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.
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 . . . [it’s] 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 is a thought-provoking take on what one character calls ’our toxic times.’
[Taylor] skilfully juggl[es] the intimate with the public, the small-scale with the monumental... He ramps up the suspense as effectively as any more conventional thriller writer could . . . 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.
Beautifully written and brimming with important ideas... His themes are absolutely of the moment, and his characters are consistently fascinating.
A breakneck literary thriller that combines the worlds of conspiracy theory, reality TV, celebrity culture and street art.
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.
Taylor has written a thriller that challenges our perceptions as both individuals and as a species.
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.
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.
Taylor has a wild and vast imagination, and his work bursts with originality.