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Imogen and ISIS: NYC-Set Dark Comedy Novel Sees Love, Ridiculous Rents & the Threat of Terrorism Collide, No Story Is Timelier as the City Fears Its Future

Crafted with humorous and gripping aplomb by New York's Jack Mauro, ‘Imogen and ISIS: A Story of Terrorism and Manhattan Apartment Rents’ is as current and close to fact as any fictional novel can be. The narrative follows a year in the life of Imogen and Ahmad, a city-wannabe and a city-dweller with radically different agendas and moving to a shared destiny. While chock-full of humor and city realities that will have any NYC resident chortling long into the night, Mauro perfectly captures the undercurrent of fear running through a city that is no stranger to being a target for terrorists.


New York, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/21/2014 -- It’s ironic, timely, humorous and very, very real; a new novel from author Jack Mauro that cuts through New York City’s legendary facade to expose its harder core, and just a little heart as well.

‘Imogen and ISIS: A Story of Terrorism and Manhattan Apartment Rents’ depicts a city where rents have never been higher and fear has never been more prevalent, yet where residents still share the struggles of love and life that transcend geography. Buckle up for an insightful – and occasionally side-splitting – journey onto the streets of New York City, as two ‘unknowns’ face daily battles in pursuit of their very separate, yet somewhat similar, dreams.


In this modern and dark comedy, Imogen Curtis - 40, smart, attractive, and a genuinely good woman - commits to a dream: a life in Manhattan. In very little time the dream gets badly bruised as she collides with obscene rents, brokers demanding endless proof of her not being a deadbeat, and tenants less than sane seeking roommates.

At the same time, Ahmad Betesh has a different and more ordinary dream, and seeks only love. He is a gentle young man but romantic failure triggers in him a ruthless, if inept, agenda inspired by headlines terrifying New Yorkers with the grim reality of ISIS. Month by month, 2014 passes as each maneuvers through Craigslist, around obstacles human and otherwise, and on their separate trajectories only a block or two apart.

A third figure is with Imogen and Ahmad, always: the frustrating, thrilling, hated, and loved presence of today's New York City itself: the heartlessness of a city that is not entirely heartless, the insanity of real estate markets offering closets for thousands per month, and the undercurrents of fear humanizing a New York all too familiar with what a terrorist strategy may mean to it.

“The fascinating thing about living in New York City is the organic presence of the town itself,” explains Mauro. “For quite a few, it's nothing more than a big and expensive town rich in opportunity and/or menace. For many others – myself and my Imogen included – it has a glamor and mystique that cannot die, and this was my jumping-off point. “

Continuing, “Point demands counterpoint, and Ahmad exists to reveal how dreams vary, but still live within unsuspected hosts. And may get...twisted. Back in the city after many years away, I felt the truths of Ahmads passed on the sidewalk every day, and there came the wonderful mix of passions and fears. Imogen battles against one form of 'horror' in New York, Ahmad is driven to another, and both my own experience and the news gave me all the platform I needed to frame my people as lliving and breathing - and occasionally gasping - on the sidewalks of the city.”

Mauro hopes that his work will make a big impact with the local audience.

“Imogen and Ahmad’s oddly linked stories will resonate with New Yorkers, but I’ve also captured the essence of New York in the way it rubs off on, and is rubbed by, every resident and infatuated visitor. Of course, the novel also has national appeal for those who have moved away and for individuals a little fascinated with the city that never sleeps. By the way,” he adds, “That's a myth. It sleeps. Not long, but it sleeps.”

Demand for the book is expected to be high, and interested readers are urged to purchase their copies as soon as possible after launch.

‘Imogen and ISIS: A Story of Terrorism and Manhattan Apartment Rents’ is due for imminent release. Exact date and purchase locations to follow.

About Jack Mauro
In 2007, Mauro's M4M: For an Hour or Forever was published by Simon & Schuster, to excellent national reviews. He has as well published novels and short story collections mostly set in his beloved (and former) home of Knoxville, Tennessee: Gay Street, Spite Hall, Enola's Wedding, and, in 2013, Beautiful Man. Imogen and ISIS marks Jack Mauro's return to New York City, where he reviews theater for StageBuddy and endlessly prowls the streets of the town he fell in love with long ago.