Parajunkee's View Vampire Challenge, Review #13 - Lost Souls by Poppy Z. Brite
If you thought that Anne Rice - or Stephenie Meyer - was the reigning queen of vampire novels, think again. This book blew my mind. Dripping in spooky cliche, knuckle-deep in gore, even the most horrific scenes written in lush, melancholy, almost lyrical prose, Lost Souls is, for me, THE ultimate vampire novel.
|Source: Google Images|
From the very first page with its breathtakingly evocative rendering of New Orleans in the midst of Mardi Gras, I was captured and drawn into the passionate and horrific world of Lost Souls. Brite's magic causes the reader to love her characters, steeped in sin and devoid of true emotion as some of them may be and despite the desperate choices and sickening mistakes some of them make. We watch Nothing come undone as he is pulled inexorably into Zillah's 'family', and whilst we half-wish for him to turn back before he succumbs to his vampire heritage, something about Zillah's philosophy of blood and pleasure is captivating and causes us almost to urge him on.
The blood, guts, and slightly cringey Goth stereotypes such as self-harm and promiscuity may not be to everyone's tastes, and I would like to add the brief caveat to any concerned parents (or babybats) who have been flicking through the pages of Brite's work that this is not, in general, how Goths behave. However, the book itself is 'so Goth' that it may as well turn up swathed in cobwebs and gift-wrapped in a Bauhaus poster. If your ideal vampire story combines Anne Rice's decadent prose and the setting of the early Goth scene when everyone was big-haired and clad in leather with splatterings of gore offset by mournful whimsy, you'll love Lost Souls.
Listening to: Scilence - Unter Null