The Imagination Thief by Rohan QuineThe Imagination Thief by Rohan Quine

The Imagination Thief

byRohan Quine

Paperback | January 1, 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. 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.

Rohan Quine grew up in South London, spent a couple of years in L.A. and then a decade in New York, where he ran around excitably, saying a few well-chosen words in various feature films and TV shows (see He's now living back in East London, as an Imagination Thief. His novel "The I...
Title:The Imagination ThiefFormat:PaperbackDimensions:378 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.84 inPublished:January 1, 2014Publisher:EC1 DigitalLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0992754909

ISBN - 13:9780992754907

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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 and I on the dance-floor 27 A devoted fan of Alaia and 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, and 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 and 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, and nattering about bikinis 50 Unnerving things in Pippa's bedroom 51 Evelyn's fling with Flames 52 Morning picnic with vodka and 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 and Angel's sumptuous fight 57 How Kim met Shigem 58 How Shigem met Kim 59 Theft three, and Alaia lands Angel in the shit 60 Rik's and Evelyn's genius at hang-outs 61 Alaia bites the bullet and 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, and Alaia extricates herself 79 High voltage for Angel 80 Who could ask for more? 81 A farcical audition for Rik 82 The Supreme Ruler and 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 and 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 and soup-of-the-day 95 Spanish baboons and tiny creatures 96 An inferior decapitation gesture 97 Lucan and Angel on the big screen 98 Porch-geese and 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 and curtseying 104 Violence in the air 105 The trolls in the warehouse 106 A gunfight and 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 from the crime scene 113 How to bungle an assault 114 Alaia and I are kidnapped 115 Shrieking eyes in the ghost town 116 Revelation in the breakfast room 117 That narrow door 118 The feet beneath the sheet 119 Savagery, mystery, death and confinement 120 A ring, two spires and a wedding gift

Editorial Reviews Holloway, "Guardian" blogger: Review of "The Imagination Thief" in "The Guardian": "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." - "Rohan is one of the most original voices in the literary world today - and one of the most brilliant." - 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." - 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." -