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Drawing Blood

A Novel
Narrated by: Matt Godfrey
Length: 14 hrs and 3 mins
4 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)
Regular price: $24.95
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Publisher's Summary

Poppy Z. Brite re-imagines the haunted house novel, creating a fresh, sensual, and totally original listening experience.   

IT'S A PASSION. IT'S AN ART. IT'S THE ONLY WAY OUT...

In the house on Violin Road he found the bodies of his brother, his mother, and the man who killed them both-his father. From the house on Violin Road, in Missing Mile, North Carolina, Trevor McGee ran for his sanity and his soul, after his famous cartoonist father had exploded inexplicably into murder and suicide. Now Trevor is back.  

In the company of a New Orleans computer hacker on the run from the law, Trevor has returned to face the ghosts that still live on Violin Road, to find the demons that drove his father to murder his family-and worse, to spare one of his sons. But as Trevor begins to draw his own cartoon strip, he loses himself in a haze of lines and art and thoughts of the past, the haunting begins. Trevor and his lover plunge into a cyber-maze of cartoons, ghosts, and terror that will lead either to understanding-true understanding-or to a blood-raining repetition of the past.

©1993 Billy Martin (P)2018 David N. Wilson

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

More Poppy Please!

I loved it. My only disappointment is how little of Poppy Z Brite is on Audible.



5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent!!

Poppy is one of my all time favorite writers! I own all of her books.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • evb
  • Sacramento, CA
  • 11-13-18

More Poppy Please

i dont usually like horror stories, but i loved this book. the narrator did an amazing job of picking up the varied dialects and heartbreaking emotion for each character, making the audiobook just as good as when i read it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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INTERESTING!

This was a little more than I bargained for, regarding the guy-on-guy scenes, which is a bit crazy for my taste, but aside from that, this is a GREAT story! Still very well written and narrated by one of my favorites, Matt Godfrey. :)

It's very dark, intense, gripping, oh did I mention intense? ;) Trevor and Zach are quite the pair, and this is one crazy roller coaster ride but full of action and suspense all sorts of things :)

The horror aspect of the book was AWESOME and I very much enjoyed it. If you're into the guy on guy thing, you're gonna love this one! Great horror story!

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
Please take a moment to click the "YES" ("Helpful") button below if you found this review helpful :) Thank you!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Not What I Expected, but Fun!

A good old haunted house story is something I've always loved, so when the narrator of this tale offered me a chance to listen to the audio in exchange for a review, I jumped at it. Poppy Z. Brite is an author I've heard a lot about and I've been wanting to read his work for quite some time. I learned a few things while reading this book and one of them is that Poppy Z. Brite can write.

Trevor is a young man returning to the house where his mother and brother were killed 20 years ago. Shortly after his arrival in Missing Mile, his old hometown, he meets a young computer hacker on the run, named Zach. The two immediately feel a connection and together they go to face Trevor's childhood home. What will they find there? Is the house actually haunted? You will have to read this to find out.

While the writing quality here was good, I have to admit that I was disappointed in the story itself. This is not the author's fault, nor the narrator's, it was my sky high expectations. I expected a scary as hell story- and while there was a little darkness, there was way too much romance for me. I don't mind explicit sex scenes, (gay or straight), if they are integral to the story. Now I totally get the term insta-love. These two just met, one of them a virgin, and before you know it they are going at it at a breakneck pace. And going at it again. And again. The sexy times were sexy, don't get me wrong but after a while they finally led me to ask "Can we get to the horror already?"

Eventually, we did get to the horror, but after such a long build, it failed to move me much. I'm not sure if I was just bored by that point, or if all the romance had inured me to what should have been an exciting finale.

The narration by Matt Godfrey was excellent as always, I especially loved his Jamaican accent. Yeah, mon!

As I said, I did like the writing, and in a few spots it was nearly lyrical. From what I understand this is one of Poppy Z. Brite's, (now he goes by the name Billy Martin), earlier works. While I didn't find this novel to be a true horror story, I'm told his later works definitely are and I will be tracking those down in the future, maybe even the near future.

Recommended, as long as you're not looking for a horror tale and you don't mind a lot of romance and sexy times!

*Thanks to Matt Godfrey for the audio of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Excellent all around!

I received a free Audible credit from the audiobook's narrator in response for an honest review. In short, I am glad to say that I loved it.

A friend of mine lent me a paperback copy of this novel several years ago, and it's been sitting on my shelf (along with Poppy Z. Brite's first novel, LOST SOULS) since that time, and it's remained unread. I have a reading list comparable in size to Mount Everest, and while I've been meaning to read this novel since I first learned of it, it's somehow been pushed back in favor of something else or I simply haven't had the time to pick it up and read it. That is, until I purchased the audiobook version. I'm so very, very glad I purchased the audio version, and I'm glad doing so pushed it right to the top of "The Pile," my "to read" list.

I love audiobooks in general because, as a teacher, I don't have much time during the school year to read for fun. Audiobooks offer me a way to "read" while I'm doing some other, mundane task that does not require my full conscious attention. I often listen to them while riding my bike or driving to one campus or the other, or while doing dishes. As with all audiobooks, however, a bad narrator can ruin the entire experience and sour an otherwise excellent book. Fortunately, Matt Godfrey is one of the good ones (and a very, very good one at that).

I first encountered Godfrey's narration work when listening to Michael McDowell's excellent Southern Gothic saga, BLACKWATER. (Side note: If you haven't read BLACKWATER yet, I urge you to do so ASAP, and I hope you'll consider picking up the audiobook version, too.) To put it simply, Godfrey's narration is superb. While he is not as good at adopting different voices for characters as, say, Steven Weber (Stephen King's IT) or Roy Dotrice (George R.R. Martin's A GAME OF THRONES), his performance always seems to match the story perfectly. It's dynamic and unique, and grabs and holds my attention--a crucial element for me--without being distracting. It just seems to fit. From the first few minutes of BLACKWATER, I knew I was a Godfrey fan, and his narration in this book holds up wonderfully.

I suppose I should address the novel, too. I won't address plot points at great length here, in part because I'm lazy, but also because I think it's better to discover this gem of a novel for yourself. (If plot is important to you, I suggest you seek out another review that addresses it in greater depth. For me, it's the story, not the plot, that is important.)

Before listening to this audiobook, I'd only read one of Poppy Z. Brite's books before, that being the short story collection WORMWOOD (first published as SWAMP FOETUS). As it's been several years, I don't remember many of the details, but I can remember enjoying the stories but not loving them. I felt as though Brite's writing was missing something, though what that something was I could not and cannot put my finger on. I did not feel that way about DRAWING BLOOD at all. I loved it immensely, even if it contains aspects that are... shall we say, a bit outdated. (Both DRAWING BLOOD and LOST SOULS were first published in 1994 and 1992, respectively, so the novel's references to "cyberspace," "laptop computers," "computer hacking," and "cellular phones" feel awesome in its most literal sense of the word. These technologies were relatively new in the '90s, so I think it's best to forgive these slightly dated references as being a product of the times.)

The majority of DRAWING BLOOD takes place during the early '90s in two locations, New Orleans and Missing Mile, North Carolina. The story involves two young men, Trevor McGee (or Trevor Black) and Zachary Bosch, and details the events that lead them to meet, and subsequently fall in love, in Missing Mile, NC. When he was five years old, Trevor McGee's father murdered his wife and Trevor's little brother before committing suicide while they were staying in Missing Mile. Trevor, haunted by this event, returns to the house in Missing Mile where his family died in hopes of finding some semblance of closure. Zachary Bosch, a 19-year-old genius computer hacker who goes on the run from the Secret Service after learning that his cover had been blown, ends up in Missing Mile on his way to New York or some other location where he plans to lose the feds and start a new life. Trevor's and Zach's paths cross, and they quickly become lovers while staying at the house where Trevor's family has been murdered. Exulting in copious amounts of sex, drugs, music, and art, the two face off against the ghosts that haunt Trevor and the house in Missing Mile.

The characters are richly textured and believable in a 90's goth-scene kind of way, and the prose is exquisite. The imagery Brite invokes throughout is erotic, surreal, and horrifying, often all at the same time. I read a lot of horror fiction, and I find that I enjoy it so much more when the prose is excellent.

Don't get me wrong, I *love* writers like Stephen King who are masterful storytellers, but when I read a King novel, I rarely do so to indulge in the language. That's not to say King doesn't have an ear for prose; far from it. King's prose often reminds me of listening to my father tell me bedtime stories as a child. What I mean is that the story seems to hold more importance for King than HOW it's told. It's the story, not the telling, that is important.

With Brite, as with other novelists whose work I admire (like Livia Llewellyn, Damien Angelica Walters, Thomas Ligotti, to name a few), it seems the telling is either almost as or just as important as the story itself. Brite plays with language the way a poet plays with language. The descriptions of sex in DRAWING BLOOD are as sensual and erotic as the acts themselves. To put it bluntly, Brite writes word/language porn. Beautiful, haunting, erotic, horrifying, exquisite word porn.

If you like non-traditional ghost stories, queer erotic fiction, and/or literary horror fiction, I highly recommend this audiobook/novel. It's superb.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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This is a most excellent horror/love story.

I always refer to this book as my second most favorite book in the world (Geek Love by Katherine Dunn will always be my #1) but I haven’t read it since it was first released back in 1993 so I approached this recent audio release with equal amounts of joy and dread. Would it still be my almost favorite? Would I find giant flaws and pick it all to hell? Would I tarnish all of those memories of book perfection by reading it now when I’m all jaded and crabby(er)?

Everything I remembered loving about Drawing Blood was still here. Granted those memories were a little fuzzy around the edges but the impressions and the emotions felt left a mark on me and once I started listening, I was immediately transfixed and reminded of all the reasons why I held this book so close to my heart. It’s full of tragedy, dark romance, and real life horrors as well as some out there, woo-woo ones. If you like those things along with a well-drawn sense of place, gorgeously lush writing, flawed characters and you don’t mind explicit sex between two men (and lots and lots of it) you should give this a listen. Or a read. Or maybe both.

This is one of Brite’s (now Billy Martin) earlier works and it has all of the gothic trappings of that era. The characters have sharp edges, are ethereally young and beautiful, the sex is explicit and often and it’s always earthy and descriptive, the characters that populate this world drink and drug copiously, fall in love quickly and deeply as young lovers tend to do and music always plays a huge part in their lives. I’d say this tale is about 50% haunted house/dealing with your past crap and 50% dark and dangerous love story and it’s all beautifully gory and messy.

Trevor is a young artist who returns to his hometown to face down the demons of his past and his demons are bad ones. Zach is a hacker on the run who lands in Missing Mile. Both have tormented pasts and when they meet everything clicks and feels right. Yes, folks, it is the dreaded insta-love in full bloom. And, yes, I am a big huge hypocrite because I typically knock off points for insta-love because it drives me crazy but in this case I JUST DIDN’T CARE. I loved them both too much to care. They don’t even meet until the book is at least a third of the way through (maybe more) but by then I knew them so well that when they finally meet it was a relief. They were both such broken souls when apart and together they just fit. They talked, they fought, they lived a lifetime of dysfunction in a few days and I will make no more excuses because, yeah, it’s insta-love and it was glorious and nothing anybody says will ever change my mind.

It’s such an intoxicating read. The love story, the setting, the darkness. All of it. Brite assaults the senses with her prose and everything comes alive right down to the scents and tastes - no matter how gross! This isn’t a book for everyone and I’m not here to pretend that it is but if any of this sounds appealing to you, grab a copy and read that sucker until your eyeballs dry up. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

If you’re an audio fan, I also highly recommend giving it a listen. Matt Godfrey’s narration is terrific. He creates distinctive voices for the characters. Zach’s voice is deeper and has just the slightest Cajun-esque accent to fit him and where he’s been, while Trevor comes off as more innocent/wide-eyed. How you express that with voice is way beyond me but Godfrey manages to do it. There are quite a few secondary characters that he voices very well too.

Now I'm off to listen all over again :)

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • MJ
  • 09-10-18

I hope I never have to visit Birdland.

The narrator, Matt Godfrey, provided me with an audible credit for this audiobook. He did a great job bringing life to the characters.
He said it was graphic, and he wasn’t wrong! It’s not something you want to listen to during lunch.

Trevor Black has come “home” to Missing Mile to try to figure out why he was the only survivor of the brutal murders of his family. His father was the artist Bobby McGhee, most famous for his Birdland series.
As Trevor stays in his “haunted” childhood home to find the answers about his life, he ends up finding Birdland itself and maybe more than he bargained for!

There is a ton of blood and gore, a lot of drugs and drug references, computer hacking, and multiple sexual situations—more than I’ve ever read in one book.

It was a really interesting story.

*I may have misspelled names and places due to the fact I listened to this instead of reading the names.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Ian
  • 10-18-18

Fantastic

I loved this book. I read it when it came out and I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook.
Can we have exquisite corpse next please?