The Imagination Thief

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EC1 Digital and the Firsty Group, Jan 1, 2013 - Fiction - 346 pages

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.

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


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Evelyns fling with Flames
Morning picnic with vodka and burning tyres
The meaning of a spotlight
return of the giant ship
A sighting of the weasel
Lucans and Angels sumptuous fight
How Kim met Shigem
How Shigem met
Theft four and Alaia extricates herself
High voltage for Angel
Who could ask for more?
A farcical audition for
The Supreme Ruler and her spacecat
Lowbudget snarls in the nightclub
Alaia receding
Angel tries to use

Theft three and Alaia lands Angel in the shit
Riks and Evelyns genius at hangouts
I learn Alaias subterfuge
Alaia bites the bullet and calls Lucan
Pleasure to be
puzzle out Alaias subterfuge
run to the
Home in a nowhere town
Rain on corrugated iron
Overheard through the cornchips
Movements through the wall
second spotlight with alaia
Alaia fakes for two audiences at once
Coldness on the beach
Alaia swirls in decreasing circles
The weasel at the window
A naked Angel on the front path
Golden on the beach for the last time
Attitude on the phone
The pussycats lost in translation
Snatching the divine on the corner of the street
Lucan spreads poison in the morning
Stared at on an empty beach
Fixing the weasel hunt
An interrupted drama and a dubious portent
Hunting the weasel
Pippa on the brink of no return
My lies about the Mint
Alaia slithers out of Lucans grip
Angels Baby Doll
Theft five with suicide and soupoftheday
Alaia in hiding
Spanish baboons and tiny creatures
An inferior decapitation gesture
Lucan and Angel on the big screen
Porchgeese and Vietnam
Pippa a zombie through internal damage
Evelyns dance with minimal effect
Desire as disease in Angel Deon
Shigems unimprovable situation

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About the author (2013)

I grew up in South London, spent a couple of years in L.A. and then a decade in New York, where I ran around excitably, saying a few well-chosen words in a handful of feature films and TV shows (see, modelling in a few places, and drinking deep in many more places. I’m now living back in East London, as an Imagination Thief, with my boyfriend and a rabbit named Clytemnestra. The novel The Imagination Thief came out in early 2013 (see for more info and some nice reviews in The Guardian and elsewhere), and four novellas will be published in late 2013. Further tales are in the pipeline.

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