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Drawing Blood Mass Market Paperback – October 1, 1994


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Brite ( Lost Souls ) comes into her own in this second novel that should establish her as not only an adept in the horror genre, but also as a singularly talented chronicler of her generation. Five-year-old Trevor McGee wakes one morning to find that his father, cartoonist Bobby McGee, has murdered his mother and younger brother, then hanged himself. Twenty years later, Trevor, now a cartoonist himself, returns to Missing Mile, N.C. (a fictional town also featured in Lost Souls ), and the now-haunted house of his youth for answers: Why did his father choose to spare his life? What prompted the loss of creativity which Trevor himself now dreads? Meanwhile, 19-year-old Zachary Bosch, himself the tormented result of disturbed parents, arrives in Missing Mile on the lam for computer hacking. The two fall in love, and, with Zach's help, Trevor finds that he can reach the horrible but liberating truth the house holds for him. Though subplots and secondary characters sometimes hamper the pace of the main plot line, they do serve to evoke a certain 20-something, cyberpunk-era zeitgeist that resonates with the concerns of contemporary youth. Author tour.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Zach and Trevor are young men who fall in love in a haunted house where Trevor's father murdered his family and killed himself, sparing only Trevor. An underground cartoonist like his dead father, Trevor has returned to the crumbling house in rural Missing Mile, North Carolina, to learn why his father spared him. Zach is a hacker on the run. He is a popular and exotic extrovert while Trevor is a painfully introverted virgin. With the help of Zach and psilocybin, Trevor confronts his father in Birdland, the comic town that his father created, even as the FBI traces Zach to Missing Mile. Drawing Blood is a flawed but compelling story. It's labeled "psychological horror," but the horror gives way to a suspenseful, offbeat gay romance. The first half, where Brite's powerful characterizations and settings are drawn, is hard to put down. But the haunted house is tame, and Trevor's struggle to learn to love Zach lingers overlong in homoerotic material, straining the momentum. The FBI arrives in time, however, to lend some suspense to the ending. Recommended for public libraries.
- Robert C. Moore, DuPont Merck Pharmaceutical Co. Information Svcs., North Billerica, Mass.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Dell (October 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440214920
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440214922
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #833,050 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm the author of eight novels, three short story collections, two nonfiction books, and some miscellanea. My earlier books -- LOST SOULS, DRAWING BLOOD, WORMWOOD, EXQUISITE CORPSE, THE LAZARUS HEART, ARE YOU LOATHSOME TONIGHT? (a.k.a. SELF-MADE MAN) -- tend toward the twisted, horrific, and frequently erotic. I still have a definite interest in this sort of thing, but my writing doesn't reflect it as much these days. My recent books -- THE VALUE OF X, THE DEVIL YOU KNOW, LIQUOR, PRIME, and the forthcoming SOUL KITCHEN -- all have to do (in varying degrees) with a couple of young New Orleans chefs named Rickey and G-man, their families, and their restaurant, Liquor. I've been married to a chef for 16 years now and he's still bringing me new stories. We lost our home in Hurricane Katrina, but we are back in New Orleans and doing our best to help rebuild the city. I'll note new books, anthology appearances and such here, but to read my day-to-day blog, please visit http://docbrite.livejournal.com/

Customer Reviews

Another Poppy Z. Brite masterpiece!
Jamie
Brite's elegant prose and voice, as well as her deep sensory details are the big part of why this book is so good.
D. Green
Great character developement, gritty story, wonderful plot.
screechowl13

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 7, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I stumbled onto Poppy Brite quite by accident. I read the cover summary of her first book, "Lost Souls?" and thought it sounded interesting. I read that title in two days. Luckily, her second novel, "Drawing Blood," had just been released. I picked it up and finished it in one day. When I put it down, my first thought was, "Good, but not as good as 'Lost Souls'." But as the days went on, it was "Drawing Blood" that continued to reverberate in my mind. I have now read it over 10 times and find more depth with every reading. Brite has the ability to create characters that feel as if they are your best friends, and creates locales with the mastery of a poet. A big Anne Rice fan, I was amazed by Brite's ability to accomplish far more with her characters and settings with less verbosity. Never once did I skim any of Brite's books. Don't get me wrong, I am still an Anne Rice fan, but with Anne Rice, I often found myself skipping over pages that detailed one cornerstone of a building. Also, unlike Rice, Brite does not mince words about her characters' lives. Whereas Rice hints at same sex attraction between her characters, Brite creates no allusion...her characters are out-and-out gay just as her straight characters are definately straight. "Drawing Blood" is an amazing character study, an endearing love story, and a treatise on psychological horror. Think of it as "The Shining" of the nineties with a distinctly GenX flavor.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 22, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I recently re-read this book, and I was amazed all over again at how good it is. Okay, Poppy may very well be the most obsessed writer since David Goodis (I'm not sure she could write a book without going into her manias about "beautiful gay boys in love" and how cool it is to get drunk and smoke pot and overglorification of the whole superficial goth scene), but she writes so incredibly well that it's pretty easy to overlook those things. Poppy's the kind of writer who makes you jealous... if you write, it's inspirational to read her because you continually run across a finely-turned sentence or a certain description that just floors you, and you want to try and top it. And, you usually can't. I'm now re-reading _Lost Souls_ and enjoying it, too, even though I think this book is still the best thing she's written so far. I reccommend all her books, and if you like Poppy, then you're sure to love Caitlin R. Kiernan as well - _Silk_ is incredible. Poppy's not for everyone, I think - it's strong stuff in many ways - but if you can handle it, you'll be well-rewarded.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 7, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I think I must be one of those few poeple who like Drawing Blood better than Lost Souls, Poppy Z Brite's much more touted debut novel, although Lost Souls was very good also. Lost Souls was basically a coming of age story spiced up with some twisted vampire lore. Drawing Blood, on the other hand, is a love story; and I've always been a real 'sucker' for a good love story, gay or straight. As always, Brite's characters are vividly drawn and colorful, and her prose is so smooth and mellow that you hate to see the book end.
I've read where some have criticize the over abundance of gay sex loving detailed in this book. But, hey, I'd read those any day over that terrible scene of Steve raping Anne in Lost Souls.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Chris Swanson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 5, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Ah, nothing like a good little haunted house story. The sort of tale written by the likes of Poe and told by campers around campires all over this great land.

Unless you went to a really odd summer camp, you never heard a haunted house story like this one.

"Drawing Blood" is the story of Trevor and Zach, two emo boys in the days before emo existed. Zach, on the run from the law, meets up with Trevor at the house where Trevor's father killed everyone but him when he was a little boy.

As events progress the two not only discover more about what happened that horrible night but also, and there's no non-cheesy way for me to put this, discover the joys they can have in each other's arms (see? Told you).

The book has some very hardcore sex scenes. I write what I shall obliquely refer to as "erotic fiction" as a hobby, and this stuff is only slightly less explicit. It also has some amazingly unpleasant imagery and disturbing scenes.

All of which, frankly, team up to make this one darn fine read! It's not the best horror novel, I'm sure, but it is the best Poppy Z Brite book I've read (all of three so far... sorry, Poppy! I know I need to read more).

It is, however, perhaps a book best read with lights on.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Tommy T on March 28, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was drawn (no pun intended) to Poppy Z (zzzzzzzzzzzz) Brite through a recommendation and am only glad I loaned my copy of Drawing Blood from a local library.
Descriptive narrative is not a necessity for me - unless it's relevant to the expansion / development of a central theme / act in a particular scene. There seems to be so much of this style used by Brite to set up scenes in Drawing Blood; but unfortunately they don't deliver. Her attempts are similar to spending several pages describing the appearance of a door, only for a letter to pop through the letterbox. Oh the tension, the drama.. the relief!
Now, should this style of narration be used to lead me into a horrific, disturbing episode, then I'm all for it; and that was what was expected in this novel. However, I found the supposedly terrifying scenes in Drawing Blood less than effective and had no trouble getting my eyes to close at night... keeping them open to continue reading this work of 'horror' was slightly more tricky.
On the subject of categories, is this work really a horror or a thriller? Or is it a love story between two young men from torn backgrounds who mirror one another's personalities (one drinks / one doesn't drink; one is promiscuous / one is a virgin, etc.). Perhaps it should be shelved in the children's section... although, it'd look out of place among the many children's novels which simply carry more power than this book.
Turning to characters: in Drawing Blood these all seem to be contrived to express a counter-cultural, cool and sexy way of life: only Trevor seemed to be alien to this, yet his character is soon manipipulated into being drawn (there's that word again) very easily into homosexuality. Only the police / the law / the man / the enemy seems to function normally.
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