I have a few friends (four) who are goth. I like them and don’t even care that they are goth. I’ve never gotten why mainstream people are afraid of goths. Tattoos don’t bite anyone. Pink hair is hot. Black hair is great. Black clothes are easier to match…
Then I talked to one of the four about a book I am writing and he recommended a book to me, Lost Souls by Poppy Z. Brite. He said he was thrilled when, upon attending a Vampire Ball in New Orleans about ten years ago, people told him that he looked like Zillah (pronounce zee-lah).
I was interested in reading about goths and was thrilled to have a recommendation that I could read and discuss with him.
Oh my goodness. I cannot finish reading the book. There is death, lots of death, including a guy helping to kill a friend of his that he used to have sex with. There is hard core sex scenes between teens. There is a rape, vividly described. And the people like each other afterwards. There is incest between a father and his daughter once, which freaks the dad out. There is incest between a father and son multiple times and they all think this is good. That’s just some of the stuff.
And you know that writing maxim of “show, don’t tell.” Unfortunately for my peace of mind, this author is excellent at showing, not telling. I’ve got images and words in my head I wish I didn’t.
I think I gave the book more than a fair chance. I read 226 of 355 pages. It’s a twisted book.
And if people think that is goth, and that Nothing and Zillah are heroes of goth, then I can understand why they are afraid.
However, if you just want scary, messed up stories, this is one.