Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Blue Light Project

Timothy Taylor
The Blue Light Project

Soft Skull Press, 2011

Eve Latour is a star. She is Olympic champion in biathlon and is known around the world. Latour became famous primarily because during the competition a cracker-sniper shot her in the leg, but Latour gave no sign, hidden injury and completed the race and won gold medal. She was bathed in glory, gave interviews, went around the world, was going to marry, but because of his father's death postponed the wedding.
Latour now works on TV and runs in the mornings. The reason for these workouts is the missing brother of Eve. When she returned from a trip to Europe, Latour discovered that her brother Ali was gone. Ali painted graffiti, filled his pictures in the most remote places of the city, so that Latour runs through the dark streets in hopes of finding his brother or at least someone who can give her any information on the whereabouts of Ali.

When Eve, along with Nick, who has not yet become her husband, watching television, they learn that someone took hostage an entire building with the children who starred in the TV show «KiddieFame», something like the "Minute of Fame" for the children.

Taylor introduces another important protagonist of the book as soon after the scene of hostage-taking. It is Rabbit, he is twenty-six. He partly is graffiti painter, partly parkur, partly implementer of a strange project. Rabbit, adding the device to selected of the roof of buildings, works on an installation.

This is a strange novel. He is superbly written, especially its second half. Taylor has charming style, he is very accurately conveys the tension, confusion, and hopes.
Time of the story is the future, 2014, the city has remained anonymous, but the author does not write science fiction, there is no change compared with our time there. Despite the seemingly serious subject that requires a correct approach, the author hadn’t written depressing novel, there are no anger, hatred, hopelessness, conversely, Taylor selects the protagonist of the novel light itself, and the author earned himself a hundred points with that, he is the author of hope.

The novel turned out metaphorical, not rudely embedded in reality. City’s name does not appear there, any historical names never appear in the text, the state machine is never called such. There are references to the terrorist attacks in Moscow and Beslan, but this is such beacons, which do not play a big role. Taylor seems to be not tied to the details, but it applies only to the details around terrorist attacks: everything else is very plausible, all the characters, their inner world, are three-dimensional; they are not puppets on the author’s string.

What, however, doesn’t quite work in this book, is incongruous inclusion of some storylines. The entire plot line of champion Latour doesn’t work at all. It is bound and serves only as sort of a lever, to somehow tell and fully disclose Rabbit and his project. The very story with the search of her brother, a worldwide fame at times are even annoying. Even the style of the author when he writes about Latour, is as if getting worse towards simplification.

And only that, perhaps, does not let to name the book excellent.

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