Lansdale has always had a fondness for strong-willed female characters, and he lets Dot narrate the tale in her own colorful, infectious way. This novel should appeal to adults and teens alike, and Dot's hard work and personal responsibility will inspire and resonate with many readers.
Joe R. Lansdale again demonstrates his mastery of character, place, and coming-of-age in FENDER LIZARDS.
Dorothy “Dot” Sherman is a 17-year old high school dropout who lives in East Texas. She works at the Dairy Bob as a “fender lizard.” That’s an old term from the 1950’s for a waitress on roller skates. Dot’s life hasn’t been easy. Her dad went out for cigarettes when she was twelve and never came back. She lives in a small single-wide trailer with her mom, younger brother, and grandmother. Her half-sister Raylynn has been saddled with two children and a man who can’t work because of his “lumbargo.”
Dot has dreams of getting her GED (or as people call it, “Good Enough Diploma) and then maybe some college, but she isn’t optimistic about that actually happening.
Understandably, Dot is worried that her life is destined to be a dead end.
Once Uncle Elbert moves his camper into the front yard and the roller derby comes into town, things start looking up.
Narrator Kasey Lansdale brings Dot to life in all of her delightful, colorful glory. If there’s anyone who make things better for herself, it’s Dot.