The Imagination Thief by Rohan Quine is about a web of secrets, triggered by the stealing and copying of people’s imaginations and memories. It’s about the magic that can be conjured up by images of people, in imagination or on film; the split between beauty and happiness in the world; and the allure of various kinds of power. It celebrates some of the most extreme possibilities of human imagination, personality and language, exploring the darkest and brightest flavours of beauty living in our minds.
Alone in his skyscraper office one night, Jaymi undergoes a transformation that will change his life: he acquires the power to see into others’ minds, and then to control and project their thoughts.
Realising the potential of this gift, he hypnotises a media mogul into agreeing to broadcast an electrifying extravaganza of sound and vision emanating from Jaymi, the like of which has never been witnessed before, that will captivate millions. However, one of the mogul’s underlings has more subversive plans for milking Jaymi’s talent, involving the theft of others’ imaginations and intimate memories for commercial gain.
The broadcasting of his visions plunges Jaymi and his best friend Alaia on a journey into the underbelly of Asbury Park - a seaside town once full of life but now half-forgotten. The town’s entire oceanfront is now almost a ghost town: ruled by gangsters and drug dealers, headed by Lucan, it is populated by lost souls and the beautiful who have fallen on hard times. Blackmailed into thieving the most private and primal memories and experiences from these people’s imaginations, Jaymi discovers a web of secrets and provocations simmering beneath the surface of the town, about to explode.
When a waxwork of Lucan’s decapitated head is anonymously planted in his own bar, fear bubbles up, as everyone becomes a suspect in this unforgivable challenge to Lucan’s dominance. Then when another provocative waxwork appears - a naked full-body modelling of Lucan’s beautiful but tortured lover, Angel - Jaymi knows he must use his own gift to discover the perpetrator before Lucan does.
Delving into and celebrating the most beautiful and extreme possibilities of human imagination, personality and love, The Imagination Thief is literary fiction, with a touch of magical realism and a dusting of horror. It explores the universal human predicaments of power, beauty, happiness, hopelessness, good and evil.
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About the Author
He's now living back in East London, as an Imagination Thief. His novel "The Imagination Thief" is published in paperback, and also as an ebook containing hyperlinks to film and audio and photographic content in conjunction with the novel's text. See http://www.rohanquine.com/press-media/the-imagination-thief-reviews-media for interviews and some nice reviews in "The Guardian" and elsewhere.
Four novellas - "The Platinum Raven", "The Host in the Attic", "Apricot Eyes" and "Hallucination in Hong Kong" - are published as separate ebooks, and also as a single paperback "The Platinum Raven and other novellas". See http://www.rohanquine.com/press-media/the-novellas-reviews-media for interviews and reviews of these.
All five tales are literary fiction with a touch of magical realism and a dusting of horror. They aim to push imagination and language towards their extremes, so as to celebrate the beauty, darkness and mirth of this predicament called life, where we seem to have been dropped without sufficient consultation. They may be read in any order.
His upcoming title will be the Hollywood canyons novel (actual title yet to be confirmed), now barrelling down the pipeline...
He's at http://www.rohanquine.com, http://www.facebook.com/RohanQuineTheImaginationThief and @RohanQuine.
Read an Excerpt
THE IMAGINATION THIEF is about a web of secrets, triggered by the stealing and copying of people’s imaginations and memories. It’s about the magic that can be conjured up by images of people,
Table of Contents
1 A funny turn at the office 2 The hunt for what my eyes can do 3 So now I'm on a mission 4 Sneak peek into a mogul's mind 5 How to slap a mogul around 6 My absent default personality 7 Telling Alaia what's hard to believe 8 The statue of black sugar 9 Alaia gets excited 10 Angles of glamour 11 Lunch with a shark 12 Relentless wakefulness in the belfry 13 The silver van to the ghost town 14 The smashed violin 15 Evelyn's tour of the ghost town 16 Ready for our close-up 17 Sound & Vision 18 The warm dome of smile 19 Flames, Lucan, Kev 20 Paranoia by the wire-netting fence 21 Angel's wings in the dive-bar 22 No enchantment without ordeal 23 A declaration of war against Lucan 24 On the sky, that face 25 The figure in the crowd in the mirror 26 Shigem & I on the dance-floor 27 A devoted fan of Alaia & me 28 Wet green eyes of Pippa in the take-away 29 Flight from Arverne 30 The small black toothbrush 31 We'll all adore you 32 Evelyn picks imaginations to thieve 33 Theft one, & how to be ignored 34 Big Bang: song of death 35 Cheap champagne at Evelyn's 36 Kim's dead suburbia 37 Flash of weasel eyes through the keyhole 38 Kim's amber days 39 Your painted face alive & smiling 40 Alaia gives me a grilling 41 It's only a shell 42 The last music Kim heard before Shigem 43 Malaysian chilli peppers 44 The five times I hypnotised someone 45 A declaration of war against Kev 46 Another furtive escape 47 Pippa goes to greet a gentleman caller 48 Does Lucan hate Shigem? 49 Theft two, & nattering about bikinis 50 Unnerving things in Pippa's bedroom 51 Evelyn's fling with Flames 52 Morning picnic with vodka & burning tyres 53 The meaning of a spotlight 54 Big Bang: return of the giant ship 55 A sighting of the weasel 56 Lucan's & Angel's sumptuous fight 57 How Kim met Shigem 58 How Shigem met Kim 59 Theft three, & Alaia lands Angel in the shit 60 Rik's & Evelyn's genius at hang-outs 61 Alaia bites the bullet & calls Lucan 62 Pleasure to be you 63 I puzzle out Alaia's subterfuge 64 Big Bang: run to the sun 65 Home in a nowhere town 66 Rain on corrugated iron 67 Overheard through the corn-chips 68 Movements through the wall 69 Alaia fakes for two audiences at once 70 Coldness on the beach 71 Alaia swirls in decreasing circles 72 The weasel at the window 73 A naked Angel on the front path 74 Golden on the beach for the last time 75 Attitude on the phone 76 The pussy-cats lost in translation 77 Snatching the divine on the corner of the street 78 Theft four, & Alaia extricates herself 79 High voltage for Angel 80 Who could ask for more? 81 A farcical audition for Rik 82 The Supreme Ruler & her space-cat 83 Low-budget snarls in the nightclub 84 Angel tries to use me 85 Lucan spreads poison in the morning 86 Stared at on an empty beach 87 Fixing the weasel hunt 88 An interrupted drama & a dubious portent 89 Hunting the weasel 90 Pippa on the brink of no return 91 My lies about the Mint Man 92 Alaia slithers out of Lucan's grip 93 Angel's Baby Doll 94 Theft five, with suicide & soup-of-the-day 95 Spanish baboons & tiny creatures 96 An inferior decapitation gesture 97 Lucan & Angel on the big screen 98 Porch-geese & Vietnam 99 Pippa a zombie through internal damage 100 Evelyn's dance, with minimal effect 101 Desire as disease in Angel Deon 102 Shigem's unimprovable situation 103 Theft six, with ambiguous bowing & curtseying 104 Violence in the air 105 The trolls in the warehouse 106 A gunfight & a snippety exchange 107 Flicker of murder in Angel 108 I'll never see your eyes again 109 A screech of tyres 110 What it's like to die by gunshot 111 What it's like to die by shriek 112 Stealing evidence [...] 113 How to bungle [...] 114 Alaia & I [...] 115 Shrieking eyes [...] 116 Revelation [...] 117 That narrow [...] 118 The feet [...] 119 Savagery [...] 120 A ring [...].