The first book I read was Poppy Z. Brite's Drawing Blood, because that's the first one I found at the library. I also thought I'd already read it, but it turns out I hadn't.
First, let me say that I enjoy Brite's writing. I already knew this from having read other books by her. She writes dark, lush, fertile words, setting scenes that are simultaneously putrid and beautiful. Her characters are fully fleshed out, not the cream of society, but relate-able.
Despite the characterization and rich words, it was slow going for me, and took me awhile to get through. I kept waiting for the horror. It does start with a bang (or a pow...a slam?) when the main character's father murders his family, leaving Trevor alive, then kills himself. Then it segued into a romance between the two main males in the story, Trevor and Zach. I kept waiting for the scary stuff to begin, but it didn't come around until about 50% (on Kindle) of the way through the book. Even then, it was few and far between. One scene here, with something minor. Another here, maybe escalated a little. Quite frankly, there was more sex than there were scares. There were also far more joints smoked than chills given. I tired of reading about them getting stoned, taking shrooms, etc. Especially when one of them did so with a concussion, while on the run from the law. Really?
|clker.com, Wendy Owens & Netalloy|
One other problem I had was the ease with which the unusual was accepted. Zach accepts everything he's told. His boyfriend tries to murder him, and he instantly buys the reasoning behind it and calmly deals with it. This is someone he's just met. Furthermore, each person they tell about the events occurring buys them instantly. I didn't find that believable.
All I can conclude is that it made the list for the beauty and depth of the writing, not because it's particularly scary. It was cotton candy--pretty, with good elements, but not filling. It's worth a read if you're okay with the explicit sex scenes, but if it's fright you're looking for, well, let's just say I read this in the dark while my husband was on a business trip, and it didn't faze me in the least.
Note: I should point out that this was only her second book, as far as I'm aware. I'm sure she's improved quite a bit since then. Still, this is one of the books that made the list.
Updated list of books I've read from the THREE lists:
|clker.com, Ted & OCAL|
The Bad Place
Bag of Bones
Best New Horror, 1st Edition
The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe
Flowers in the Attic
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Grimm's Fairy Tales
The Haunting of Hill House
I Am Legend
Interview with the Vampire
The Least of my Scars
Lord of the Flies
Lost Boy Lost Girl
Love in Vein
The Picture of Dorian Gray
The Silence of the Lambs
Something Wicked This Way Comes
Sunglasses After Dark
The Vampire Lestat
Have you read Drawing Blood or any work by Poppy Z. Brite? What did you think? Did you check out the new list to see what you'd read on it?
May you find your Muse.