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The Imagination Thief - Rohan Quine

The Imagination Thief

By: Rohan Quine

Paperback | 1 January 2014

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"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. A Distinguished Favorite in the NYC Big Book Award 2021, 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.

 

Keywords: Asbury Park, New York, broadcast, contemporary, dark fantasy, gay, horror, imagination, literary fiction, magical realism, psychic, transgender.

Industry Reviews

www.rohanquine.com/press-media/the-imagination-thief-reviews-media Dan Holloway, "Guardian" blogger: Review of "The Imagination Thief" in "The Guardian": http://bit.ly/13rR45R "Rohan Quine is one of the most brilliant and original writers around. His 'The Imagination Thief' blended written and spoken word and visuals to create one of the most haunting and complex explorations of the dark corners of the soul you will ever read. Never one to do something simple when something more complex can build up the layers more beautifully [...] suffice to say he is the consummate master of sentencecraft. His prose is a warming sea on which to float and luxuriate. But that is only half of the picture. He has a remarkable insight into the human psyche, and he demonstrates it by lacquering layer on layer of subtle observation and nuance. Allow yourself to slip from the slick surface of the water and you will soon find yourself tangled in a very deep and disturbing world, but the dangers that lurk beneath the surface are so enticing, so intoxicating it is impossible to resist their call." - http://danholloway.wordpress.com/2014/02/22/the-platinum-raven/ "Rohan is one of the most original voices in the literary world today - and one of the most brilliant." - http://on.fb.me/1iXSRt9 JJ Marsh, novelist: "Another difficult to classify book, but that's precisely why it works so well. Part literary fiction, part fantasy, it is a surreal experience which makes the most of its equally offbeat location. With a cast of unforgettable characters and a central premise both intriguing and epic [...]. [...] In Asbury Park, New Jersey, an abandoned holiday resort, preparations for the strangest and biggest show on earth continue. They encounter an eclectic bunch of characters; lovers, enemies, slaves and masters, all of whom provide Jaymi with a wealth of material. But information is power, and more than one person wants access. The swooping eloquence of this book had me hypnotised. Quine leaps into pools of imagery, delighting in what words can do. The fact that the reader is lured into joining this kaleidoscopic, elemental ballet marks this out as something fresh and unusual. In addition to the language, two other elements make their mark. The seaside ghost town with echoes of the past and the absorbing, varied and rich cast of characters. It's a story with a concept, place and people you'll find hard to leave." - www.bookmuse.co.uk Debbie Young, author and Amazon UK Top 1,200 Reviewer: "An intriguing book that addresses many big issues (love, sex, death, power, the nature and reliability of human memory, history, culture, human potential, the constraints of 21st century society, and more) [...]. The immediacy of the story is more keenly felt because it is written in the present tense - always more demanding on the reader, I find, and even more so in this case because although most is in the first person, there are also many second-person narratives, where Jaymi is reading the minds of other characters and addressing them: 'You move closer...' That the author is able to keep the reader not only engaged but tantalised by this difficult mode of storytelling indicates the power of his prose. Though it's very much a modern book, with the constraints of modern life as one of its themes, there are touches of the classic about it too, reminding this reader of Johnson's 'Rasselas' [...]. As I turned the pages, I found myself puzzling how on earth this intense tale would end. Without spoiling the plot, I can say I found the conclusion surprising, redemptive and satisfying. [...] So, here we have not so much an imagination thief, but, to the reader, an imagination expander. Great stuff - thank you, Rohan Quine." - http://authordebbieyoung.com/reviews/directory-of-book-reviews/the-imagination-thief-by-rohan-quine/

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