- Hardcover: 376 pages
- Publisher: McClelland & Stewart; 1st Edition edition (Sept. 18 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0771038119
- ISBN-13: 978-0771038112
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3 x 21.9 cm
- Shipping Weight: 454 g
- Average Customer Review: 31 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #323,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Late Nights on Air Hardcover – Sep 18 2007
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
From Publishers Weekly
After being fired from his latest television job, a disgraced Harry Boyd returns to his radio roots in the northern Canadian town of Yellowknife as the manager of a station no one listens to, and finds himself at the center of the station's unlikely social scene. New anchor Dido Paris, both renowned and mocked for her Dutch accent, fled an affair with her husband's father, only to be torn between Harry and another man. Wild child Gwen came to learn radio production, but under Harry's tutelage finds herself the guardian of the late-night shift. And lonely Eleanor wonders if it's time to move south just as she meets an unlikely suitor. While the station members wait for Yellowknife to get its first television station and the crew embarks on a life-changing canoe expedition, the city is divided over a proposal to build a pipeline that would cut across Native lands, bringing modernization and a flood of workers, equipment and money into sacred territory. Hay's crystalline prose, keen details and sharp dialogue sculpt the isolated, hardy residents of Yellowknife, who provide a convincing backdrop as the main cast tromps through the existential woods. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
#1 National Bestseller
“Elizabeth Hay has created her own niche in Canadian fiction by fastening her intelligence on the real stuff — the bumps and glories in love, kinship, friendship.”
— Toronto Star
“Hay exposes the beauty simmering in the heart of harsh settings with an evocative grace that brings to mind Annie Proulx.”
— Washington Post
"Dazzling....A flawlessly crafted and timeless story, masterfully told.” — Jury citation, the Scotiabank Giller Prize
“Exquisite….Hay creates enormous spaces with few words, and makes the reader party to the journey, listening, marvelling….” — Globe and Mail
“This is Hay’s best novel yet.” — Marni Jackson, The Walrus
“Invites comparison with work by Alice Munro and Margaret Atwood. Outside Canada, one thinks of A.S. Byatt or Annie Proulx.” — Times Literary Supplement
“Written by a master storyteller.” — Winnipeg Free Press
“Psychologically astute, richly rendered and deftly paced. It’s a pleasure from start to finish.” — Toronto Star
Top Customer Reviews
As can be easily imagined, the inter-personal relationships are not simple in a close-knit work environment of a small radio station with solidarities and allegiances shifting as quickly as animosities and jealousies. Among the changing perspectives, reflecting the emotional state of the individuals at the centre of the story, three have stronger voices than the others. Harry, the personally troubled acting station manager, an experienced radio personality, is in less than comfortable position and his days may be numbered. Gwen, the newest arrival with enthusiasm and dedication to learn that might, she hopes, balance off her lack of experience. Eleanor, the administrator, represents the calm and responsible voice of reason. One of the groups challenges is Dido, a young woman from the Netherlands with a "natural" radio voice and a mysterious and seductive personality. While the characters are all interesting, I didn't feel strongly engaged with any of them for a long time; they remained vague and lacked a level of depth. Like the meandering Mackenzie some of them, very slowly, gain in strength and focus.
For two thirds of the novel the reader is invited into the hearts and lives of this small group and a few secondary characters we meet along the way. Dramas happen but mainly on a small scale. Hay has exquisite one liners in her depiction of the characters and their views of each other, such as " I have a great face for radio." One intriguing and recurrent theme is the memory of lost ones, especially fathers who had exercised very strong influences on their daughters. "The past had never gone away, had not intention of going away." While considered in a different context (the pipeline)it applies just as well to the characters in the novel. For each of them the past is very much present.
It emerges over time, that several of the group feel drawn to explore the Northern Wilderness more closely by following in the footsteps of an explorer team several decades previously. The author brilliantly evokes the landscape of the "Barrens", also depicting the challenges any group would face trying to navigate the frozen lakes in the Mackenzie River Delta. The author's sense of awe at the beauty of the scenery, the summer lights in the Artic and of the vastness and potential loneliness and danger is captures in lyrical and intimate language. This segment is by far the strongest part of the novel. Not only for its descriptive power but, especially, also for suggesting new connections between those who went on this journey. Last not least, Hay exquisitely explores the connections between natural environment and human beings - whether they live traditionally in close harmony with the land or are visitors moving through, but still forever altered. [Friederike Knabe]
Want to see more reviews on this item?
Most recent customer reviews
Elizabeth Hay creates a group of characters who work at the radio station in Yellowknife in...Read more