The Blue Light Project
From the Giller Prize-nominated author of Stanley Park comes a novel about the clash of art and advertising, the cultish grip of celebrity and the intense connections that form in times of crisis.
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 crisi. Eve is an Olympic gold medalist and local hero. Rabit 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, social paranoia, and dangerous cynicism. The result is a gripping work of dark brilliance, from which Taylor ultimately surprises us with grounds for hope.
Niorth American publisher: Soft Skull
Canadian publisher: Knopf Canada
Foreign rights contact: The Marsh Agency, Foreign Rights Management
Jemma McDonagh (Jemma@marsh-agency.co.uk) for Baltic States, Brazil, Croatia, Czech Rupublic, France, Greece, Iceland, Italy**, Korea, The Netherlands*, Poland, Romania, Scandinavia, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovak Republic, Turkey
"Taylor masterfully brings his themes and characters together in a stunningly kinetic finale that somehow offers hope for the courageous few seeking their separate peace from a world gone wrong. Innovative and deeply moving fiction..." — Booklist (starred review)
"Taylor's finest effort yet.... The Blue Light Project is the work of an author fully in control of his talent. It’s a brilliant work." — The Winnipeg Review
“Delightfully engrossing. . . . Holding The Blue Light Project together is Taylor’s prose style, which jumps across the page like a joyful, risk-loving parkour artist.”— Winnipeg Free Press
“An ambitious novel, one that challenges its readers to pay attention or get left behind, but it is definitely worth the necessary concentration. . . . It is about the power of art to heal in the aftermath of tragedy. And from a literary standpoint, it works extremely well. The Blue Light Project’s closing image will stay with readers for a long time after they close the book. . . . A wonderful novel—a thought-provoking and challenging story that will lead to debate and discussion among readers and might even change the way you look at our celebrity-driven culture.” — The Vancouver Sun
“Taylor is an intelligent writer, and one whose novels suggest that he has strong political convictions. Some of the best and most unsettling moments come when the grim ironies of the plot illustrate how governments . . . are quietly dismantling long-taken-for-granted rights and privileges and replacing them with libertarian pseudo-freedoms. . . . Taylor will one day be a Canadian icon.” — J.C. Sutcliffe, The Globe and Mail
“A breakneck literary thriller that combines the worlds of conspiracy theory, reality TV, celebrity culture and street art.” — Mark Medley, National Post
“Astonishing, breath-taking passages of explosive writing. . . . One of the most beautiful and moving codas to a novel I have read for many a year. . . . The Blue Light Project will give you pause, will make you look at media differently than you did before, and the hostage-taking . . . will keep you engaged. . . . A novel worth reading.” — By the Book Reviews
“It’s tempting to race through The Blue Light Project. It has the compelling narrative momentum and intricate plotting of a thriller. Resist the temptation, because this fourth book from Vancouver’s Timothy Taylor is as much a novel of ideas as it is a page-turner. It’s a crucible of topical issues. . . . By turns hopeful and alarming, The Blue Light Project thought-provoking take on what one character calls ‘our toxic times.’” — Barbara Carey, Toronto Star
“Terrorism, fame, celebrity worship, art vs. commerce—they’re all themes that can and do carry many a novel by themselves, so Taylor risks overload in taking on all of them. He manages it by skilfully juggling the intimate with the public, the small-scale with the monumental. Confining the action to a three-day period, he ramps up the suspense as effectively as any more conventional thriller writer could. . . . The scenario he presents is all too plausible, the time all too contemporary. Best of all—and here is where the writer he most recalls is Don DeLillo—Taylor finds surprising angles into his material. . . . In the end, for all horror on display, hope is what The Blue Light Project holds out.” — Ian McGillis, The Gazette
“Beautifully written and brimming with important ideas. . . . Taylor skillfully portrays a city losing its collective mind. . . . Offering astute satire . . . , Taylor comments pointedly on celebrity and art’s redemptive qualities. The sequence where Rabbit puts his installation into place has an exquisite tension showcasing Taylor’s excellent chops. . . . His themes are absolutely of the moment, and his characters are consistently fascinating.” — NOW (Toronto)