So this week I finally got around to reading Lost Souls, the classic 1992 vampire novel by Poppy Z. Brite:
Lost Souls is by no means a standard regular vampire novel, but neither is it a “tortured vampires who hate what they’ve become and only prey on those who prey on others” novel. Well, I mean, maybe one of the vampires hates what he’s become*, but the writing is so good that I’m willing to overlook that.
Steve lay back in the pine needles with his hands behind his head and regarded the smeary glittering stars that were beginning to appear. He looked as if he would like to snuff them out.
Having seen Poppy Z. Brite and listened to him** read at the 1997 World Horror Convention*** in Niagara Falls, I can say that this book is exactly how I imagined it would be; not that it’s predictable, but that I had certain expectations for what a Poppy Z. Brite book would be like, and those expectations are being met in spades. (One of those expectations was that it would make Night Watchman, which is far and away the most horrific of my horror novels, look like “Snow White” — the sanitized Disney version, even, not the nasty original, or the even nastier one with Sigourney Weaver.)
Now normally in these Teaser Tuesdays I include a teaser from the book I’m currently working on, but in this case, since I went and compared Lost Souls to Night Watchman, I figured I would include a teaser from a random page in the latter book.
Andy’s driving a big old Charger today. It fits his mood. He’s full of enthusiasm for their trip to the lake, regaling Ellie with stories about how his parents used to take him there, how he used to ride the kiddie rides and play with the kiddie amusements.
Ellie thinks that this could not have been that long ago.
So, yeah, as it happens, random.org chose a page in Night Watchman where nothing too horrific is occurring. But trust me, things get pretty nasty for Andy and Ellie and everyone else involved in this book.
Just not as nasty as Lost Souls.