Lost Souls
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Lost Souls

4.4 107
by Poppy Z. Brite

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In Missing Mile, North Carolina, in search of supple young flesh and thirsting for blood, three beautiful vampires—Molochai, Twig, and Zillah—follow vampires Nothing and Ann on a mad, illicit road trip south to New Orleans.


In Missing Mile, North Carolina, in search of supple young flesh and thirsting for blood, three beautiful vampires—Molochai, Twig, and Zillah—follow vampires Nothing and Ann on a mad, illicit road trip south to New Orleans.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
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.)
Library Journal
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.
Peter Robertson
This opening hardcover salvo from an acclaimed paperback horror imprint, Abyss Books, mixes all the neopunk vampiric stylings of the film "Near Dark" with aspects of Anne Rice and pretty much any teenage rebel epic one might name. What emerges from Brite's hormonal witches' brew is a gloriously sensual first novel that may herald the arrival of a major new voice in horror fiction. The tale begins with the gothic decadence of New Orleans: four vampires on a spree, three loving it, one slightly repentant. The spree results in one death, one baby vampire, one revenge-driven father, and a fast escape from the Big Easy. Cut 15 years to a small town in Maryland and a bored teenager caught up in booze, drugs, bisexual dalliances, and the rock group Cure. (Virtually every character in this book brings to mind the pale, tousled, mascaraed features of Cure's leader, Robert Smith.) Eventually, Brite brings everyone together--all the troubled teens, all the vampires, repentant and otherwise--for an all-stops-out, blood-and-sex-oozing finale. Like Rice, Brite possesses the ability to make her vampires into sometimes sad yet often quite alluring creatures. But where Rice gets literary, Brite, a punkish 24, opts for unashamedly brazen excess, the stuff of teen myth. With an electric style and no shortage of nerve, she gets away with it.
Kirkus Reviews
Bloodfest first novel written by acid-crazed vampires cooling off on marijuana. Brite's novel also kicks off the Abyss horror line, which is not likely to find as strong a follow-up for many moons to come. This is not for everyone, even hardened horror lovers. It creates its own genre, taking sadistic, bisexual splatterpunk to places it has never been. Steve and Ghost, a psychic two-man band known as Lost Souls?, are lying around drunk on White Horse scotch: "Behind them the river passed in silence; the lowest-hanging branches brushed the water, and the eaves rotted on the bough. The moon spread like butter on the black river...." They live together at the dead end of Burnt Church Road in Missing Mile, Louisiana, not far from New Orleans, where vampires roam during the throes of Mardi Gras. The story's plot is none too clear, but it involves 16- year-old Jess: Raped first by her father, she seduces Christian, a vampire bar-owner, then dies giving birth to Nothing, a vampire orphan left to be brought up by alcoholic Father and Mother. Nothing, now a bisexual teenager hooked on a Lost Souls? tape, decides to leave home and visit his idolized band at Missing Mile. Meanwhile, a trio of the rattiest white-trash vampires ever seen in fiction—Molochai, Twig, and Zillah—burn up the countryside in a van, draining hitchhikers and filling up whiskey bottles with blood. Christian too goes on the road, looking for Molochai, Twig, and Zillah, who are different types of vampire from him—meanwhile, there are the Raventon twins, a third kind of vampire. These folks bathe in blood and sperm and alcohol, and clearly Lost Souls? is not about to wipe out three strains ofvampires—though they try. Brite tosses out any idea of good taste and remakes the language of horror with a bloodlust that reduces all competitors to dust.

Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
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Product dimensions:
6.88(w) x 10.88(h) x 0.90(d)

What People are saying about this

Harlan Ellison
This talent gives off thermonuclear vibes. I can feel them. The last time I said it, I was talking about Dan Simmons. Now I'm saying it about Poppy Brite.

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Lost Souls 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 104 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's so hard to describe in a few words things and ideas that have significantly impacted your life. Well, this is one book that has. It's always derided as being 'nothing more than gay porn,' and that it 'sheds a bad light on the Goth community,' blah, blah, blah... Look BEYOND all of that, I beg you. If you do not, you're missing out on a gem of modern literature. Ghost, Zillah, Nothing and the twins are awesome (and Christian too).
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have recently just finished 'Lost Souls' and I have to say it is the best book I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Normally I get bored with books that are long but this book had me hooked. I read it in a matter of two days. Brite uses such description that you can see the story playing in your head. The characters are easy to relate to and capture your affection from the first page. This book definantly made it to number one before I was even done with it. It is definantly worth reading!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. Anyone who loves vampiric horror, teen angst... Anyone who has ever felt different, and didn't know why. Anyone who wanted to be different. Anyone who has ever felt anything should read this. Poppy Z Brite is amazing. This book really touched me. When it comes to the technical writing of the book, the images it created were amazing. I read it in one sitting. And I've gone to my public library to read it over and over. An amazing book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
You know, when my friend first recommended the book and let me borrow it, I thought it was going to be a failed attempt at immitating Anne Rice. Oh, how I was surprised! Brite has a nasty, delicious, and perfect gift at creating mind-blowing, awesome images, plots, and characters! They are completely rich and unique! I was JEALOUS of some the characters; that's freaking insane! Even some sex scenes had me getting hot, she's just so good at revealing the dirty thoughts of the readers. So she gave us what we wanted. Read it. It's quite nice.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An excellent read, plain and simple. It makes the reader want to crawl inside the psyche of the characters and view life from their drug induced, demented perspective. Plot was very intriguing, the settings to die for, and the mentions of Robert Smith and the Cure make me happy enough to pee in a kitchen sink with a smile on my face.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing, you feel the characters, and completely bond with them! There is no fake aspect to any of them. You feel as if you are in their world, right there with them, another person in their little group of friends. A wonderful wonderful novel!
Guest More than 1 year ago
From the moment I picked this book up, I couldn't put it down. I have never read a book that I had gotten so into, I actually had dreams about being in the story, surrounded by all the characters. The way Poppy Z. Brite writes is so amazing, and so realistic, you feel like you are actually there. Everything is laid out for you and your are given very vivid images. This book was written beautifully, erotically, and very goth-like. I have always been a huge fan of vampire novels, and this book, by far, is the best I've ever read
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best Vampire books since Brams Stocker´s 'Dracula' and 'Enterview with the vampire', you just can´t stop reading it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Still one of my all time favorites.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is one shocking bit of work, if you must read a bright book go with drawing blood.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love her books. This one was my first Poppy book and I've been hooked ever since. As she describes what's going on, the picture slowly paints vividly in my mind. True it's not for everyone. Definitely not for the "normal"
Karolyn Helmsley More than 1 year ago
As a fan of Poe, Wilde and Lovecraft, I was uneasy about delving into such a modern book. I picked it up anyhow when I was a teenager and fell swiftly in love with the richness and beauty with which Brite animates her gloriously gritty view of New Orleans and the chaotic debauchery of Mardi Gras. The story itself will doubtlessly satisfy vampire fans while the writing style does well to put a dark little smile on the faces of those of us who seek a hefty depth to the surroundings of stories we read. And on a fun side note, although it's been about 17 years since my bff and I first read this together, we still giggle at the stale old joke of enthusiastically thanking one another when we say we've gotten each other "Nothing" for Christmas or birthdays. Those who have read it will understand that...
Paradeus More than 1 year ago
I read this book when it was first published. I was amazed at Brite's ability to weave love, atmosphere, sensuality, and horror. This book has rightly won the Bram Stoker award. You will most likely find yourself caring for some of the characters, as I began to care for Ghost. It does contain homoerotic scenes; like Anne Rice, Brite seems intrigued with male homosexuality. It is a fine book and one of the more important works of modern vampiric horror. You will find it all here: nihilism, pansexuality, love, friendship, search for meaning and redemption, stark horror, and much more. I hope to see you in Missing Mile.
Kyle Ackerman More than 1 year ago
I read this book over 15
FARIEQUEENE More than 1 year ago
when I first read this as a teenager, it made me dream of the lush setting Brite describes. I have since walked the streets of New Orleans and felt her words rang so true that I was convinced she captured the beauty and grotesque face of the twisted city not only with her descriptions, but her characters.
Catherine Hook More than 1 year ago
Amazing book that led me to be a huge fan of Poppy Z. Brite. If you enjoy a nontraditional vampire novel, then this is for you.
ThePrimeMinister More than 1 year ago
Seriously this book is really good. It starts out a bit slow but around maybe the 7th/8th chapter you get really hooked and you can't put it down. The writing is just beautiful and the tale is thrilling. I recommend it for anybody looking for a horror book. These are real vampires.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
This book....so many emotions. First never heard of this or the author before. Took this on a trip and it was a strange weird. Yeah best describes it. A strange, random, crazy, confusing read. Some if not most of the characters came off unlikable or have so much to deal with. Favorite character would be Ghost. Least favorite Zillah. Yeah I like reading about vampires. Its not that I haven't books like this before. I have but not a lot. What kept me reading was the writing style. It does make you wonder what will happen in the end. More like 2.5 stars for the writing and Ghost alone. And because its something different than what I usually read. If you like the book then that's fine. Just saying I didn't like it, sort of, but didn't hate it either but has its moments.
leudwig More than 1 year ago
If you can stomach or enjoy books that explore taboo subjects, you will love this little book. As many of Brite's other works, this work touches upon subjects that may not sit well with average readers. However, it doesn't only rely upon it's shock value. It develops an interesting plot and characters, with great messages and themes going on under the surface. If you are already a fan of Brite's work, Lost Souls does not dissapoint.
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DarlenesBookNook More than 1 year ago
I received this audiobook for review from Crossroad Press through Audiobook Jukebox's Solid Gold Reviewer Program. I did not receive any compensation for my review, and the views expressed herein are my own. I love vampires, and I love audiobooks - so I jumped at the chance to review a vampire audiobook! It was not at all what I expected. Lost Souls is about three androgynous bisexual (although mostly homosexual) vampires: Zillah (the leader) and his two sidekicks (Molochai and Twig). They come to New Orleans to party during Mardi Gras and they come across a bar that is owned by a vampire named Christian. There is an underage human girl (Jessy) at the bar, and she winds up having sex with Zillah while Christian has sex with Molochai and Twig. Jessy discovers that she is pregnant long after Zillah and his cronies have left New Orleans. Knowing that human females tend to not survive vampire childbirths, Christian takes Jessy in and has a sexual relationship with her throughout her pregnancy. She does indeed die during childbirth and has a boy whom Christian names "Nothing." Hoping to spare him of his destiny, Christian leaves Nothing on a doorstep and hopes the couple will love him as their own and that Nothing will never know of his true identity. The book then jumps ahead 15 years when Nothing is a teenager, and he feels that he is totally misunderstood. He decides to run away and find the singers of a band whom he idolizes, and he hitches rides to the town where they live. He turns some tricks here and there, and then is picked up by Zillah, Molochai, and Twig. The vampire trio first intended to drain him, but instead have sex with him. Yes, that's right...Zillah has sex with his son, unbeknownst to him. From here, the book continues on a downward spiral. This was not so much a vampire story, but more a story of getting high, getting drunk, and getting laid. I am a pretty open-minded person, and I wasn't so much bothered by the M/M and M/M/M and even M/M/M/M action - different strokes for different folks and all that. I am not one to judge, and it takes a lot to shock me. But it did really bother me when Zillah and Nothing hooked up. But wait, it gets worse: They do eventually discover that Zillah is Nothing's father, but they still continue having a sexual relationship! And Christian even tries to justify it saying that there are so few of their race left and that, if they can make each other happy, why not? Ok, this is disturbing. Christian also eventually has sex with Nothing, which brings on a whole new level of "ewwwwww" since he had sex with Nothing's mother and is now having sex with her son. Let's recap: This book contains teenage prostitution, incest, sex with minors (statutory rape), and there was even an incident of rape. There was also another occurrence of incest, this time father/daughter, that I won't even go into because it was just too offensive. I did not find this book entertaining. I found it dark and disturbing. It was not at all what I expected, and I will be steering clear of this author in the future! The narrator, Chris Patton, did a fine job with the book. His voice was clear and expressive, and he was probably what kept me listening despite the book's content. MY RATING: 1 star. I did not enjoy it at all. This was not for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago