Drawing Blood

( 60 )

Overview

Robert McGee is a man living under a dark cloud. Acclaimed cartoonist of the underground comic book Birdland, he has moved his family from Texas to New Orleans and finally to Missing Mile, North Carolina. But Robert is unable to escape the drinking and the violence that have become as natural to him as breathing. Soon after he and his family settle into a decrepit farmhouse, Robert kills his wife, his younger son, and then himself. Only his five-year-old son, Trevor, is left alive. Twenty years later Trevor ...
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Drawing Blood

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Overview

Robert McGee is a man living under a dark cloud. Acclaimed cartoonist of the underground comic book Birdland, he has moved his family from Texas to New Orleans and finally to Missing Mile, North Carolina. But Robert is unable to escape the drinking and the violence that have become as natural to him as breathing. Soon after he and his family settle into a decrepit farmhouse, Robert kills his wife, his younger son, and then himself. Only his five-year-old son, Trevor, is left alive. Twenty years later Trevor McGee, also a cartoonist, returns to Missing Mile to the house in which his family once lived. He has been running from the truth for years, and finally realizes he must face his demons. He fears that what happened to his father will happen to him. But if it does, Trevor thinks, at least I won't have anyone to kill. Then he befriends Zachary Bosch, a computer hacker from New Orleans running from the law. In the house, which Trevor calls Birdland, they must confront much more than bad memories. For the house itself carries its own dark force, which threatens to envelop Trevor in the past and destroy him. Stephen King's The Shining re-created the haunted house novel in the '70s with a stunning vision; Brite combines these elements in a totally new way to reimagine this genre for the '90s with a brilliant new power.

From the hottest voice in contemporary horror comes a hip, sensual, and totally original reimagining of the haunted house story. Trevor McGee is a survivor. Twenty years ago, his father took the lives of his mother, his brother and himself in an inexplicable explosion of murder and suicide. Now Trevor has returned home to face the demons. . . .

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Brite Lost Souls comes into her own in this second novel that should establish her as not only an adept in the horror genre, but also as a singularly talented chronicler of her generation. Five-year-old Trevor McGee wakes one morning to find that his father, cartoonist Bobby McGee, has murdered his mother and younger brother, then hanged himself. Twenty years later, Trevor, now a cartoonist himself, returns to Missing Mile, N.C. a fictional town also featured in Lost Souls , and the now-haunted house of his youth for answers: Why did his father choose to spare his life? What prompted the loss of creativity which Trevor himself now dreads? Meanwhile, 19-year-old Zachary Bosch, himself the tormented result of disturbed parents, arrives in Missing Mile on the lam for computer hacking. The two fall in love, and, with Zach's help, Trevor finds that he can reach the horrible but liberating truth the house holds for him. Though subplots and secondary characters sometimes hamper the pace of the main plot line, they do serve to evoke a certain 20-something, cyberpunk-era zeitgeist that resonates with the concerns of contemporary youth. Author tour. Nov.
Library Journal
Zach and Trevor are young men who fall in love in a haunted house where Trevor's father murdered his family and killed himself, sparing only Trevor. An underground cartoonist like his dead father, Trevor has returned to the crumbling house in rural Missing Mile, North Carolina, to learn why his father spared him. Zach is a hacker on the run. He is a popular and exotic extrovert while Trevor is a painfully introverted virgin. With the help of Zach and psilocybin, Trevor confronts his father in Birdland, the comic town that his father created, even as the FBI traces Zach to Missing Mile. Drawing Blood is a flawed but compelling story. It's labeled ``psychological horror,'' but the horror gives way to a suspenseful, offbeat gay romance. The first half, where Brite's powerful characterizations and settings are drawn, is hard to put down. But the haunted house is tame, and Trevor's struggle to learn to love Zach lingers overlong in homoerotic material, straining the momentum. The FBI arrives in time, however, to lend some suspense to the ending. Recommended for public libraries.-- Robert C. Moore, DuPont Merck Pharmaceutical Co. Information Svcs., North Billerica, Mass.
Elliott Swanson
As with many of today's best writers of horror fiction, Brite--the author of the highly regarded "Lost Souls" --focuses more on character than on spooks. When Robert McGee's car breaks down in Missing Mile, North Carolina, the down-and-out comic-book artist uses the last of his money to rent a rundown farm house. McGee's depression soon turns murderous: he kills his entire family except one child, Trevor, and then commits suicide. Twenty years later, Trevor--now an artist himself--returns to Missing Mile, where he encounters Zach, a computer hacker on the run from the feds. The two become lovers and set up residence in the house where the murders occurred. Together they confront the horror that infuses both the building and Trevor's life. The prose here runs like a river; an astute observer of the human condition, Brite has given the haunted-house story a thorough remodeling. This is a sexy, classy, frequently funny study in psychological horror.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440214922
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/28/1994
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 637,873
  • Product dimensions: 4.17 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 60 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(41)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 60 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Drawing Blood

    The simple terror and horror that this author is able to put across in her prose is simply stunning and it never fails to make an impression on me. What has always impressed me with the author's style is how simple and elegant her word choice is. She is a true wordsmith who picks her words carefully and none of them are wasted. Whether she is describing a young boys abuse by his parents, autopsy reports, or two young men having sex for the first time she does it in a style all her own.

    Trevor is a horribly damaged young man who through sheer strength of mind has kept himself alive in the physical sense but he has never really allowed himself to truly live life. Twenty years after the scared 5 year old was pulled out of the house in a catatonic space he goes back to discover for himself why he was left alive by his father. He has never understood why his father spared his life when he took a hammer to the rest of the family. Part of him truly believes his father didn't love him enough becuase if you love someone you want them with you when you leave this existence.

    When he meets Zach for the first time he almost kills him but the two quickly realize that they need each other in a way they have never experienced before. They compliment each other in a way they have never experienced before. By having Zach in his life, when he has never even let someone else touch him, Trevor may have found the only thing that can help him survive what's to come. Zach finds the one person that can help him truly move past what his parents did to him as a kid. These two character are what glues this story together. They are the focal point for all that happens and their relationship is what keeps this from being your everyday haunted house story.

    I would highly recomend this book to anyone who loves horror or simple craves a well written, modern haunted house tale

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2013

    A favorite

    This is my favorite of Brite's horror novels. I love Zach and Trevor. Both such broken young men, but lovely together. There is explict homosexual content so if you find that off putting, it's probably not the book for you. I, however, am forever grateful to my cousin for turning me on to this author.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2012

    Amazing

    This story has always been a favorite. The characters are easy to love and the plot is beautifully laid out. Brite will always be a favorite

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2007

    Had to read it

    I really love Brite's style of writing and this book had me searching for more stories like it written by her. It was shocking- the gruesome imagery of Trevor's brother death sticking with me whenever he recalled it, the tangibility of the world residing in the evil contained within the house and the surreal-ness when it all came full circle- can you see I like it? The only thing that threw me off was the technical lingo around Zach but once you get past it, I was again captivated by the interaction between Trevor and Zach and bemoaned it ending. I can't wait to read more from her ^_^

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2006

    Seriously recommend

    This book was seriously awesome. I borrowed it off a friend one bored day & couldn't seem to put it down. It is so worth reading, seriously. Go out & buy it asap.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2005

    Alittle overwhelming

    This was my 1st Poppy Brite novel that I have read...and sad to say, probablly my last. I really think she is a gifted storyteller, her characters are believable and the overall theme was good...although...I have to be honest and say that I was alittle put off by all the homosexual sex in this. I did not know, going into this...that this was going to be so crude. I am not against homosexuals...but, also, do not need to hear about their detailed lovemaking either. So....if I put that aside, I also have to say...this book was alittle slow and needed help halfway though. All in all...not the type of horror I am into. The scare factor was not there either. 2 stars for me.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2013

    Is it a book?

    !

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2006

    Fall's apart.

    First of all this book by Poppy Brite starts off at a fast interesting pace, but then one third into the story the auther seems to have lost the main theme of a good horror story. The auther branches off into some sort of homosexual story between two men which has nothing to do with the first part of the book which she set up so skillfully. Towards the end of the book the auther tried to pull all the story lines togeather and to me a reader of many different kinds of books, she did not pull it off. So for these reasons kind readers I would not consider this book by Poppy Brite a good horror story.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2006

    another great poppy book

    drawing blood is a beautifully dark book. i loved it from start to finish. the characters were believable and i loved the emotion. poppy brite is truly one of the best horror writers ever. those of you that cannot handle two people who happen to be the same sex being intimate together than don't bother picking up this book or almost any other poppy brite book. it is about time that someone wrote horror for the gay community. now, if only someone would write the same quality horror for lesbians. drawing blood is one of my fave books. it is dark and fun. just a great horror book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2005

    Holy Roman Empire, Batman!

    I loved this book. It is writen in the style of Anne Rice, but is much more substantial. There are a few scenes that you may want to be in a room by yourself to read, though.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2005

    A Romantic Horror

    I really loved Drawing Blood. I have read Lost Souls, and I am currently reading Wormwood by Poppy Z. Brite. These books are completelyrock n roll, punk, cyber punk, splatter punk, fetish and horror. The book is really a time capsule in the internet sense. In 1994 the internet was not as widely used, or tecnologically advanced as it is today. The internet scenes are old fossils, but a bit of nostalgia. Drawing Blood is several stories wrapped into one. It is a story of small town life. It is also a story of the mysticism of New Orleans. Drawing Blood deals with a punk rock attitude, and night club goth kids of yore. It is the story of a tourtured artist, and his even more tourtured artist son, who he left alive Trevor. It is also the tale of a computer geek hacker Zach. Both are desperate souls with checkered backgrounds and interesting friends and lives. They both seek meaning and answers, another time capsule of most of generation X. They both look for these meanings and answers in a haunted house, another thrilling dimension to this story. Trevor and Zach are two outcasts, and find the acceptance, and love an d romance that the rest of the world deprives them of in each other, making this a romantic love story as well. Poppy Z. Brite takes no prisoners as far as writing about a disturbing combination of sex and violence. Drawing Blood would make a great movie, but due to the sex and violence, and societys homophobia it probably will forever remain in book form. Perhaps that is where it should remain, perhaps it is to good of a story for the masses. I agreed with the review on the book, that said Poppy Z. Brite is so detailed in her character descriptions, that even secondary charcters seem like old friends. Ultimately, Drawing Blood is a love story. It asks the reader just how far you are willing to go for someone in finding things like love acceptence, and inner peace. Both Trevor and Zach are willing to go through the depths of hell for each other survive the bad often murderous times and stick together. If that is not the ultimate definition of true unconditional love, I don't know what is.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2004

    gay life book lover

    This is my first time reading anything by Poppy. The way she writes makes you feel like your living the story. I couldnt put it down, I had to keep reading it tell it was done. One of the best books I have read in a long time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2004

    WOW!

    I like to say that Brite really did a great job. This was my first book I've read by Brite and I really loved it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2004

    Lovely, just lovely

    DRAWING BLOOD is an all-time favorite of mine. She has such a lush, descriptive writing style that you are sucked in and don't want to come out (which you must!). I absolutely recommend this book for anyone who likes horror.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2003

    A cartoon life

    This book centers around the two boys whose lives are missing that special something..............trust and love. Trevor McGee lost his family in a brutal murder while still a small child and at the hands of his cartoonist father, he lived through the torments of his mind only to find himself forced to return to Missing Mile. Zach Bosch is a computer nerd with his own disastrous childhood behind him and now he's running from the FBI after being caught out with his hacking exploits. This book is wonderfully rich and varied with each character, no matter how minor their role is, being an individual that seems to live and breathe from the page. Admittedly the first time I read it I was decidely ambivalent towards it but after a break of 18 months I returned to it and this novel is simply amazing. If you've never read any of Poppy Z Brite's work then this is an excellent starting point.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2003

    Bloody Brilliant

    Poppy Z Brite is a truly amazing author - one who can make you 'feel' what's happening. Drawing Blood is a truly sensual experience in every way possible. This was the book that launched me into being an avid fan of Poppy's.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2003

    Truly Her Best Work

    Excellent! A remarkable roller coster of suspense, pain and terror in one neat little pakage! Extremely well writen work of literary art. You will never want to put this book down. Absolute Mind Candy!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2003

    a reviewer

    Drawing blood is the best book i have ever read, could'nt get enough of it i have reread it so many times,i made everyone i know read it and they all loved it. i fell in love with trevor and zack. everyone should read this book, trust me you'll love it. also looking forward to the new book the value of x looks really good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2003

    Great Book!!! A Must Read!!

    At first glance at the cover, I thought my friend was recomending a cheesy teen horror book for me to read. But, I trusted her and read it, and loved it!! Brite combines the inventive horror of Stephen King with the sensual ravishments of Anne Rice. If they had a child together, the baby would be her. Frightening, disturbing, steamy, and sexy. One of the greatest books I've ever read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2002

    One of the best authors to date!!

    Poppy Z. Brite has one of the best voices in todays literature as of yet. She views everything so closely, every smell, taste, feeling, its all there. I would recommend each one of her books to everyone.

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