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A Density of Souls

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3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,927 Ratings  ·  398 Reviews
Four high school students in present-day New Orleans are torn apart by envy, passion, and tragedy.

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
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Published 2004 by Brilliance Audio (first published 2000)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Carol
Aug 16, 2011 Carol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The gay and lesbian fiction genre is awash with tragically short sighted, stereotypical, and hard to get through novels about coming out, getting beat up, and either finding love or ending up dead. Christopher Rice is like a lighthouse on the banks of a bleak and dismal ocean of the GLBTQ genre. Rice's works are more about a good story, where the character(s) happen to be gay- not a novel solely revolving around the fact that one of the characters like sex with the same gender.

Destiny of Souls
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Mallory Heart Recommends  [#VoteCthulhu Why Choose the Lesser Evil?]
REVIEW A DENSITY OF SOULS by Christopher Rice

I had read much comment on this book at first publication in 2002, but not the book. Once I read THE HEAVENS RISE, I realized Mr. Rice should be one of my always-read authors, and reading his most recent novel, THE VINES, only confirmed that. So I am gratified that his earlier novels are being republished, and decided to start with A DENSITY OF SOULS, his first.

I found this not gory at all, but saddening. For some reason, even after more than six deca
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K.Z. Snow
Jul 27, 2011 K.Z. Snow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5

The novels of Chris Rice might just become one of my guilty pleasures. In spite of and because of its abundant flaws, this was a whopping good, Flannery-O'Connor-meets-Jacqueline-Susann read.

Daytime soaps can't hold a candle to this book. Oy, the excess! Multiple murders and mayhem; suicide and insanity; alcoholism and bulimia; rape, infidelity, incest; bullying, spousal abuse, and effed-up families; homosexuality and homophobia (and rivers of tears); New Orleans cemeteries; jocks and cheerle
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Jay Kovach
Aug 12, 2010 Jay Kovach rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone, young adult and older.
I've read this book twice now, which is something I rarely do. It is a must read and still my favorite work of his. Although I have yet to read his newest that I picked up earlier this year at a book signing in San Diego. I'm actually reading through his previous works to savor his new release. 1st read: Dec 2000

I feel that I should really add more to this. This book has a main character who is gay, but in no means does it come of preachy in concern with that. This book is about the struggles be
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Luke
Sep 28, 2012 Luke rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Christopher Rice loves melodrama.

I had no idea before starting this that Christopher Rice is the son of Vampire author Anne Rice (whose works I've never properly ready anyway) but it was interesting to see that he had followed in his mother's footsteps, minus vampire's of course.

What I can say about this novel is that it's 'okay'. The writing is quite good, and a picture of the town and situation is handled nicely but I felt everything got very melodramatic very quickly. This is a novel that in
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So, I Read This Book Today
From the deepest desires often come the deadliest hate. - Socrates

Expectations. I think that is always my problem when I read “name” authors. With their fancy publishers, fancy marketing and ‘names’ I expect their work to be bigger, more well written, deeper. And, honestly, after The Vines I had expected more just because that book was better. It had deeper structure, a better story line.

I understand Christopher’s thought processes, and I honor them. This time, however, I feel he is trying too
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Robert Gamboa
Dec 06, 2012 Robert Gamboa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I remember my brother Albert bought me this book for Christmas back in 2003 or something. I was living in Sacramento at the time. I had a free evening one weekend and I thought I'd give the book a go. I started to read it and read it non-stop, cover to cover! I was so enthralled! When I got to the last page and I had finished the book, I sat there gasping. Then I through the book across the room as hard as I could. I was angry! Not real sure why. Later that afternoon, I called Albert in Houston ...more
Kitty
Jan 12, 2012 Kitty rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: glbt
Alright, so Christopher Rice isn't exactly the most polished of writers. There were parts in this that ranged from melodramatic to downright farcical - the big show down in the eye of the hurricane was so completely over the top that I read the whole thing in my mind using Ru Paul's voice. And you know what? I still think this is a pretty good book. In an ever growing sea of at best, second rate gay fiction that floods the market between covers featuring sweaty, muscle ripped hunkies, Souls is a ...more
*yoly*
Jan 03, 2009 *yoly* rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would have to say that I personally enjoyed this book very much. It made me cry a little on my first read. I think I actually fell in love with the main character, Stephen. It made me mad how everyone treated him throughout the story. I just wanted to go in there and slap a few people silly.

The writing was very good too. Christopher Rice is just as amazing and talented as his mother. He definitely has his own style that can draw you in from the first page...

I loved the ending. I think my eyeba
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Patricia
Feb 03, 2015 Patricia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


This is Christopher's debut novel . As with all Rice novels it is based in New Orleans. But Christopher takes us on a roller coaster ride of emotions. As we meet four childhood friends Meredith, Brandon, Greg and Stephen. As they head to high school three become popular and one becomes and outcast that is taunted every day. When two violent deaths destroy the bonds of their friendships. When they are pulled back together new facts are brought to light and the deaths come to be murders. Things s
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Artemiz
Jan 16, 2015 Artemiz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, 2015
I started to read the book A Density of Souls by Christopher Rice with no expectations. I had read his book The Vines recently and I liked it, so I chose another book of his from NetGalley as well.

At the beginning it's all confusing, so many different story lines, so many different characters, but as the story goes on I actually started to enjoy all those small stories that combine together a really good story and at the end it was a "nail bitting and siting at edge your seat" good, it was reall
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Tricia Sutton
I wish books these days had a synopsis on the back jacket like in the old days. Because I literally bought this book for its cover. The dark foreboding cover, the graveyard statue, and the title all suggested a spooky book, perfect for Halloween month. Additionally the book is also missing an author page. I had no idea what was getting into. Had I known the author was the son of Anne Rice, it would have further tempted me to thinking spook fest.

Nothing in the beginning gave me clues to the contr
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Adrian
Dec 31, 2010 Adrian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After reading this book for the 5th or 6th time, I'm finally ready to offer a review. What Rice has done is pen a debut novel that is both compelling and entertaining. He shows a voice that has his mother's flare for the poetic and evocative while also being wholly original. In A Density of Souls, he creates a cast of characters that are each wonderfully original and unique. It's a wonderful story about love, loss, the scars of the past, and the strength and weaknesses of childhood friendships. ...more
Jonathan de Lange
Aug 10, 2013 Jonathan de Lange rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the first word to the final punctuation, this book intrigued me. It legitimately enticed me to keep reading. Not a single character was dull and while their motivations were often a mystery to the me as I read (as I believe they were supposed to be) they were never boring and were always worth my time.

I can spend much time going on about this book and how it struck a chord with me, but let's focus on the simple fact that it gave me something to chew on. It is often the case that books prete
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El
Apr 05, 2008 El rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to El by: Rhonda T.
Shelves: 21st-centurylit
Four best friends - Stephen, Meredith, Greg and Brandon - are about to start high school at the beginning of Rice's debut novel. Before they begin a sexual encounter occurs which changes their friendship forever, resulting in the ostracization and constant ridicule of Stephen. Greg and Brandon immediately gravitate into the football/popular circle, bringing Meredith with them, while Stephen remains the odd man out, trying to come to terms with his own homosexuality in a rarely forgiving environm ...more
Patti
Feb 25, 2009 Patti rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Oy- not sure where to begin here. I picked this book up rather randomly from some used book shelves (the price was right) and did not make the author's association with Anne Rice right away (but the dark theme is ultimately resonant). Nor did I realize that this would be classified as "gay fiction." Before I realized all that I got about twenty pages into the book and was not sure it would be one that I could finish...too many characters that were initially confusing and not capturing my interes ...more
Kim
Oct 17, 2009 Kim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not very good at all. It reminded me of the books I read when I was ten or twelve years old: Christopher Pike and V.C. Andrews had a love child that puked up this tripe. I could barely get through the first few chapters because I kept rolling my eyes or cringing at the terrible writing. Also, I understand that this is gay literature but it seems like all the men in this book are gay... and boring. All the various shocking truths that are revealed throughout I mostly figured out waaaaay before th ...more
Trooper Jay
Apr 10, 2012 Trooper Jay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When reading the back cover of the book I felt immediately that this book was something I would read in a fast fury. At first to be honest I was a little bit afraid that what seemed to be the general tone of the book would be too preachy and therefore too political and would draw too much away from the supposed plot but I was happy to find out I was wrong. An amazing first novel by Christopher Rice, son of Anne. A gripping story of 4 childhood friends torn apart by secrets, sex, alcohol, and HIG ...more
Kristina Cecka
Dec 21, 2009 Kristina Cecka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gay-fiction
There are very few books that explore the darkness that can inhabit the human soul thoroughly; A Density of Souls is one of them. The book itself is somewhat meandering and definitely mysterious; we don't know all of our character's secrets until the last few pages. But in it, we get looks at the many ways a person's soul can become tarnished and the many ways that they can brighten it again. I think that anyone who reads this book will find something in it that will ring a truth within them; so ...more
Andrea Galbusieri
Definitely a good read, but several issues keep me from giving it 4 stars. While the story was good, it was also a bit convoluted and "over the top." Unfortunately, I feel that Stephen was every homosexual cliche rolled into one and was only defined through his homosexuality. What does Stephen like? What are his character traits? I feel that Rice should have developed his character better and not only through his seemingly one defining quality, his sexual orientation. I also find it hard to beli ...more
Ali *The Black Heart*
I don't even know where to start with this book. It was recommended to me by my co-blogger, who read it when she was fairly young and it "changed her life".

Part 1, really didn't come close to changing my life and I kept wondering why there were so many characters. I think I commented to her that there was 256 and I was feeling disconnected. That number is obviously an exaggeration, Rice isn't George R.R. Martin and you don't need a flow chart to keep track. Yet, there were still a lot.

However,
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Benjamin
Up to the time they entered their teens, Brandon, Greg, Stephen and Meredith were close friends, doing everything together, but that all changed as they moved on to high school when Greg and Brandon, now popular sports jocks turned on Stephen and Meredith became for a time little more than a bystander.

In their childhood Brandon and Greg did things with Stephen they would now rather forget, Stephen however has grown to accept the very things that frightened him when he thought about other boys.
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Daniel
Mar 05, 2011 Daniel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gay, hardback
This book by Christopher Rice quickly propelled him, in my eyes, above his mother in writing style. I have always been a fan of hers, but honestly, he writes so much better than her.

I don't usually loan my books out, but this one, I had to get folks to read it, so I loaned it to friends, who then bought their own copy to add to their collections.
Earicka
Jul 25, 2015 Earicka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Cruelty Of High School And Beyond


This is a stand alone novel.

Stephen is innocent and trusting... Especially of his three best friends Greg, Brandon and Meredith. The four of them are inseparable until that fateful day when everything changes. Highschool starts and Stephen is not only abandoned by his childhood friends he is openly and cruelly bullied by them. Will Stephen survive highschool? Will he ever find where he belongs or will he have to wait until after he graduates? Will the others
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Jool
Mar 22, 2015 Jool rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
What a great read. This is Christopher Rice's first novel, and I loved it. I will be looking at all his books now.
Michelle Ianiro
WAAAAYYY TOO MUCH GOING ON! The reason for the two star rating is that the premise of the story is a really good one: 4 childhood friends are torn apart in their young adult lives by cruelty, lies, secrets and murder veiled as an unfortunate tradgedy.

A Density of Souls, unfortunately did not stop there. There were more than a dozen confusing points of view, at least half as many tragic, over the top scenarios, and more melodrama than a body can stand.

Seriously, homosexuality/homophobia, bullying
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Marjolein
3.5 stars

Read all my reviews on http://urlphantomhive.booklikes.com

My last encounter with Christopher Rice, The Vines, disappointed me quite a lot. So although I was curious, I wasn't really looking forward to reading A Density of Souls. However, I'm glad I did read it. This was a completely different (and a lot better) book.

My review is of the new re-published edition, so I can't say anything about the older version.

I expected a horror, but the book is far more a mystery, I don't recall any
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Anton
Dec 06, 2014 Anton rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
***SPOILERSPOILERSPOILER***

OK so by the time this 270 page slim (but still interminable) novel ends, the author has thrown in all of the following:

Murder
Rape
Child death
Incest
A nightclub bombing
A gay man who has the magical ability to turn straight men gay
Insanity
Cults
Alcoholism
Forced drugging
And to top it all off A HURRICANE as its climax!

Yet despite Rice heaving practically every exhausting calamity he could think of against his uninteresting characters (except for cannibalism which I half expe
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Steve Steed
Jul 12, 2014 Steve Steed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I owe Christopher an apology and I'd like to make it here, publicly. I'd didn't read Density when it came out because of his mother. I wrongly assumed she'd either helped him write it or had bought the positive reviews with money or her prestige. I couldn't be more ashamed of myself, or have been more wrong. I deeply regret making an ass of myself and not reading this wonderful debut novel sooner.
His Big Easy upbringing is an asset and it shows. A frequent traveler to New Orleans over many yea
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Chanel J
Jan 21, 2012 Chanel J rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having not yet finished reading the book when I started writing this, I can only comment on what I have realised so far.

The reviews for A Density Of Souls differ largely, fluctuating between 1-2 star ratings with bitter comments, and 5 star rave reviews. This book is a troublesome one that covers a lot of incredibly unpleasant realities, bundling up a dozen serious experiences that happen to people everyday, and then wraps them all up in a wonderfully written (if complicated) story. My guess is
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By the age of 30, Christopher Rice had published four New York Times bestselling thrillers, received a Lambda Literary Award and been declared one of People Magazine's Sexiest Men Alive. His two novels of dark supernatural suspense, THE HEAVENS RISE and THE VINES, were both finalists for the Bram Stoker Award. He recently entered the erotic romance genre with three works in all new series called T ...more
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“I think you write because it’s easier than talking,” 1 likes
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