- Lost Souls (novel)
Infobox Book |
name = Lost Souls
Poppy Z. Brite
language = English
genre = Horror
release_date = 1992
media_type = Print (
pages = 359 p.
isbn = ISBN 0385308752
"Lost Souls" is a
1992horror novel, the first written by Poppy Z. Brite. It is the first and only novel-length adventure of Brite's Steve and Ghostcharacters, popularized in her numerous short stories. The novel is an extended version of the short story "The Seed of Lost Souls".
Several characters introduced in the novel make appearances in Brite's second novel, "
Drawing Blood", though it is not a direct sequel.
Steve was raised in Missing Mile,
North Carolina. He works in a record shop in his home town called the Whirling Disc. He is described as tall and wiry, with a hawkish nose, and long black hair he rarely washes. Steve is proud and stubborn, drinks to excess, and is prone to violent outbursts. He is haunted throughout the novel by memories and fleeting glimpses of his ex-girlfriend, Ann.
Ghost is Steve's best friend and though their relationship throughout the novel often has homoerotic undertones, they don't become lovers until the follow-up story, "Stay Awake". Ghost is described to appear much like to his namesake, very translucent skin, white blond, wispy hair and huge blue eyes. Kind and compassionate, Ghost often has unexplainable visions, and sometimes they are even a foreshadowing of things to come.
Ann, Steve's ex-girlfriend, plays an ambiguous role throughout much of the novel, but she becomes helplessly intertwined in the plot once Zillah, Twig, Molochai and Nothing roll into Missing Mile, North Carolina.She has long, red-gold hair and spends most of her time early in the novel fretting about her increasing dislike for her new boyfriend, and her longing for Steve. She is one of the most tragic victims of the story.
Steve and Ghost's band. Ghost is the vocalist, and Steve plays guitar. Lost Souls? has toured across the United States, and they frequently perform at the local club in Missing Mile, North Carolina, a place called The Sacred Yew.
*"Angels" (printed in "Wormwood")
*"The Seed of Lost Souls" (short story of which "Lost Souls" is an expansion)
*"The South Central Rain Story"
*"America" (printed in "Are You Loathsome Tonight?)
*"How to Get Ahead in New York" (printed in "Wormwood")
*"Con Party at Hotel California" (original first chapter for the unfinished novel that would be the sequel to Lost Souls)
The vampires of this novel are quite dissimilar to those of traditional lore. Rather than being transformed humans, they are a separate species who are born vampires. While most feed on blood, some find alternative sustenance (e.g., love and beauty). There are also distinct differences between older and younger vampires. Older vampires have naturally sharp teeth, are sensitive to sunlight, and cannot eat or drink. Younger vampires have normal human teeth that must be filed, are insensitive to sunlight, and can both eat and drink (as demonstrated by Zillah's group's liking for
chartreuse). Brite's vampires also seem to lack many supernatural powers beyond quick healing, heightened sense, and abnormal strength. They can be killed if the heart or brain is destroyed. Female vampires can also be killed by childbirthbecause vampiric infants kill their mothers in the womb.
Nothing (née Jason)
A teenage vampire taken in by humans as a baby. Born in
New Orleans, he was taken (by Christian) to a small town in Maryland after he was born and left on the doorstep of an unsuspecting couple. The story is centered around him and his journey to find his real family. It should also be noted that Nothing's name means that he is a blank slate, and can write anything down on it he wants to, making himself whatever he wants, as noted in the novel. This is a main part of the larger Existential/Nihilist themes running through the novel.
Zillah is Nothing's father as well as his lover. His distinguishing features include his lime green eyes and the purple, green, and gold-dyed streaks in his hair - the colors of Mardi Gras. He is described as being incredibly beautiful - androgynous, slender, and shorter than Molochai and Twig, with pierced nipples and sharp, black-lacquered nails. He is portrayed throughout the novel as cruel, insensitive, and violent (sexually and otherwise), but he displays fondness for Nothing.
Twig and Molochai
Zillah's gluttonous companions, both very much alike. They are rarely found apart from one another. Twig is the taller of the two, he has sharp features and wicked demeanor. Twig also drives the trio's van around the country. Molochai is slightly shorter, with roundish, babyish features. He favors sweets and cakes to the other's more adult tastes.
Bartender in New Orleans who looks after Nothing's mother, Jessy, through the duration of her pregnancy, and the one responsible for taking him away from the city after his birth. Christian finds himself almost on the side of the humans, and sometimes the lone voice of wisdom in the vampires' "family." He is the oldest vampire in the novel at 383 years old. He is also the most isolated character in the novel, perhaps because of his age. Christian has real fangs rather than sharpened teeth and is the only vampire in the novel that cannot consume human food and drink, he must survive solely on blood. He is also the only one intolerant to sunlight, though he can move about in the day if he keeps his skin and eyes completely covered.
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