Almost 25 years have passed since I first read Lost Souls. Surprisingly, it stood the test of time – more or less. Lost Souls is a kitschy, gritty, fairly original, character driven, ensemble vampire tale. It starts off with the “teenaged” Vampire Trio of Zillah, Molochai and Twig rolling into New Orleans, drinking, drugging, screwing and stuffing their faces with Hostess cakes and “champagne, whipped cream, kidneys, chocolate truffles and baby’s blood ice cream”. They’ve come during Mardi Gras to visit their OLD old friend Chrissy – or technically Christian – who’s more of a “I don’t drink…wine” purist – because at pushing 400 years – Christian doesn’t drink anything (well except blood obviously), or eat and he’s got some cool little fangs that evolution cheated the young ‘uns out of – so they have to file their teeth into points. The vampires of Lost Souls are a species all their own and when one is born, the mother (or host more accurately) dies in childbirth as the baby from almost the moment of conception – begins eating the host from the inside out.
During the festivities at Christian’s bar, Zillah – the androgynous, lime green eyed leader of the pack - knocks up a little vampire-wanna-be-groupie; and blows out of town before learning that he’s a proud papa to little Nothing (so named by Christian and gently deposited on the doorstep of some normal people to save the babe from a life of bloodlust, ennui and existential angst). Except what was he thinking – because the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, blood calls to blood, yadda yadda. So fast forward 15 years later and little Nothing has had it with his dull, fake parents and his lame gothy-punky-hippie friends – and decides to set off on a road trip to find his real family. And maybe hook up with Ghost and Steve - the musicians from Lost Souls – the Indie rock band he’s been listening to – because maybe THEY’RE his real family - like his long lost brothers or something.
So Zillah, Molochai and Twig head south to visit Chrissy, and Christian heads north to escape being hunted by angry villagers and Nothing hitches his way to Missing Mile the home of Lost Souls – and they all converge upon each other in one great big cluster@#$% of disaster.
The vampires of Lost Souls are not romantic. Nothing about them is terribly attractive. There’s plenty of sex but none of it is very explicit – or titillating (a lot of BJs and sloppy groping). None of the characters (even the human ones) are very appealing – and all of them are strangers to the “cleanliness is next to Godliness” maxim. Molochai is sticky from his sweets and chocolaty hostess cake snacks leaving a film across his teeth, there’s lots of sweet & sour spit, the vampires have an underlying “meaty” scent, and the humans have greasy hair and clothes that could walk on their own. The incest angle between Zillah and Nothing wasn’t really all the shocking or off putting because they so clearly aren’t human - it was more like… inbreeding in dogs – a whole different vibe.
But overall it was an entertaining little horror story. Originally 5 stars - but still a solid 4 upon re-reading 20+ years later.
- Publisher: Delacorte Pr (1 November 1992)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 000223453X
- ISBN-13: 978-0385308755
- ASIN: 0385308752
- Product Dimensions: 3.3 x 14.7 x 21.6 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 476 g
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