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Monday, September 26, 2011

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Lost Souls by Poppy Z. Brite


TITLE: Lost Souls
AUTHOR: Poppy Z. Brite
NARRATOR: Chris Patton
PUBLISHER: Crossroad Press
DATE OF PUBLICATION: January 7, 2011
FORMAT: Unabridged - 12 hours, 30 minutes
GENRE: Horror
ASIN:
B004IY3UVU 

SYNOPSIS FROM GOODREADS: 

The novel that defined a generation of young goths and took vampires to a wholly new place...that brought you Chartreuse and Absinthe in ways they had previously never been experienced...brought to life by the amazing voice of Mr. Chris Patton - a self-described child of that very era - and a fan of the novel himself.

Three stylish vampires arrive in New Orleans just in time for Mardi Gras, and then disappear again. While in the city, the group's leader, Zillah, meets and impregnates an adolescent girl. Fifteen years later, the child of that pairing, a boy who calls himself simply "Nothing" is living with adoptive parents in the suburbs, where he – like so many other teens – feels isolated and out of place. The answer is, his father is a vampire, leaving Nothing hovering precariously between worlds. When Nothing runs away from home he meets up with none other than Zillah and his small troupe, Molochai and Twig. Together they go on a quest to seek out Nothing's favorite band, Lost Souls. Nothing is aided along the way by a psychic named Ghost, and their relationship leads to the ultimate inner battle where Nothing must choose between his wild, vampiric heritage, or preserving his humanity to save the life of another. 

MY REVIEW:
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.

8 comments:

  1. Wow. That sounds totally intense! I am surprised that you finished it. Thanks for the review.

    I guess I am a little more straight-laced than you ... I care for M&Ms unless they are made of chocolate. :-)

    JMHO

    Dorothy - The Alaskan Bookie
    Blog ~ http://alaskanbookie.blogspot.com/
    Twitter ~ http://twitter.com/AkChocoholic

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  2. woah, Holy Crap! Thanks for this honest review and the heads up. Different strokes is right but still, some of that just sounds...wrong. I don't think this one will be getting on my nightstand.

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  3. Thanks for stopping by, Squeak & Creepy Query Girl!

    @Squeak - Believe me, I nearly didn't finish it. I left it a number of times, but I wanted to see if the book had any redeeming qualities before I wrote a negative review!

    @Creepy Query Girl - I know, and I agree that it sounds "wrong." That's how I felt as well.

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  5. Darlene, you went above and beyond the call to earn your Solid Gold Reviewer badge. I have no idea if vampires in some way are freed from our societal norms. I thank you for sticking with this.

    Oddly, this audiobook is a top seller for this publisher; and they have a lot of great titles available in the horror genre which seem to be far less extreme. Apparently, there is a following for the author and her style of horrific horror. Who knew? I didn't know the story behind the writer until Susan told me, but it explained a lot.

    GREAT JOB with writing a really negative review, in a really nice way. Wear your reviewer badge proudly, and find some other titles that are less horrific. There are some great titles available from L.A. Theatre Group, Galaxy Audio, Iambik, Radio Archives, Full Cast Audio, and others still available for review. Pick a couple as they are light and short. I've committed to reviewing several, even though all are outside my normal listening and reading preference. --JEFF@audiobookjukebox

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  6. Hi, Jeff! Thanks so much for stopping by! This was a hard review to write, and I'm glad that you felt that it was done in a professional manner without bashing!

    Hopefully, the next ones will be more to my liking!

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  7. Hmmm, Brite is so well known in the Horror genre and has a cult following. I had no clue this book came with all that baggage. Was there any kind of point or lesson? I agree that you did a good job with this review.

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    1. I know that Brite has a cult-like following, and I don't get it. This book wasn't even what I would describe as "horror." The only point to the book was to get drunk, get high, and get laid!

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