Apricot Eyes
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English

In "Apricot Eyes", a cat-and-mouse pursuit through the New York City night involves a preacher, a psychic and a dominatrix, broadcast live on air – until a horror is unearthed, bringing two of them together and the third to a sticky end.



Having partially regained a power of second sight that he’d once possessed but lost, Jaymi Peek uses this ability in a live weekly television show online, where he channels onto the screen those unexpected places, hidden colours and hatching plans that he can perceive throughout New York City. He applies this sight to the task of relocating his old friend Scorpio, who has gone missing, but succeeds in catching only a glimpse of him in some unidentified corner of the city’s underbelly.

Across a subway station, Jaymi notices an unwelcome visitor from his and Scorpio’s past – Kev Banton, who has now become a prominent evangelical preacher intent upon a moral cleansing of the population. Jaymi tails Kev discreetly through the subway, and is surprised when Kev’s journey ends at a waterfront waste ground in an industrial corner of the Bronx, where Kev slips out of sight amid an odd hum of underground engines…

The monstrous population beneath this waste ground, and the malign purposes for which the preacher and his wife have been feeding it, are revealed in the course of a triangular cat-and-mouse pursuit involving Jaymi, Scorpio and the preacher. This unfolds in Scorpio’s physical pursuit of Kev through the crackle and night-pulse of the streets, from Times Square to the marginalised fringes of the city; in Jaymi’s psychic pursuit of Scorpio, whether streaking up high through the skyscrapers’ shine or secreted on a tanker as it rattles through the Bronx; and on screen, in the colourised shimmer of what Jaymi broadcasts live.

In its rollicking journey through these hidden planes of New York, to the simplicity and sensuality of its ending, "Apricot Eyes" is a blast of fun that trumpets boldness over caution, tolerance over bigotry and voltage over comfort, celebrating the mystery and dangers furled just behind the surface of the everyday.

English

Rohan Quine is an author of literary fiction with a touch of magical realism and a dusting of horror. He 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, such as "Zoolander", "Election", "Oz", "Third Watch", "100 Centre Street", "The Last Days of Disco", "The Basketball Diaries", "Spin City" and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (see www.rohanquine.com/those-new-york-nineties/film-tv). He’s now living back in East London, with his boyfriend and two happy free-roaming house rabbits - a white down-ears and a black up-ears.

His novel THE BEASTS OF ELECTRA DRIVE (a Finalist in the IAN Book of the Year Awards 2018) is a prequel to his other five tales, and a good place to start. See www.rohanquine.com/press-media/the-beasts-of-electra-drive-reviews-media for reviews by "Kirkus", "Bookmuse", "Bending the Bookshelf" and others. From Hollywood mansions to South Central motels, havoc and love are wrought across a mythic L.A., through the creations of games designer Jaymi, in a unique explosion of glamour and beauty, horror and enchantment, celebrating the magic of creativity itself.

In addition to its paperback format, his novel THE IMAGINATION THIEF is available as an ebook that contains links to film and audio and photographic content in conjunction with the text. See www.rohanquine.com/press-media/the-imagination-thief-reviews-media for some nice reviews in "The Guardian", "Bookmuse", "indieBerlin" and elsewhere. It’s about a web of secrets triggered by the stealing and copying of people’s imaginations and memories, the magic that can be conjured by images of people, the split between beauty and happiness, and the allure of power.

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 www.rohanquine.com/press-media/the-novellas-reviews-media for reviews of these novellas, including by Iris Murdoch, James Purdy, "Lambda Book Report" and "New York Press". Hunting as a pack, all four delve deep into the beauty, darkness and mirth of this predicament called life, where we seem to have been dropped without sufficient consultation ahead of time.

All titles are also available in audiobook and video-book format, performed by the author.

www.rohanquine.com

"Rohan Quine is one of the most original voices in the literary world today – and one of the most brilliant." - Guardian Books blogger Dan Holloway, who included Quine’s "The Imagination Thief" on his list of the six "best self-published books of the decade"

"A sensual ballet of rich characterisation, alluring subtlety and originality. 'The Beasts of Electra Drive' is a novel that I didn't want to put down while I was reading it. [...] I found myself underlining things on the page, throughout it, because of the allure of Quine's language. I was fascinated with the marriage of his vocabulary and his punctuation. [...] This book creates a luscious and sensuous effect, which you can expand into." - Suzi Rapport

"The swooping eloquence of this book ['The Imagination Thief'] 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." - JJ Marsh in "Bookmuse"

"Quine is renowned for his rich, inventive and original prose, and he is skilled at blending contemporary and ancient icons and themes." - Debbie Young in "Vine Leaves Literary Journal"

English

Table of Contents of "Apricot Eyes" by Rohan Quine


1 Jaymi’s hunt for Scorpio
2 The black-thighed scorpion
3 The stalking on the subway train
4 The girls on West Fourteenth Street
5 The golden limousine and the sudden hanging legs
6 Ten screens of eyes in the neon
7 Phaon and the second like a teardrop
8 Screeching worms
9 A lapful of broken glass
10 A drag-queen drives a tanker
11 Ecstasy in Hunts Point

English

Dan Holloway, novelist, poet and Guardian blogger, on the four novellas:

“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, he is back with a collection of 4 seamlessly interwoven novellas. […] 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

“It would be remiss of me not to take this opportunity to bring people’s attention to a truly remarkable book. Rohan Quine writes right at the boundary between literary fiction and experimentalism, and his new collection of four novellas, The Platinum Raven and other novellas, is a genuine masterpiece. This guy is as good as [Sergio] De La Pava, and deserves to be the next self-published literary author to cross over into mainstream consciousness.”
—SPR, https://t.co/VSJZDfo5s8

“Rohan is one of the most original voices in the literary world today—and one of the most brilliant.”
—https://bit.ly/2PXq42S

“four stunning new novellas by one of the most exciting literary writers in the UK.”
—http://bit.ly/1xQahyo


Jane Davis, novelist, on the four novellas:

“Rohan Quine is a master of words, his world is also accessible, and it’s a place you definitely need to visit. With echoes of Jennifer Egan's Goon Squad, Quine captures all that is beautiful, but he doesn't shy away from all that is ugly. What links the four novellas together is that his characters are all searching for that something beyond the everyday, beyond the ordinary, and Quine is a god, having them dole out kindness and justice. In his world, everything that is commonplace would be annihilated. This is the kind of read you have to give yourself up to. […] When you emerge on the other side with a greater understanding of what it means to be ‘that animal called human’, then that will be the time to stop and ask, ‘What just happened?’”
—https://amzn.to/3soEupW

“Rohan Quine is a poet who happens to write novellas/novels. Incredible use of language.”
—https://bit.ly/2Q1JR0Z

Her interview with Rohan at her blog: www.jane-davis.co.uk/2014/01/28/3797


“Novelist Rohan Quine not only has several books out. He also has a career in alternative modeling and film to look back on. Naturally, he has gone on to make a series of silent short films to go with an audio track of the author reading from his work. It’s flooded with city lights, drugs and darkness. One foot in the New York Nineties, and one foot in today’s London, it’s both hypnotic and gut-churning.”
—Polly Trope, novelist and literary editor of indieBerlin, www.indierepublik.com/indie-lit/books-and-films-writers-who-also-make-videos


“A cautionary tale of the potential corrupting power both of vanity and of the internet plays out in modern London's high-tech dockland offices and luxury apartments, with brief forays to lavish West End hotels and country houses. […] As the story becomes ever darker, gentle touches of humour provide a little light relief. I particularly enjoyed the characterisation of the women, especially the wonderfully petulant Angel Deon […]. While at first this parable's main purpose may seem to rage against the principles of a high tech, monopolistic, capitalist world that enable individuals to lead unspeakably privileged lives above the law, it is at the same time a cautionary tale against narcissism and the abandonment of love and compassion for others. This broader theme gives the story its true heart and depth. Quine is renowned for his rich, inventive and original prose, and he is skilled at blending contemporary and ancient icons and themes. […] an interesting approach to dialogue, blending idiom and phraseology from different eras, from Victorian times through 20th century popular film culture to the modern day. […] There are some classic moments of horror that are very filmic, including one on a par with the Psycho shower scene. Without giving too much away, I can imagine this book might put readers off accessing their own attics for a while.”
—Debbie Young, novelist and Amazon UK 1,000 Reviewer, writing in Vine Leaves Literary Journal, about The Host in the Attic, https://amzn.to/3mJ5Aac


JJ Marsh, novelist, on the four novellas:

“This is an extraordinary writer. I am going to gorge myself on these novellas as soon as I possibly can.”
—https://bit.ly/3uM2V25

Her interview with Rohan in Words with Jam magazine,
www.wordswithjam.co.uk/2014/01/60-seconds-with-rohan-quine.html


“a collection of four narratives in his distinct prose and approach. Introspective, a little mysterious, a lot disturbing, and usually violent or corrupt, Quine’s stories take readers on an experiment through their own psyche to consider the difference between what is real and what did they wish it to be.”
—IndieReader, on the four novellas, https://indiereader.com/book_review/the-platinum-raven-and-other-novellas


“cerebral works full of brilliant imagery and invention. This series of novellas are all well crafted and designed to draw the reader in to the shifting realities of their settings. The title novella The Platinum Raven in fact has two young women in two narratives […] very vividly described. There are elements of magical realism and alternate reality throughout. At times the two Ravens appear to communicate but the levels of reality are enigmatic and intriguing. The Host in the Attic is a beautifully reinterpreted version of The Picture of Dorian Gray set in a high-tech dystopian world and a sinister computer global company—Mainframe Corporation, which appears to permeate every level of society. The hologram corporate image logo is in essence Dorian. All the main characters from Wilde's novel are here in more modern form. It has a tremendous and horrific climax. The horror novella Apricot Eyes is a fast-paced horror tale in a nightmarish New York. Hallucination in Hong Kong is a mysterious tale of past and present, dreams and waking with horror and love themes. The whole collection is a roller-coaster of at times nightmarish perceptions and strange surreal happenings brilliantly imagined. The tales leave a lasting impression and I recommend highly.”
—Alexander Gordon-Wood, actor, on the four novellas, https://amzn.to/3wQ0lKi


“a riveting read. The novella The Host in the Attic in particular is splendidly Wildean: in it, [Quine’s] novel The Imagination Thief itself drives forward the plot of The Host in the Attic. He is a veritable Imagination Thief!”
—David McLaughlin, on the four novellas, https://amzn.to/3g5ZfUH



The following are reviews of Rohan Quine’s Hallucinations (New York: Demon Angel Books), published in print in the USA only, which included earlier versions of: Apricot Eyes; Hallucination in Hong Kong; and a few chapters of The Platinum Raven.

“I have now been reading Hallucinations with great pleasure […] you are indeed a star.”
—Iris Murdoch, author (scan of her letter at foot of www.rohanquine.com/press-media/the-novellas-reviews-media)

“He has no equal, today or tomorrow.”
—James Purdy, author

“Sometimes Quine succeeds with things you wouldn’t think language could do, like describing a piece of music with an extended metaphor that reads something like watching the last half-hour of 2001.”
—Ben Cohen, New York Press

“Hallucinations at the end of this millennium is what Lautréamont’s, Huysmans’s and Wilde’s work represented at the end of the 19th century […] a sadistically svelte structure on top of explosive, primal content that refuses to behave in a linear fashion. It can only be described as literature that strains between ecstasy and bondage […] one of the chic-est, most provocative things we have read in years […] one of those seminal works that goes on to be accorded the status of a classic.”
—Wayne Sterling, New York Web
http://models.com/life_style/meta/rohan.html
http://models.com/life_style/meta/rohan2.html
http://models.com/life_style/meta/rohan3.html

“The imagery is Apocalypse Now-era Coppola meets Wes Craven, or Edward Scissorhands meets Barbarella […] or Anne Rice (as screenwriter) on an acid trip […] the lilt and cadence of prose poetry laid end-to-end, resulting in a narrative that is frequently stunning […] sublime verbal renderings of the emotions and sensations of human love.”
—Hayward Connor, Union Jack

“Most taut and clever in [Apricot Eyes]; it grips the reader and gives a provocative ride [… Hallucinations] develops ‘alternative’ characters with style and dimension, as well as challenging traditional forms of storytelling with admirable results.”
—Tom Musbach, Lambda Book Report

“This is quite an extraordinary work, distinguished both by its originality and by the strength of [its] voice.”
—Anne Hawkins, literary agent (John Hawkins & Assocs.)

“There’s a reality in each sentence of Hallucination in Hong Kong that neither depends on nor is blurred by all its virtuoso fuckings of the English language.”
—Dr Michael Halls (www.intercomtrust.org.uk)
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