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Lost Souls by Poppy Z. Brite

Lost Souls (original 1992; edition 2002)

by Poppy Z. Brite

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1,854323,727 (3.87)35
Title:Lost Souls
Authors:Poppy Z. Brite
Info:Gauntlet Press (2002), Hardcover, 272 pages
Collections:Your library

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Lost Souls by Poppy Z. Brite (1992)


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English (29)  German (2)  Finnish (1)  All languages (32)
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
I read this book years ago (like '92) and it still resonates with me today. When I read it I found it such an eye opening book. Nothing. I had dreams about green eyes for years. Part of me would like to revisit the characters, but I don't want to ruin the emotional ties this book has for me. I'm sure that my older view point would see the flaws and cut the ties. ( )
  Penny01 | Feb 1, 2014 |
My absolute favorite book of ALL time. ( )
  esapuridis | Nov 12, 2013 |
Nothing wrong with the writing in this one, but I think I would have enjoyed it more had I read it when I was much younger. ( )
  stacy_chambers | Aug 22, 2013 |
Oh, Lost Souls. What can I say about you?

I loved this book when I was in high school. I remembered it as being voluptuous, edgy, sexy and good-trashy. I remembered thinking Poppy Z. Brite "got it", being impressed that there was an author who could write about goths, who clearly *understood*. And I remember being enthralled by her descriptions of New Orleans.

Reading it now, I couldn't cringe harder for my teenage self. And I don't think I ever get to make fun of the Twilight series again.

Trashy? Yes. Good? Not so much.

About three-quarters of the way through the book, I tried to figure out whether I was rooting for the fucked-up Hero With A Heart Of Gold who had drunkenly raped his girlfriend (who he genuinely loved, though), or the ridiculously beautiful vampire who had bewitched the same girl and fucked her on a whim, then discarded her (leaving her pregnant with his horrible vampire baby, basically a death sentence).

Then I gave up trying to decide whose side I was on.

And that's not even getting into the incest. And the fact that every girl in the story gets enthralled and knocked up with a vampire baby -- that will either KILL HER HORRIBLY in being born, or kill her in being aborted.

I got excited when a vampire woman showed up in the story -- though she was only being talked about as part of someone's history, not an actual character -- but then it turned out that, despite abstaining from PIV sex with her lovers because she was too afraid of ending up preggo with a killer vampire fetus (which, to be fair, SUPER HORRIFYING) -- she GOT RAPED BY ONE OF HER INTENDED VICTIMS, some teenage mortal, apparently because she had been drinking(???), and then died I guess trying to give herself an abortion(?).

So yeah, that's nice.

I mean basically, this book is all teenage angst and ZOMG SUPER SHOCKING THINGS and "drinking Chartreuse all the time and wearing lots of eyeliner is super glamorous" and descriptions of sexual acts that seemed thrillingly deviant when I was a teenager and now just read as kind of gross (like, do we really need to keep talking about spit?).

But the book meant a lot to me at the time, and the characters have stuck with me somehow, even after all these years. Especially Ghost. So you get two stars, Lost Souls, even though you don't really deserve them.

And my poor, tattered copy of this book, the cover held on with electrical tape, is getting consigned to Goodwill, lest I make the mistake of trying to read it as an adult again. Maybe some other teenage lost soul will pick it up instead of Twilight.

(Side note: it's interesting to me that I can still read, and enjoy, [b:Interview With the Vampire|43763|Interview With the Vampire (Vampire Chronicles, #1)|Anne Rice|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1218672404s/43763.jpg|873132], but not Poppy Z. Brite.) ( )
5 vote wirehead | Jul 9, 2013 |
Ghost is a delicate, beautiful boy who sees into people's minds and his dreams often come true. He is in a band called Lost Souls? with Steve, an angry, alchoholic college drop-out. Ghost keeps Steve from going right over the edge, but he couldn't keep him from raping his girlfriend, Ann, and since the end of their relationship Steve has been sinking deeper into depression, rage and alcoholism.

Meanwhile, several worlds away in suburbia, lives Nothing, a lonely fifteen year old who can't connect with his painfully normal adoptive parents. He dreams of running away and finding the boys from Lost Souls? and for them to be his family. Soon he finds himself running away and hitching out towards Missing Mile, North Carolina, where the band is from.

But vampires roam the dark streets, and they are not the sparkly kind. Brite's vampires are not undead - they are a separate species - and they'll rip your throat out and roll around in your blood. Zillah, Twig and Molochai are beautiful vampires who drive around in their van drinking, tripping and picking up hitch hikers, whom they party with, sleep with, and then eat. Zillah is also Nothing's real father, having impregnated a girl at a party in New Orleans fifteen years earlier. Nothing ate his way out of his mother's womb, killing her, as all vampire babies do.

When the beautiful Zillah and his entourage pick up the wandering Nothing, they do not know his parentage, but are surprised to find another like them - and the fifteen year old quickly becomes his father's lover.

Brite's prose is luscious. This book is not for the faint of heart - there is lots of blood, gore, sex, rape and incestuous themes run throughout - but Brite's lyrical descriptions and haunted characters really bring the story to life. And Ghost's goodness and Nothing's inner conflicts help anchor it.

A real horror vampire story (as opposed to the urban fantasy/paranormal romance kind that populates the shelves these days) Brite's work luxuriates in sex, blood, music and drugs. Lost Souls can be beautiful, but its also gruesome. Visions of being a Goth teen in the 90s - I first read these books as a teenager. They're still good now, though they feel a bit too heavy on the teenage angst and darkness and all that. I can roll my eyes now at Nothing's oh-woe-is-me attitude towards his "too normal, too nice" adoptive parents, but I remember when I was an angsty teen myself, that struck a strange chord with me. Brite's writing also feels a bit over-the-top now, pages of flowery descriptions oozing darkness - yet it's still somehow delectable - lush and fascinating.

Recommendation: NOT for the faint of heart, the easily squicked, or those who think vampires should sparkle. (But I sure liked it!) ( )
  catfantastic | May 26, 2012 |
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For Michael Spencer and Monica Kendrick, the best magicians I know
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The night wind felt wonderful in Steve's hair.
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Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
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Abandoned as an infant, Nothing reads his true name on the handwritten note that was pinned to his baby blanket eighteen years earlier, and discovers that he is the son of a vampire.

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