Submitted by Rohan Quine on April 3, 2017
Rohan Quine’s “The Beasts of Electra Drive”: The Edit
Rohan Quine’s upcoming novel “The Beasts of Electra Drive” was the subject of a recent conversation filmed at Oxford University, produced as part of the IAF17 in London Book Fair week 2017, with the title “How Authors Work with Editors”. The film presents a structured but free-ranging discussion between Rohan Quine and the novel’s developmental editor Dan Holloway from the editorial and creative consultancy Rogue Interrobang. The conversation can be seen on Quine’s website alongside a full text transcription of it.
Like Quine’s previous five titles (“The Imagination Thief”, “The Platinum Raven”, “The Host in the Attic”, “Apricot Eyes” and “Hallucination in Hong Kong”), “The Beasts of Electra Drive” is literary fiction with a touch of magical realism and a dusting of horror, celebrating the beauty, darkness and mirth of this predicament called life, where we seem to have been dropped without sufficient consultation ahead of time.
From Hollywood Hills mansions and Century City towers, to South Central motels and the oceanside refinery, “The Beasts of Electra Drive” spans a mythic Los Angeles, following seven spectacular characters (or Beasts) from games designer Jaymi’s created world. The intensity of those Beasts’ creation cycles leads to their secret release into real life in human form, and their combative protection of him from destructive rivals at mainstream company Bang Dead Games. A prequel to Quine’s existing five tales, “The Beasts of Electra Drive” is a fast-paced and surreal explosion of glamour and beauty, horror and enchantment, celebrating the mechanisms and magic of creativity itself.
For links to the following reviews and to many others, see
“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. […] 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.” – Dan Holloway, “Guardian” blogger.
“It [‘The Imagination Thief’] feels like something that will win major awards […]. I look forward to gritting my teeth and applauding loudly at next year’s Booker.” – Meg Davis, Ki Agency.
“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, “Book Muse”.
“I particularly enjoyed the characterisation of the women [in ‘The Host in the Attic’], especially the wonderfully petulant Angel Deon […]. 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, author and Amazon UK 1,000 Reviewer, writing in Vine Leaves Literary Journal
“An intriguing book [‘The Imagination Thief’] 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) […] described with a larger-than-life intensity that put me strangely in mind of Coleridge’s ‘Kubla Khan’ […]. 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. […] I found the conclusion surprising, redemptive and satisfying. […] not so much an imagination thief, but, to the reader, an imagination expander.” – Debbie Young, author and Amazon UK 1,000 reviewer.
“I have now been reading ‘Hallucinations’ with great pleasure […] you are indeed a star.” – Iris Murdoch.
“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.” – Dan Holloway, “Guardian” blogger.
“a dynamic that renders [narrator Jaymi] thrillingly amoral and makes this ambitious and unusual novel [‘The Imagination Thief’] wholly unpredictable. […] he finds he can explore not only the real memories of his new friends but their fantasies as well. These sequences are incredibly powerful, richly poetic and unique. Rohan Quine is a very insightful writer, with an understanding and empathy that anchor these hyper-eroticised, often surreal flights in a comprehensible reality. […] I often like to mention other similar books as a ‘way in’ for review readers but there is nothing else like this novel and that is my best recommendation.” – Andrew Wallace, novelist.
“A sadistically svelte structure on top of explosive, primal content that refuses to behave in a linear fashion. It [‘Hallucinations’] 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”.