tagReviews & EssaysA Tag For Poppy Z. Brite

A Tag For Poppy Z. Brite


I am a voracious reader, and having a local bookstore fifteen minutes outside of my home is well a curse; good curse, but a curse.

As I was hunting around for something new to peruse, I found an author by the name of Poppy Z. Brite. She is a New Orleans native, and tends to write in the horror vein, however, many of her books are also very homo erotic, or just plain erotic to say the least.

She has edited two books of vampire erotica, Love in Vein, and Love in Vein 2, and has written about thirteen others others, among them are: Exquisite Corpse, Drawing Blood, Wormwood, The Crow; Lazarus Heart, Are You Loathsome Tonight, Lost Souls.

Admittedly, Poppy takes a bit of getting used to. She is gritty and raw, and she makes you wonder.

Most of Poppy's books deal with sex in some form or fashion; Exquisite Corpse; for example deals with two serial murderers, both Homosexual, who tend to bed their victims before eating them. It deals with the underground gay culture in the mid 1980's and the trials and tribulation of the Aids crisis. The book goes on to tell you how young Andrew Compton, a serial killer, meets up with Jay Burne a homosexual sadist, and the outlining of their killings through the time when Andrew was caught. The killings are described in such a way that the massacre in itself can be defined as beautiful and sexual. After all, is sex not a swapping of body fluids? The character Jay just seems to prefer his body fluids on the outside of the body.

Love in Vein, and Love in Vein II are collections of vampire erotica, and if you were to start out with something tamer for your sexual tastes, these two books would probably be your best bet. The stories are very short, 5-7 pages and you can read them at a minutes notice. It is a perfect "pocket book" something that can be carried around with you in the back pocket, whenever you want that little erotic picks me up. All of the stories are lesbian in nature, and Bright seems to take great joy in picking out stories that detail in most perfect clarity the exquisite sex that the main characters go through. These two books seem a little softer than her other venues, and this doesn't seem as debased or as dehumanizing as Corpse is.

Lost Souls deals with a rock group and two friends that help from it, it goes on to describe the roadies that they meet and what they are doing forming a band, and how they grow together as friends. It takes you to the back woods of North Carolina and the oppressive heat in the summer the gnats and mosquitoes are inches thick in mass. The love scenes and erotica are few and far between, but the erotica that is there is strong and sensual. This is more a finding your lost summer than it is about actual erotica, however this is one of Poppy's first books (her first actually) and it gives you great insight to the wonderful writer that she is going to become.

Worm wood (a taste of) is a collection of short stories that, as most of her work is pure imagery. It is sexual, not in the fact of actual sex, but in the fact that it touches you at such a base level. The stories are rich in local imagery, New Orleans, Cajun cooking, the oppressive heat of the bayou, and the warm richness of the air. I have never been to NO but I felt as if I was actually strolling through the woods and meandering through the wet marshlands of the swamp.

Drawing Blood deals with a small Childs catharsis through his father's double homicide/suicide of the youth's brother and mother. The boy becomes a man and seems to take on his father's double life – His father was a cartoonist, and the boy becomes a writer of a comic book. He deals with all the violence of his young life by placing it into his book, and then returns to the home that he left some twenty years earlier to confront his fathers demons.

I have yet to find The Crow: Lazarus Heart or Are you Loathsome Tonight? So you will have to give me a review of Poppy's imagination.

These are just a small pittance of the greatness of Poppy Brite; there is enough material in each one of her books that if you are fond of writers such as Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Anne Rice, and Thomas Harris, that Poppy Brite should be a warm addition to your reading table.

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