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Drawing Blood
By Poppy Z. Brite

Discussed November/December 2006

Buy Drawing Blood from Amazon.com
Buy Drawing Blood from Lambda Rising

Questions

Drawing Blood is PZB's sophomore novel. It was nominated for The Lambda Literary Award and The Bram Stoker Award.

Characters:
Bobby McGee - artist, killed his wife and son
Rosena Mcgee - Trevor's mother
Trevor McGee - artist, Zach's lover
Didi McGee - Trevor's kid brother
Zachary Bosch - hacker, Trevor's lover
Joe Bosch - Zach's abusive father
Edwina Sung - exotic dancer, Zach's friend
Kinsey - auto mechanic, owner of the Sacred Yew
Terry Bucket - drummer, owner of the Whirling Disk

  1. What aspects of the book were best orchestrated? Did aspects of the book not meet your expectations?
  2. The book contains many pop culture references that clearly date when the story occurs. Is there value in dating a story rather than leaving the time period ambiguous? Did the dating the story add to or subtract from your enjoyment?
  3. Trevor returns to the place where he lost his family. What is he seeking?
  4. The kudzu around the house on Violin Road is repeatedly mentioned during the book. Is the kudzu merely a plant or does it represent something more?
  5. Are the violent acts committed by Bobby and Trevor inherent in their nature or caused by some external force?
  6. The story is literally awash in blood: the house still contains blood stains from the killings, we are given detailed descriptions of blood flowing from wounds; we are told how blood tastes; blood pours from faucets; we learn that blood greases the gears of Birdland; etc. Is there a unifying theme regarding blood? In one scene, Skeletal Sammy shoots-up Trevor's blood - it was "...the kick he couldn't get twice." Is there a specific meaning to this scene?
  7. The book was originally entitle Birdland, but the title was changed to Drawing Blood. Which title is more appropriate?
  8. Is the house on Violin Road truly haunted or can the events that occur there be given more mundane explanations? If the house is haunted, what haunts it?
  9. Other than being haunted by their pasts and being poorly socialized, do Zach and Trevor have anything in common? What causes these two men to so rapidly become deeply bonded? Why does Zach stay with Trevor when he believes he may be insane? Is the relationship believable? Would you expect the relationship to last?
  10. How does the depiction of sex in this book compare to other books we have read? PZB has described herself as "a gay man in a woman's body." Considering the number of stories PZB has written with GLBT content, what do you make of this statement?
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