In 2010 the author formerly known as Poppy Z. Brite semi-retired from writing. He currently goes by the name Billy Martin and sells art. At one time though he was a breath of dead air in the horror genre and wrote one of the most unique stories in vampire lore to date, Lost Souls. Lost Souls is the 1992 debut of author Poppy Z. Brite. This isn't your run of the mill set of Twilight vampire folks.
In Lost Souls vampires roam the darkly magical streets of New Orleans. Zillah, Molochai, and Twig come to the city in full spirits. They're creatures of the night looking for a good time. They find it at Christian's bar. After impressing and intriguing the lonely vampire barkeep the trio leave behind the city, Christian and his bar, and offspring.
Nothing is a teenage goth-kid who's black dearth of emotion far exceeds that of his fellow schoolmates. He's highly gifted in the art of ennui and feels there's much lacking in his life, but can't put a finger on it. The closest he's come to figuring it all out is listening to the tape of an indie band who calls themselves the Lost Souls?. In this music he feels he's found his kindred so he runs away from his adoptive parents on a search to find the makers.
Steve and Ghost are best friends and have been for most of their life. They're also in a two man band, Steve on guitar and Ghost is the vocalist. They're stuck in a hole of a southern town with hole-of-town problems. Mostly Steve's relationship problems with a beautiful redhead called Anne. Steve just lost Anne because he's the kind of guy that likes to talk with his fists. They don't live much of a rockstar life. Neither Steve or Ghost have much, but they do have each other.
All these character are on a journey to find something. Maybe it's companionship to make their depraved lives a bit more bearable. Music. Or maybe it's just blood, blood, blood and a little more blood. But they're all looking and their search is leading them all to some central point where they'll meet in the middle.
The 1992 Publisher's Weekly review of this novel said that it, "lacks a moral center," but maybe that's part of the point. Moral center would denote a focus in the novel and/or in the characters. This novel is called "Lost Souls" directionlessness is exactly what it promises and Brite delivers on that ten fold. There are few characters within the pages of this novel with a moral compass and few pages dedicated to drawing a deliberate outcome out for the readers and characters. Everyone is wandering, lost. And this should lead the reader to think more directly about the nature of being lost rather than the nature of finding, as a moral center would have you do.