Literature / Lost Souls
Death is easy...

For the MUD, see Lost Souls MUD

Lost Souls is a 1992 novel by Poppy Z. Brite, about a not-nearly-legal goth teenager, Nothing. Nothing runs away from home in search of a band he's obsessed with called Lost Souls?, and while hitchhiking he's picked up by every goth kid's dream... a trio of real vampires.

Tropes used in this novel include:

  • Agent Peacock: Zillah.
  • The Alcoholic: Steve. It could be argued that a lot of the cast are this to some degree.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: The two story-relevant female characters, Ann and Jessy, are both immediately attracted to and impregnated by Zillah.
  • Anonymous Killer Narrator
  • The Big Easy: The book begins and ends in New Orleans.
  • Bishounen: The eternally young and preternaturally gorgeous Zillah. Ghost is also described as "lovely".
  • Creepy Twins: The unnamed vampire twins that killed Arkady and his brother.
  • Death by Childbirth: Any woman who becomes pregnant with a vampire child will die horribly trying to give birth to it.
  • Disposable Woman: The only significant females in the cast are Jessy, who dies early on, and Ann, who mainly exists to force Steve and Ghost to pursue the vampires to retrieve her.
  • Doorstop Baby: Christian literally leaves Nothing on a doorstop as an infant, complete with note.
  • The Empath: Ghost is this, among other things.
  • Emo Kid: Nothing. He gets better.
  • Everyone Is Bi: The entire cast, almost without exception.
  • Family of Choice: Zig-zagged. Nothing's family of choice includes his biological father, Zillah. He doesn't care for his adopted parents.
  • The Family That Slays Together: Zillah's coven, particularly when Nothing participates in the murder of his biological grandfather.
  • Fetus Terrible: Vampire fetuses are deadly to their mothers.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Zillah is a Biblical, female name used for a male vampire.
  • Incest Subtext: Arkady's recollection of his brother Ashley's beauty, and his description of their relationship, strongly imply that Arkady was sexually drawn to him and that the feeling might have been mutual. (Theirs is the only relationship in the novel where the incest stays subtextual.)
  • Jumped at the Call: Nothing is thrilled to be a vampire, and the only thing he's mournful about is his lack of fangs. Actually, most of the vampires are shown to enjoy their powers and near-immortality, or at least are reigned to it.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Christian reveals that Zillah is Nothing's biological father.
  • Karma Houdini: Steve never gets arrested for raping Ann. Also, Nothing never gets any kind of comeuppance for helping the trio kill Laine, despite the fact that he was supposedly his best friend. He never even seemed to feel sad.
  • Lecherous Licking: Arkady licks Ghost's eyelashes, much to his dismay.
  • The Man They Couldn't Hang: Zillah was hanged back in the early 20th century, but survived thanks to his regenerative abilities.
  • May–December Romance: Zillah is decades older than Nothing.
  • Moral Dissonance: Steve's reaction to Ann's infidelity.
  • Mystical White Hair: Ghost.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Notably, you're not turned into a vampire, you're born one. Vampires are a predatory subspecies of humanity that have been living alongside, breeding with, and preying upon humans for eons. In fact, the four main vampires in the book (Zillah, Molochai, Twig, and Nothing) have so much human ancestry that almost all the 'classic' vampire traits have been bred out of them. In one scene, a much younger vampire envies Christian, who is several hundred years old, because he has fangs.
  • Parental Incest: Jessy and her father. Zillah and Nothing.
  • Psychic Powers: Again, Ghost.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Steve and Ghost get theirs in a short story ("Stay Awake") set after the novel. They do kiss in the book, but their relationship is left ambiguous.
  • Sexual Extortion: Arkady tries to get Ghost to sleep with him to save Ann. Steve arrives in time to shut it down.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Ghost has only ever shown interest in Steve.
  • Southern Gothic
  • Staking the Loved One: Subverted. The only staking is done by Ghost, as he takes out Zillah. And Zillah is stabbed through the head, not the heart.
  • Threeway Sex: Zillah, Twig, and Molochai engage in this regularly.
  • Twincest: The creepy twins are ultimately interested in sex only with one another, to the point that they've starred in porn together.
  • Vampires Are Rich: Subverted. The trio ride around in a van and are basically murderous, opportunistic hobos. Christian supports himself by bartending.
  • Vampire Bites Suck: These vampires fall on the gorier end of the scale; at one point, the trio reminisce about dismembering a woman in a bathtub.
  • Yaoi Guys: Zillah and Nothing, Nothing and Christian, Nothing and various others...