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Lost Souls
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About the Author

Poppy Z. Brite is the author of eight novels and four short story collections. She began her career as a novelist in 1992 with Lost Souls, which has since established itself as a classic of the horror genre, followed by Drawing Blood, her cult reinvention of the haunted house tale. Her most recent work, including the critically acclaimed novel Liquor, is set in the restaurant world of her native city, New Orleans, where she lives with her husband Chris, a chef and restaurateur. They share their home with an oft-changing but always insane number of cats.

Reviews

Launching the Abyss imprint for Delacorte, this stylishly written, daringly provocative first novel plays on the appeal of vampires as romantic antiheroes. Three bloodsuckers who might pass for rock stars roll into New Orleans for Mardi Gras and then disappear again, but only after their handsome leader, Zillah, has impregnated an adolescent girl. Fifteen years later, their offspring, who calls himself Nothing, is living with adoptive parents in the suburbs and wondering, like many other teenagers, why he feels so different. In this case the answer is that he's really a vampire, a fact he discovers when he runs away from home and meets up with none other than Zillah, accompanied by sidekicks Molochai and Twig. Together they seek out Nothing's favorite band, Lost Souls, for an explosive meeting that leads to a bloody, somewhat overdone climax back in New Orleans. Brite creates a convincing, evocative atmosphere in which youthful alienation meets gothic horror, but her prose sometimes turns purplish (for example, both sperm and the liqueur Chartreuse are likened to altars). More regrettably, the story lacks a moral center: neither terrifyingly malevolent supernatural creatures nor (like Anne Rice's protagonists) tortured souls torn between good and evil, these vampires simply add blood-drinking to the amoral panoply of drug abuse, problem drinking and empty sex practiced by their human counterparts. Rather than horror, Lost Souls prompts disgust mixed with morbid titillation, but it will surely be devoured by genre aficionados. BOMC featured alternate. (Nov.)

This book comes highly recommended by some of the best horror writers in the business, and deservedly so, but it is not for the weak of stomach. It is the story of a lost soul, a boy named Nothing, who was born of a vampire and is searching for his true family. But he dimly understands that joining his vampire brothers will cost him more of his humanity than he wants to give up. A mysterious, caring psychic named Ghost tries to save him from his fate and, because Nothing loves this man, he must choose to preserve his own humanity in order to save Ghost's life. The book is graphic in its presentation of kinky sex mixed with vampirism and murder but nonetheless compelling.-- Marylaine Block, St. Ambrose Univ. Lib., Davenport, Ia.

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