Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Late Nights on Air by Elizabeth Hay

First sentence:

"Harry was in his little house on the edge of Back Bay when at half past twelve her voice came over the radio for the first time."


Harry Boyd, a hard-bitten refugee from failure in Toronto television, has returned to a small radio station in the Canadian North. There, in Yellowknife, in the summer of 1975, he falls in love with a voice on air. He soon discovers that the real woman, Dido Paris, is even more than he imagined.

Dido and Harry are part of the cast of eccentric, beguiling characters who form an unlikely group of colleagues at the station. As summer progresses, we gradually discover their loves and longings, their professional and personal rivalries, the stories of their pasts and what brought each of them to the North. When four of them embark on a canoe trip into the Arctic wilderness, tracing the journey of the ill-fated Englishman John Hornby, their lives are altered, much as the balance of power in the North is being changed by the proposed Mackenzie Valley gas pipeline, which threatens to rip open the Arctic and displace Native people from their land.

Hay has a skewering intelligence about the frailties of the human heart. Weaving stories from the past into the present, she builds a fresh, erotic, darkly witty and moving tale, replete with sentences that will stop you dead because of

Elizabeth Hay has been compared to Annie Proulx, Alice Hoffman, and Isabel Allende, yet she is uniquely herself. With unforgettable characters, vividly evoked settings, in this new novel, Hay brings to bear her  and her ability to tell a spellbinding story. Written in gorgeous prose, laced with dark humour, Late Nights on Air is Hay’s most seductive and accomplished novel yet.

My thoughts:

I enjoyed this book about people at a radio station in the Canadian North. I especially liked the interactions between the characters and the life-changing trip some of them make.

Date read: 3/11/2014
Book #: 8
Rating: 4*/5 = great
Genre: Fiction

ISBN-10: 0771040199
ISBN-13: 9780771040191
Publisher: Counterpoint
Year: 2008
# of pages: 364
Binding: Trade Paperback
LibraryThing page

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