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The Blue Light Project

3.1  ·  Rating Details ·  434 Ratings  ·  84 Reviews
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 armed
Hardcover, 370 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Knopf Canada
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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 P
Barth Siemens
I read the first 30 pages twice--several passages more than that--and could not pick up the story thread. Next.
Apr 24, 2012 Jean-marcel rated it liked it
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 ver
Aug 15, 2011 Paul rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, e-book
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
Steven Buechler
Apr 27, 2011 Steven Buechler rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 09, 2011 Martha rated it liked it
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 ...more
Aug 10, 2011 Heidi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Heidi by: Free Friday
Shelves: free-friday
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 ...more
Apr 21, 2011 Jenny rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Those who love being consumed by a book
Shelves: favorites
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 an
Peter Darbyshire
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.
Nicholas Arsenault
Jul 22, 2012 Nicholas Arsenault rated it it was ok
I had to stop reading this book, the writing style I just could not get past. The ideas seemed disjointed and never complete as though the authors style is very stacatto in nature and I personally found it to be incredibly difficult to follow. It feels like it could have a solid story and plot line, but after giving it almost 100 pages, I had caved and threw in the proverbial towel.
Aug 28, 2011 nicole rated it liked it
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.
Sep 18, 2011 Karen rated it did not like it
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
Jul 16, 2011 Anne Hopkinson rated it it was amazing
Street art, interrogation, parkour, a hostage taking, and unique characters – couldn't put it down.
Tim Reynolds
Feb 25, 2014 Tim Reynolds rated it did not like it
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.
Jul 19, 2011 thewanderingjew rated it liked it
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 me
Oct 25, 2011 sonicbooming rated it liked it
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 i
Feb 24, 2011 Christina rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received Timothy Taylor’s novel The Blue Light Project for free through Goodreads First Reads.

art and advertising
advertising and social movement
social movement and religion
religion and faith
faith and reality
reality and reality TV
reality TV and journalism
journalism and entertainment
entertainment 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, f
Thomas Holbrook
May 10, 2013 Thomas Holbrook rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
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 be
Ryan G
May 04, 2014 Ryan G rated it it was ok
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 ...more
Mar 08, 2011 Anna rated it liked it
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 ...more
Mar 17, 2012 Joanne-in-Canada rated it it was ok
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
Ron Baird
Nov 06, 2011 Ron Baird rated it it was amazing
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 disgraced
newspaper reporter who won the Pulitizer based upon a fictitious source
and who now writes a a scandal tabloid, and a high tech savant
Dave Hanna
Jan 30, 2012 Dave Hanna rated it really liked it
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 a
Feb 23, 2011 Tricia rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 07, 2011 M rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Feb 16, 2011 Lindsay rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
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 wors
Pamela Pickering
2.75 stars. Hmmm...what to say? I think if I were of a different generation I might appreciate this book but as I'm pushin' 50 I spent most of the time perplexed and looking for the point of the story. It seems like a book where the focus might be "It's all about me me me!" or possibly its focus is about those who search for conspiracy theories and the mayhem it creates, or maybe even a discussion about urban culture (which I just don't get). At any rate, I'm not sorry I've read it as it ...more
Mar 11, 2011 Shelley rated it it was amazing
Terrific thought provoking book with multiple themes which came together in a surprising and strangely uplifting conclusion. Taylor's compelling portrayal of modern culture with its focus fame and self-branding is juxtaposed against the street artist who, without desire for acknowledgment, brings unexpected splashes of color to the cityscape. Not a dark novel - the tension in the latter half of the book made it a page turner, and the themes have been alive in my mind well beyond reading the ...more
Jun 21, 2011 Dan rated it liked it
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 ...more
Dee Renee  Chesnut
I received The Blue Light Project as a Free Friday Selection from Nook over a year ago, and its light price is currently $10.68.
It is a well-written book which I am not going to be recommending to any of my friends soon. It is currently a bit too close to current events: an unidentified man storms a television studio and takes hostages in the book while the news is still full of stories about the shootings in the theater in Aurora, Colorado.
It might be good for discussions in a book club becau
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Timothy Taylor is a Canadian novelist and short story writer. Born in Venezuela, he was raised in West Vancouver, British Columbia and Edmonton, Alberta. Taylor attended the University of Alberta and Queen's University, and lived for some years in Toronto, Ontario. In 1987 he returned to British Columbia. Taylor currently resides in Vancouver.

Taylor's short story "Doves of Townsend" won the Journe
More about Timothy Taylor...

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