Meredith, Brandon, Greg, and Stephen quickly discover the fragile boundaries between friendship and betrayal as they enter high school and form new alliances. Brandon and Greg gain popularity as football jocks, and Meredith joins the bulimic in-crowd, while Stephen becomes the target of homophobia in a school that viciously mocks him. Then, two violent deaths disrupt the core of what they once shared.
Five years later, the friends are drawn back together as new facts about their mutual history are revealed, and what was held to be a tragic accident is discovered to be murder. As the true story emerges, other secrets begin to unravel and the casual cruelties of high school develop into acts of violence that threaten an entire city.
A Density of Souls is a stunning debut novel that lays bare the darker side of the teenage experience in modern-day America.
©2000 Christopher Rice; (P)2004 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
I've listened to 4 out of the 5 books Christopher Rice has written and while they are all good this is, by far, my favorite. As with most of Rice's books the beginning was a bit confusing but still grabbed my interest from the first chapter.
Stephen was a very compelling protagonist for me and I was saddened when I realized that the story was drawing towards a conclusion. This is a book I will listen to again and again I'm sure. A terrific first outing for someone who has become one of my very favorite writers.
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It is not my usual genre, but the characters captured my interest. Mr. Rice's writing style took an hour or so to become accustomed to, but it was worth the adjustment. I am an "hour" snob (I love 30 hour reads) so at less than 10 hours the book seemed very short. My only complaint is that he could have expanded the story. I found myself wanting to know more...more about the characters, more about the back story, more about everything.
This is my second Audiobook and i definitely enjoyed it. The beginning seemed a little confusing, but it got better. I honestly cried at some parts while listening. The end is very unexpected. You will not be disappointed.
Reading other reviews I had higher expectations. I'm not native English speaker, so that might explain the confusion I had at the beginning. On the other hand, I didn't feel the story had much depth and the ending wasn't much of a surprise...
Although the story, overall, was well written; some conflicts seemed forced. I was disappointed in the personality of the protagonist's love interest. The end definitely surprised me, and not in a good way.
"A beautifully crafted first novel!"
A Density of Souls bring to life the, all too real, problems of gay youth. Stephen is set adrift in the bewildering and traumatic sea of a new school after the wreck of his former friendship with Meredith, Gregg and Brandon. The frequent backstory flashes help to bring a deeper understanding of whence these complex characters evolved. Meredith, torn between Stephen and Gregg, finds solace in vodka and writing her journal; Gregg, troubled by his attraction to Stephen and his need to conform, sides with Brandon whilst courting Meredith; Brandon is the ever present dark malice that overshadows all of them and leads to wonton violence and mass murder.
A mixture of warm, tender moments and desolate periods punctuate this beautifully craft first novel by Christopher Rice and I found it easy to build mental images for the main characters and locations depicted. I await with eager anticipation further offerings of Christopher's books on Audible.
I am 2 1/2 hours into my third listening of this book in 7 days and have no hesitation in recommending it.
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