Shop now Shop now Shop now See more Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now DIYED Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now Shop now
Customer Review

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brite strides boldly where Anne Rice fears to tread, 21 Aug. 2003
This review is from: Lost Souls (Paperback)
Lost Souls, Poppy Z. Brite's first novel, may be shockingly perverse to those not already immersed in the darker waters of fiction and life, but with its lurid omnisexuality wrapped in a blood-encased poultice of horror, it stands as a mesmerizing achievement, lending ever newer blood to the world of vampirology. While some may chide Brite's vampires for being so awfully unlike the debonair charmer Count Dracula or even the grossly disfigured Nosferatu, herein actually lies the strength of the novel. In Brite's world, good and evil do not exist, and if they do, they are oftentimes quite difficult to tell apart. There is not one character in this entire novel who is even within earshot of the bells of Normality, no one whom in all truth could be called a hero in the traditional sense. This is a world encased in darkness; even the sunlight filters through halfheartedly, as if it realizes it is just fooling itself when it pretends it can wash away the darkness with its feeble rays of light. The characters are exquisite yet deeply tainted, some by blood, some by drink and drugs, and some by the shiftier shadows that like to entomb the mind of man insidiously and secretly.
If nothing else, one cannot say these characters are forgettable. We first meet Christian, a centuries-old vampire running a bar in New Orleans. One Mardi Gras night, a trio of his brethren come into the bar and entrance him with their modern ways of dalliance, unrestrained pleasure-seeking, and vitality. Christian is both literally and figuratively cold and dead inside, but the vampire trio are electric and unrestrained. Twig and Molochai are almost childlike in their recklessness, but Zilla is something special. His mysterious chartreuse-enlivened eyes do all but breathe fire through their entrancingly hypnotic gazes. A young girl in the bar that night falls under Zilla's spell, and many months after Zilla and his friends have left New Orleans, a baby is born. The baby grows up in Maryland, knowing he is different from everyone else; his name is Nothing, and at fifteen he sets off on a journey of self-discovery. His first destination is Missing Mile, North Carolina, home of the underground musical group Lost Souls?, but he meets up, as if by fate, with Zilla's band of marauding vampires and finds the family he has been aching for all his life. He and Zilla share their bodies as well as their feasts of blood, and Nothing has little trouble adjusting to the life he knows he was born to lead; he is a vampire. Steve and Ghost, the members of Lost Souls?, enter the picture because of Nothing's strong identification with their music. Ghost is the most remarkable character in the novel, a young man blessed with a gift of seeing into the minds of others, both alive and dead; his gift can be a curse at times, though, because he knows the pain of everyone. Steve is his best friend, a perpetual drunk with a bad temper that caused him to lose the one girl he had ever loved. All the roads of each character meet in Missing Mile, and the events and tragedies set in motion lead the reader from there back to New Orleans, ending in a climax I found remarkably well done.
Poppy Z. Brite is something of an acquired taste. The sexuality of her characters is strikingly extreme, and Zilla's band of vampires are particularly uncaring in their choice of partners; the life essence can be found in a fluid other than blood, and these creatures of the night delight in sharing themselves with each other as they race through life on a perpetual search for kicks. Drug abuse runs rampant among everyone in these pages, and the act of rape is consigned to one of those who comes closest to being a good guy. As disturbing as the intense erotic aspect of Brite's writing may be, however, it lies at the core of her vampiric creations. Zilla and his gang have no morals, no code of honor, no feelings whatsoever; there is not a trace of immorality found among them because they are completely amoral. Brite raises the world of vampirism out of its traditional trappings, and therein lies the magic that sets Brite apart as a shockingly new, amazingly effective voice in modern horror.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in

Review Details



Daniel Jolley

Location: Shelby, North Carolina USA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 565