg. It’s a strange request, everyone agrees. A disgraced former investigative journalist, caught fabricating sources, Pegg is down on his luck and working for a lowly tabloid. The demand surprises everyone – Pegg most of all, and he is reluctant to play a role. But pressure from federal authorities leaves little choice, and so it is that Thom Pegg finds himself the envy of all the high-level journalists on hand as he makes his way into the darkened studio to uncover the truth. Outside, as the hostage taking heads into its third day, enthralled and horrified onlookers watch the drama unfold through a constant stream of media speculation and rumours that race through the crowd. In the throes of this crisis two characters – one running from former glory and the other from corporate burnout – meet and instinctively connect. Eve is an Olympic gold medalist and much-loved local daughter who jogs the city’s streets at night and searches for her long-lost brother, Ali, in its shadowy corners. Rabbit is a secretive street artist who is just completing a massive project involving strange installations on the rooftops of hundreds of buildings throughout the city. Both carry the scars of their pasts, and seem to be searching for a way to become whole. It’s a fearful time, when people have serious doubts about the future and about each other, yet are compelled to come together to vent their anxiety and make themselves heard. Outside the studio, chaos reigns, and Eve and Rabbit must navigate police checkpoints as they skirt the unruly masses in pursuit of the truth of what happened to Ali. Inside the studio, however, it’s all about control, as Pegg listens to the hostage taker’s story and begins to realize the terrible, violent truth about what he has planned. When the crisis comes to a head, events collide and riots grip the streets. Prospects seem bleak as the tension of the hostage taking is unleashed upon the city. But when Rabbit’s secret installation is finally activated, people are shocked into seeing the power beauty still has in this world, and into recognizing the real possibility of hope. The Blue Light Project is a hard-hitting and emotionally wrought commentary on the forces that attract and repel us, and the faith that enables us to continue, even in our darkest hours....

Title : The Blue Light Project
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780307399304
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 370 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Blue Light Project Reviews

  • Alicia
    2018-08-21 19:47

    I'm a bit embarrassed to admit it, because I like to consider myself a semi-intelligent reader, but this book went way over my head. I struggled to follow it, I struggled to enjoy it, and most importantly, I struggled to get significant meaning out of it. This book isn't hopeful or inspirational in the slightest. It has a very disillusioned, depressed urban ethos, which isn't automatically a bad thing. I don't mind the occasional (or even frequent) dark read, but my problem with The Blue Light Project was that there was nothing to give the reader grounding. I spent the first half of the book just agonizing over when and where the book was set. The only labels we are ever given as to the setting are vague mentions of it being "midwestern" and in a city with a waterfall (but definitely not Niagara Falls). As for the time period, for the first third of the book I thought it was set in some futuristic dystopian setting, only to learn that it was in fact set in the 2010s, due to a mention of the Moscow theatre hostage crisis taking place about 10 years earlier. So as a reader I really struggled with the story because I could not ground it any place or time. Perhaps this sense of disorientation and being lost was a conscious intent of the author, a way to demonstrate what the characters felt like in their lives and their experience of the societal chaos around them, but I did not enjoy it and could not connect with the characters because of it. I felt the exact same way about the photographs of urban art that appeared throughout the book. They were certainly intriguing, and if I had been given a bit more context about the artists, or what city and what protest/situation the art arose from, I would have gotten a lot more out of it. I wasn't even clear on whether the art was created purely for the book, or whether the author found these pieces prior to writing and decided to blend them into his story. I realize that perhaps it defeats the purpose of art and corrupts the way the viewer sees it if it is explained beforehand, but I don't think that a little bit more context could have hurt. Note: I won this book in a goodreads giveaway.

  • Barth Siemens
    2018-09-21 00:46

    I read the first 30 pages twice--several passages more than that--and could not pick up the story thread. Next.

  • Jean-marcel
    2018-09-13 01:41

    A bit on the fence about this one. Some of the questions it posited were very compelling. What does the concept of fame do to us, both the famous themselves and those who would aspire toward this strange goal by doing something that would shake the world? Should we be angry at the way our lives are manipulated by government and media? What kind of things would make people stop for a moment and witness some wonder in the world?If you're like me, though, you've asked yourself similar questions very often, you know that the famous are mostly just orindary people who happened to be in the right place or the right time, are either determined or just plain bullheaded about doing something "big". And yes, you know that we should be furious with those in power; that they seldom really have our best interests in heart or mind. To many of us, this book is simply not going to be much of a revelation. It's still an enjoyable read, about half the time. I found myself glued to the narrative sometimes and just sort of coasting through at others. Perhaps this was simply because I didn't feel connected with any of the characters, I didn't really relate to their actions or their mindsets all that much, and some of their deeds just seemed like the sorts of things people do without much rational thought or reason. Sure, it's life-like, but it doesn't necessarily make for great storytelling. I did somewhat relate to the Rabbit character, but he seemed a bit vaguely portrayed, as though the author himself didn't really understand him all that well. There wasn't much special about Eve Latour or her situation to me; maybe that, after all, is the point, but her actions were so impulsive and reasonless that I felt the only thing to do was just ride with it and accept that that is, after all, the way people are sometimes.The ending was kind of beautiful though...not Eve going off to presumably live in a cabin in the woods with some guy she barely knows, but Rabbit's installation and what it does. At first you think to yourself, "well, that's rather inconsequential isn't it?"...but then you realise that yes, it would be just that sort of simple but beautiful, arresting thing that would make people stop in their tracks, and the potency of the moment is revealed with poignant clarity.Perhaps I'm a discontented lout at heart, but I felt there wasn't enough anger in this book. Certainly Taylor describes rioting and upheaval in the city, and seems influenced by recent scandals involving police brutality, as well as, of course, a growing sense of disenfranchisement and marginalisation of the common folk, and a feeling that the priorities of our civilisation have somehow gotten completely askew. I must say that I wanted the story to go further. I wanted Pegg, the reporter, to spit in the face of his handler, because it was people like him who caused this sort of thing to happen in the first place. But I see that this wasn't the answer for Taylor, and I don't really begrudge him for it.

  • Paul
    2018-08-25 21:45

    Actual rating: 3.5 stars.Terrific right up to the end, and still pretty good then. There's a fantastical, science-fiction aspect to the story, in that the events unfold in the near future in a fictional but lovingly detailed midwestern city ... almost a parallel universe. The main characters are quite real, though, and they keep you grounded. Eve Latour is a former Olympic biathlete, universally recognized and beloved in her hometown, searching for her missing brother, a former street artist and junkie. Thom Pegg is a washed-up journalist and alky, here at the request of a terrorist who has taken a theater and part of its audience hostage. Mov, the terrorist, is a former government contractor who once tortured detainees at black sites around the world. Rabbit is a second-generation street artist with a grand plan, the Blue Light Project.As Mov holds his theater audience as well as the entire city hostage, the characters are drawn together, each working out his or her own problems, and the mysterious Blue Light Project becomes as suspenseful and gripping as the ongoing hostage situation in the city center. The characters are not foils; they learn from one another and grow, and you wind up rather caring about them. Each of them is looking for something, and each of them, in the end, find what they're looking for. All this unfolds against grand themes of contemporary society: celebrity, authority, black operations, terrorism, the use of technology to gather data and spy on people, the phenomenon of street art, the co-option of same for commercial purposes, social unrest and mob actions -- it's all very real and urgent.My only dissatisfaction was with the ending, the long-promised revelation of the Blue Light Project itself, which could not have had the effect the author describes, since it is a rooftop art installation, really visible only to Eve and Thom, perched atop a disused radio tower on a ridgeline overlooking the city. In the story the city, burning in the grip of chaos, is instantly calmed by the project's activation; this could not have happened since the mobs coursing through the canyons of the city could not have seen it. This bit of mechanical impossibility, like an implausible detail in a science fiction story, undermined all the rest. What might have been a brilliant story became, at the end, merely terrific.Timothy Taylor's novel strongly reminded me of Stuart Archer Cohen's The Army of the Republic, which I loved. This was a great read, and I'll keep my eye out for more by Timothy Taylor.

  • Steven Buechler
    2018-09-07 01:44

    A great look at the role of culture, mass media, violence, and celebrity in our society. A bit of slog of times to get through but finishing this novel was an enlightening experience.-from page 49"Like they were acting something out, Like they were part of the show.They escaped by the read dodrs of the television studio. Mad crowds, crazed. Adults and children. They slammed into each other and bounced, they grabbed each other and held or pushed away. The only law governing their movement was the impulse to escape. To get out, get free. In that they were inspired by one another. Pushing and pulling, helping and not helping. The concrete stairs echoed on the way down, feet stamping and skipping and slipping. Some people were on their cell phones already, but there really wasn't anything to say. They didn't know anything, nobody did. So close were the performance and the feared reality, so close the entertainment and the violence.So they yelled into their phones: A man with a gun! But they also added other things, voices scrambling out the words: As if he had been choreographed! Just olke it were part of the show! Andthey forwarded pictures and video clips too, out there in the rear alley and the side street, but these images didn't reveal anything. Grainy figures in black, curtains of smoke. Terrible audio. They were dream sequences."

  • Martha
    2018-09-03 22:47

    I finished this book and liked it until the very end. I just don't get it. It's one of those odd kind of books that would make a movie that you watch at 2AM one morning when you can't sleep then talk about for years afterward as that "movie you watched at 2AM." It seems to be about this hostage taking event at a children's TV show. The reason for that is very unclear and not really explained later in the book. Then these stories begin to emerge about one woman who used to be an olympic athlete and had a great story to tell, someone named "Rabbit" who is a visual artist, and a demoralized journalist. Lots of twists and turns as they go about their lives in light of the hostage taking. It was a hard read because of the different character voices and got harder when a new character was added but an interesting story once I got the hang of the characters. I have to admit speed reading through one of the characters, he wasn't particularly interesting so I may have missed something important that would have helped out the ending a bit more. No, I won't read it again to figure that out.

  • Magdelanye
    2018-09-12 02:49

    ' Some people want to be widely known and celebrated. Others want concealment and secrecy. Its gaming the system either way. Its a bid to separate yourself from all those wandering around outside the machinery, subject to it but blind to their enslavement. ' p258TT is certainly not one for concealment.In his slightly subversive way he brings a sense of moral refreshment that I find enjoyable. Here he returns to his study of "the machinery of yearning and dissatisfaction" p233 that underlies so much of modern life. There is a hostage taking, but this is not a thriller; rather its a deep look at how we go wrong. Television...kills us. And talk shows will kill us. They kill our language. So we have to declare holy war against what we see every single day on television. p286

  • Heidi
    2018-09-08 18:47

    This book was very hard to follow. Sadly it should have been one that I enjoyed as the topic is something that always interests me in literature (urban terrorism, graphic art and unhappy youths on the structure of the system of American business culture). You never really felt invested in any one of the characters. There was no closure. The big government conspiracy remained as such. What happened to Rabbit? Does Eve remain close to Nick? Does she run away? Does she finally get another job? I did not like the writing style, the vocabulary or the way it was pieced together. I am glad I didn't pay for this book.

  • Jenny
    2018-09-18 20:33

    LOVED IT.This book was not only hard to put down, but engaged me on an intellectual level. Just when I thought I had it figured out, the story took yet another brilliant turn and left me in different realm. Found myself thinking of the book and its characters through my daily routines and trying to figure it all out. Gotta love a book that is consuming, intricate and leaves you wanting more!I should mention I won an advance copy through Goodreads Giveaways. Thank you for exposing me to a book and author I would not have normally picked up.I will surely be reading Timothy Taylor's other work.

  • Peter Darbyshire
    2018-09-09 02:51

    Best thing Timothy Taylor has written yet. He has DeLillo-like moments here, if DeLillo were to climb out of the limousine and hang out in the back alleys for a while. I've got a full review at The Province newspaper.

  • nicole
    2018-08-29 19:40

    I got this book on a free friday read via my nook. I thought it was well written however it jumped around a little too much for liking. It's not a typical read for me. The storyline was very interesting, however I would only mildly recommend it to someone else.

  • Karen
    2018-09-16 00:31

    Didn't really like this. The plot didn't really connect. It read more like a slightly fleshed out outline for a book than a real book. It was like the author decided he had to meet a publishing deadline and never got around the actually finishing the book.

  • Anne Hopkinson
    2018-09-11 22:38

    Street art, interrogation, parkour, a hostage taking, and unique characters – couldn't put it down.

  • Tim Reynolds
    2018-08-25 18:51

    I started to read this book and almost 100 pages in the thing is so disjointed, I could not continue. I may try again at a later date.

  • thewanderingjew
    2018-09-08 19:44

    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?Rabbit, is a major character. After leaving a lucrative silicon valley type job because he begins to question the altruistic value vs the evil value, of the project he is working on, he moves away, drops out and begins to make his mark with artistic statements he paints in public spaces. He moves to NYC from Oregon, and he begins to descend into a state of near-vagrancy.Another of the major characters, Eva Latour, a gold medal skier, is searching for her brother, a rebel. When she finds him and he is no longer the rebel, she is disappointed. She worshiped his free spirit. He is a respected member of society. She no longer fully appreciates him. She is part of the culture of discontented people, although she has achieved greatness. She worshiped his free spirit.She has been offered a job in the entertainment world. Reality shows are the rage. There are no limits to what they present. Even little children are paraded across stages and humiliated. Voyeurism is the fashion. Everyone wants to know how someone else lives, especially those touched by fame and everyone loves to see someone fail at what they are doing, even if they are the best at what they are doing. Society is searching for something but, whatever it is, it seems to have no real value, other than "a nebulous feeling".The most evil character is Mov, and yet, is he? He served his country. Is it his fault that he has pretty much driven himself mad with the tactics he was forced or trained to use, the results they inspired and the failures he experienced. This man, who prepped enemy spies for interrogation, has gone over the edge into madness.An unexpected hero is a reporter who has fallen from grace. Thom Pegg, after winning the Pulitzer Prize, is discovered to have created his sources out of whole cloth. His purpose may have been commendable, but the method was not. His heroism goes largely unsung, in a world where reality shows thrive, while the “real” reality is controlled and contrived by the powers that be, so that only the information that is deemed necessary to know, is allowed to become public. Who would believe his story, anyway; it is the story of a liar. There is little transparency 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, feeling like they are important. Their values are mixed up. They worship the wrong things, entertainment, video games, ridiculous meaningless art. There is a culture out there that doesn’t work, that simply creates issues, incites or ignites the community to action, even over ridiculously foolish things. There seems to be a lack of ambition, drive, responsibility. Their energies are directed toward pretty worthless pursuits. The street culture is prominent and street art is prevalent. Everywhere are protest signs of some kind. Universal terror appears to be the universal end product they are seeking.One has to wonder why we are obsessed with the dysfunctional, especially after reading this novel. There are a lot of angry fringe groups and they always find a leader to glom around. There are so many characters who march to the beat of their own drummer, not mainstream, not active participants in improving anything but more in presenting their personal philosophies to the world. They are not producers of anything of value for physical survival but rather concentrate on emotions and feelings.I think the real savior in the book is Rabbit, whose great achievement, his technological message, would seem to be "Let There Be Light!" Reminiscent of the creation, isn't it? Is that all that we need? Are we looking for a way back? Is hope the answer? I think it has proven to fall short of the goal. We can't survive on hope, alone. Humans need more, but they need it in the proper perspective! So, yes, let there be light, let there be understanding but also let there be responsibility for one's own behavior. We are all going to be held accountable, in some way, at some time.

  • A.C. Thompson
    2018-09-09 02:59

    I've had this book on my Nook for years, and I don't even remember where it came from, honestly. I'm thinking it must have been from a Free Friday promotion from Barnes and Noble. I started reading it the other day simply to clear it off of my device, since it's been there for so long. I'm glad I did!The Blue Light Project is a very interesting commentary on society at large, and of fame and those who seek it in particular. Does fame change both those who achieve it, and those who seek it at all costs? Does the media hold excessive sway over society and dictate not only what, but how people think? These are two of the biggest questions the author explores in his telling of this story about a hostage taker who storms a show called Kiddiefame during a live broadcast.I thought Mr. Taylor did a superb job introducing the reader to the various characters throughout the book, and I especially liked Rabbit and Eve. When Thomas Pegg was first introduced, I felt like I had just been slimed, and I pretty much hated the character, and hoped he wouldn't be in the book for long. Later, I still didn't really care for him much, but I did find myself feeling a bit of sympathy for him, because even though he's kind of a terrible guy, he had things happen to him in the past that even he didn't completely deserve.The building tension throughout the book was very well forged, and I felt it pushed the storyline along quite nicely. As the crowds gathered outside the theater where children were being held hostage by an obvious madman, tempers flare, and it seemed that full scale rioting was inevitable. I think reading it now, after our entire country has so recently gone through such a hard time over the past few years, mostly due to the media and their slanted views of pretty much EVERYTHING makes this novel even more poignant, since it was published almost eight years ago.If you haven't yet read anything by Timothy Taylor, I highly recommend you check out The Blue Light Project. I found it both entertaining and thought provoking.Until next time, stay safe, and above all, be true to yourself.That Aaron Guy

  • Malarie
    2018-09-17 02:55

    I really couldn't get into this book, I felt no connection with it and I really fought to finish it. I felt that the author was trying to tell too many stories all at once some of them in which did not link together.

  • sonicbooming
    2018-08-29 00:52

    I just finished The Blue Light Project by Timothy Taylor. Taylor is a west coast writer from B.C. I’ve only read one other book by him (he’s written three), Stanley Park which was a CBC Canada Reads pick from 2007.What I enjoy most about Mr. Taylor’s writing is the way that he infuses his story with politics. Stanley Park was about a struggling chef and his estranged father, a researcher in the fields of sociology and homelessness. I’ve forgotten a fair bit of the story, but what I do remember is that Stanley Park addressed the idea of what happens when some people lose their sense of community and no longer fit into a larger “proper” society. How easy it is to forget about the homeless, the poor, & the weak.Mr. Taylor has done something similar in The Blue Light Project. Taylor seems concerned with how society fractures and breaks from within. In Stanley Park it was various homeless figures who break from the larger world and isolate themselves. In The Blue Light Project this break comes as a result of a rather extreme and violent turn of events. A lone madman takes control over a television studio. Children from an American-Idol style variety show are captured and held hostage. Mr. Taylor looks at how celebrity culture, violence, and art are intertwined.It is difficult to discuss this particular book without spoiling certain plot points. The story takes place over the course of four days from three different points of view. At the heart of this story is celebrity culture. What does it mean to be famous-at what cost. Eve Latour is a former Olympian who is struggling to make sense of her brother’s mysterious disappearance. As she searches for him in the poorer parts of the city she stumbles upon the second point of view we are offered: Rabbit. Rabbit is a street artist who practices parkour. Rabbit is searching for some large gesture, a way to comment/protest the capitalist system that he left behind. And then there is Thom Pegg, a failed journalist turned celeb/paparazzi hack. Pegg is the only person who is allowed to meet the mysterious captor who has taken hostage of the children. All of these characters are confronting issues that surround celebrity, publicity, and society.If you’re looking for an interesting commentary on the media and art, you will find yourself enjoying this particular work. I cannot help but reflect on how prescient this book is in relation to the recent death of Osama Bin Laden. Those flash-bulb memory/cultural events. The death of JFK, Challenger, 9/11, Columbine, etc. The assassination of OBL is now added to that list. Do you recall where you were when you found out? Did you watch the news incessantly, craving for more detail, for more gore. Do you want to see photos? Did you seek out the fake ones? What does it mean that he is now dead. These same types of issues are addressed in Timothy Taylor’s novel. Taylor turns the lens unto ourselves and examines how we interact and react to these larger cultural events. What do we ultimately seek when we turn on the news? Do we want to see someone rise or someone fall? The characters in this novel struggle to make sense of this horrific event. As each of them searches for their own sense of celebrity: Rabbit who is still trying to define himself with one artistic gesture, Eve who is living in the afterglow of Olympic glory, and Thom Pegg who has fallen so far from where he once was: esteemed journalist - paparazzi hack.

  • Christina
    2018-09-14 02:36

    I received Timothy Taylor’s novel The Blue Light Project for free through Goodreads First Reads.art and advertisingadvertising and social movementsocial movement and religion religion and faithfaith and realityreality and reality TVreality TV and journalismjournalism and entertainmententertainment and art...From what initially appears to be the story of a hostage-taking at a television studio, comes a powerful social commentary. The Blue Light Project explores the complexities surrounding art, faith, success, money, power, justice, revolution, human interaction, and mass media. Timothy Taylor touches on many important issues facing contemporary society and masterfully moulds them into a gripping story that explores the strengths and weaknesses of individuals and humanity as a whole. The novel explores numerous dichotomies, juxtaposing such themes as nature and the primitive with technology and urban life. Furthermore, Taylor’s background as a journalist provides a perspective of an event that few other authors can produce. The story unfolds through the experiences of an artist, an athlete, and a journalist during the Meme Media Hostage Crisis, as the event comes to be called by the media in the novel. The characters each have different motives driving their actions, yet are somehow drawn together by the crisis. Each is unique, deep, familiar (but not a stereotype or cliché), and reflects the themes and dichotomies evident throughout the novel. For example, Eve and Ali, whose names are profoundly rooted in different religions, are estranged siblings. Taylor’s style reads easily. The structure of his novel is functional and simple to follow, although not immediately. The initial uncertainty appears to be intended for effect. The chapter arrangement is effective and each character is interesting and integral to the story. However, the Loftin and Girard chapters seem out of place, as they are not primary characters and there are no chapters named after other secondary characters, such as Mov and Ali.Overall, this is a captivating read. The Blue Light Project is a great piece of contemporary fiction that holds a mirror up to North American society and makes it difficult to turn away.

  • Julie
    2018-09-20 01:47

    In the beginning, the book had me captured – I couldn’t/didn’t want to put it down. It had a fantastic narrative which was what initially pulled me in in the beginning. There were individual plot pieces that had me wanting more and wanting to know how they all fit together into the story as a whole, which was also what initially had me invested in the book. I ended up reading it straight over the weekend so that I could finish it. Unfortunately, the book seemed to taper down after the first half, and while I did enjoy the book, it wasn’t as good of a story as I first thought. While some of the characters came together nicely, but other times, it seemed far-fetched and forced to make the plot work – it didn’t seem natural, which made the flow choppy. I felt the same way about the plot – as a whole, there’s a lot to it, a lot of good stories about personal journeys, and social commentaries, but there was too much of it. Because of that, I found a lot of the individual pieces of the plot felt forced together, and at times I felt almost overwhelmed while reading the book, trying to piece how everything should be fitting together and why.The ending was a bit of a letdown, and somewhat unbelievable. I get the message the ending was trying to show, and the build up to it with the hints throughout the book was also well done, but in the end, it didn’t have the impact on me the author was trying to show on the reader.In the end, it was a good book. I found it didn’t come together as well as I would have liked, but it does have little individual elements that made for a good read. It was also a bit of a different read, than what I have been reading lately.Also found on my book review blogJules' Book Reviews - The Blue Light Project

  • Thomas Holbrook
    2018-08-26 20:29

    Being a committed reader, from my point of view, requires that once a book is begun it must be completed. With few exceptions, this has proven to be a rewarding discipline. Shortly after I began reading this book, I had to remind myself of my commitment. The book begins slowly and gains little speed to an end that is violent, confusing and uncertain. When an individual interrupts a popular reality show, Kiddiefame, and takes hostage over 100 of the participants and audience members, a crisis begins. When it is discovered this person has a bomb, the city reacts to this event (terrorism, kidnapping, media circus?) by becoming polarized along political lines and tension rises the longer the crisis lasts. In the midst of this moment, Eve Latour, Olympic gold medalist and city hero is looking for her brother, Ali, who has been missing for seven years; Rabbit, a street artist with a past that is intriguing; Thom Pegg, an alcoholic journalist whose Pulitzer Prize was revoked after it was discovered that the winning news story had, at its center, a fictional character, are all intimately involved in this ongoing crisis. At the onset, their involvement appears random but their worlds begin to collide as the bombers reasons for action become clear. The story never “found its legs” for me. As I read, I enjoyed learning of the three main characters, but the plot was too manufactured, overly violent and splintered to hold the level of attention merited by the well-developed central characters. The title speaks of Rabbit’s design that will bring together what the bomber has sought to break apart. When it is unveiled, it “succeeds” only by contrivance and left me feeling as if I had been short-changed. Obviously, this book is not one I can highly recommend.

  • Ryan
    2018-09-09 18:50

    I have a feeling if I was 14 years younger, or more cynical, or even less hopeful about life, this review would be slightly different. My take on the book itself would have been considerably altered, allowing me to connect with it more. As it is, I'm a 35 year old optimist, who doesn't see the worst in things. I'm not a paranoid type of person who thinks the government is out to get me or hiding things from it's populace. Instead I'm someone who believes that most people who go into politics or run corporations are in it for the right reasons. I know in the era of the Tea Party, that my way of looking at things may seem odd, but that's who I am.That alone, made this book hard for me to get into, especially at first. Instead of concentrating on the story, which at times felt a little too fragmented, I was more worried about where the story was taking place. I spent so much time stressing out about what city the story was set. I was so obsessed by the setting, I think, in order to give me something to grasp onto. I'm still not sure, but by the end of it, I really didn't care anymore.While it took me a bit to get into the story, I eventually did. I won't say I loved it, but I was eventually able to enjoy what it was that was being presented to me to consume. It did take me a while though, I had to put the conspiracy/paranoia aspect aside and pay attention to three main characters instead. Once I separated the characters from the story, I was able to enjoy them. They are all in transitional phases of their lives, even if they didn't know it at the time. The story takes them on a journey of self discovery that will leave them changed for the better.

  • Anna
    2018-09-05 22:29

    I couldn't help but compare this book to another of Taylor's novels, Stanley Park, which I absolutely loved. Both books have two loosely connected storylines populated with complex characters and told in engaging, often funny, lyrical prose. I enjoyed this book also, with the dual tales of a disgraced journalist called in to interview a man holding hostage a theatre full of children, and an Olympic gold medalist searching for her lost brother and instead finding a street artist working on a mysterious project. However, while the ending of Stanley Park was a crescendo that reached an odd but seemingly inevitable and utterly satisfying conclusion, I felt like the end of The Blue Light Project was more of a sputtering out, something that didn't do the story or the characters any justice. Part of this feeling was, for me, because Taylor whipped out something about religion that just left me feeling cheated as a non-believer. And part of it was the fact that I didn't feel like the two storylines really came together in a way that felt natural and meaningful. The supposed excerpts from the journalist character's book felt too much like an extension of the novel to be credible, and did not quite work as the framework that might have otherwise made the plot a cohesive whole. So while I started out very engaged, and particularly interested in the whole subject of street art (which Taylor does a great job of describing), I ended up feeling somewhat let down in the last chapters. I still think it's a book worth reading, but if you haven't read Stanley Park yet, I would recommend that one first.(Review for Goodreads Giveaway)

  • Marnie
    2018-09-03 18:49

    This novel was a pretty good read. The scary thing is that technology today if not already there, is very close to being here in the near future. Imagine your actions or thoughts being controlled by someone or the government...

  • Joanne-in-Canada
    2018-09-05 21:57

    Trust me, I wanted to like this book more than I did. Timothy Taylor was one of the five authors named to my literary Mount Rushmore. I'm just glad I read his previous works before this one.I was prepared to be disappointed, as the book got mixed reviews when it came out and not a lot of raves, but I don't think that really coloured my reaction. Rather, it prepared me to stick to it despite its shortcomings because I want to keep up with his canon. Sort of like Ann Patchett, some of whose books I adore and others not so much.There were two basic problems with The Blue Light Project:1. There was just too much going on--too many people and too many themes. A hostage taking, reality TV, journalistic ethics, celebrity, street art, parkour, families. Each story had its merits of character, setting and plot, but I kept waiting for one of them to become enriched by depth and detail. None did.2. I missed the realistic setting of Vancouver used in Stanley Park and Story House (assuming that The Blue Light Project doesn't take place in a real city). In Taylor's previous books, I wanted to go looking for the locations, certain they would reveal themselves if I just found the right spot (like Platform 9-3/4). Here, I felt no such pull.Looking forward to the next installment in Taylor's literary output!

  • Ron Baird
    2018-09-08 18:44

    One of the best books, certainly for a first book, I've read. Canadian author Timothy Taylor has followed in the Canadian writers tradition of genre busting. Part mystery, part thriller, part love story, part a laser-scalpel, electron-microscopic view of contemporary culture, politics and society.Protagonists include a former Olympic biathalon medalist, a disgracednewspaper reporter who won the Pulitizer based upon a fictitious sourceand who now writes a a scandal tabloid, and a high tech savant who has become a street artist planting mysterious objects on the roofs oe hundreds of buildings in he unnamed city. Also shadowy government agent/ private security figure, street gangs of parkour performers (called freestealers)).The three characters' lives intersect around an incident where a man takesa number of children, participating in a reality TV show called KiddieFame, hostage and will only tell his demands to the disgraced journalist.I can only think the average rating this book has achieved is because the readers were hoping for best seller dribble and couldn't wrap their minds around such an original plot.

  • Dave Hanna
    2018-09-05 21:36

    I am not sure if Timothy Taylor is prescient or just knows how to read the wind, but The Blue Light Project, published in April 2011 and undoubtedly in the works for some time before that, prequels perfectly the sensations, if not the motivations, of the Occupy Wall Street protests, down to the forming of factions within, the pre-emptive overreactions of the authorities, the implied presence of agents provocateur, and the unsettled remains of the aftermath.Set amid a three-day hostage seige in an unamed city, the story unfolds around the intersection of three (plus a lesser fourth) lives and how the drama influences each's present and future while--in bits and pieces like the jigsaw puzzles that comprise their (and our) lives--revealing how each one's past brought them to where they are. Wryly skewering modern-day cultural mainstays such as American Idol, celebrity "journalism," conspiracy theory, and the current seige mentality pervading America (both north and south the US/Canada border), Taylor weaves an interesting, forward moving, and thoughtful tale aboout the two worlds we live in: fear and paranoia on one hand, hope and redemption on the other.

  • Tricia
    2018-08-23 20:32

    After reading the back of the book - I wasn't quite sure what to expect. However, I am so happy that I read it. What a treat!Parkour, hostages, anti-fame, fame, underground art, faith, crazy journalism, tragedy, gold-medal athlete, love and self-realization - this book had it all. I'm not going to give a plot synopsis as I believe you will enjoy the book more without knowing more (like myself!)The most interesting part of the book for me was the concept of "fame" and "anti-fame". Not something I had previously given much thought to. It is always nice when a novel can evoke different thought processes. I very much liked the different characters and their development throughout the novel. Each one was *so* different and equally interesting. I found myself genuinely interested in their lives and how they were going to intersect and conclude.Overall it was a unique story and it was very well executed.

  • M
    2018-08-22 19:43

    The lives of three people intermingle amidst a hostage situation in Timothy Taylor's novel. Former Olympian biathlete Eve is unsure of herself, having lost her father and in a constant search for her missing brother. Thom Pegg is a blacklisted journalist whose ways at finding and bending the truth may have given him one last shot at redemption. The oddly-named Rabbit is a Parkour street artist trying to complete a grandoise project for the city. Against a backdrop of a citywide panic over a hostage situation, these three characters find the missing pieces of themselves and help transform those they encounter. As an art teacher myself, I found the street art to be the most provocative parts of the book, but it is an overall delight to explore the art of humanity - as this book cleverly does.

  • Lindsay
    2018-09-11 23:51

    I was a FIRST READS GIVEAWAY winner for this book, and I am grateful for the opportunity I had to read this book, which I would not have otherwise given the chance. This was the story of a crisis, though not one I would typically have imagined. Much of the story was as any spectator would see. The story from the outside. A world of fear and doubt fueled by misinformation, building to a climax. Everyone's lives affected, even in the slightest details and decisions. It showed humanity at its worst, as well as the hope that just one person may give to the collective. I had a hard time getting into the story, though the writing was extremely poetic. I didn't connect with the characters immediately, but was eventually dedicated right to the end.