Lot Lizards (2024)

Lot Lizards (1)

559 reviews543 followers

February 26, 2022

Bill Ketter was looking for a little fun while relaxing after a long day driving the lonely roads. He partakes in the hiring of a lot lizard at the truck stop he is parked in. Unfortunately for him, this lot lizard is about to change his life with one quick bite. Now turned into one of the undead, he follows his brethren on to the next truck stop for some bloody morsels. Bill runs into his ex-wife and children when the chaos begins. Bill has to battle his own brothers and sisters of the night to save his family.

One of my stepdads was a truck driver and I remember going on a long haul trip with him. I got to use the CB radio, hang out at the truck stop, and watch the lot lizards knock on the parked trucks. Fun times for a kid. I really enjoyed this one by Garton. Plenty of blood flying around. Black humor to keep it lively. Recommend!

Lot Lizards (2)

427 reviews270 followers

July 3, 2016

Ever since seeing Ridley Scott's Alien as a kid, one of my favorite horror setups has been "a bunch of people trapped or cut off in some way, and hunted by some creature or supernatural something." Garton, who had already penned another classic vampire novel a few years earlier (Live Girls), gets bonus points here for putting a bunch of supernatural somethings together with the unsuspecting humans.

Picture one of those large highway truck stops like Love's, which are almost like mini Walmarts inside, but with an attached restaurant, an arcade, and an auto repair shop as well. Picture it totally snowed in, in the middle of the night, with a bunch of stranded travelers. Now picture a bunch of vampire hookers, who til this night have kept their existence relatively secret, but have now been unleashed to feast upon their prey. Only one person at the truck stop knows what's about to happen, a semi-recent victim of one of these "lot lizards," who's now a vampire himself, but tries to get by on animals and stealing from blood banks. Coincidentally (I mean, MAJOR coincidence), his ex-wife and two kids also happen to be stuck there, and he must do everything in his power to protect them, including trying to convince everyone of the immediate danger they're all facing. Hopefully the power doesn't go out (spoiler alert).

It's a great setup, one that, other than the very beginning, takes place over the course of a single night. The pace is fast and furious, and it's a hell of a lot of fun. Garton shifts from viewpoint to viewpoint, quickly fleshing out backstories of the various people stuck at the truck stop, including one young lot lizard who wants to get away from her life and start fresh, but, like the others, is held under the powerful sway of the queen vampire. Needless to say, it's a bloodbath, a much better followup to Live Girls than the official sequel, 2005's Night Life, which I never made it through (though I'll probably give it another go one day, as Garton's one of my favorite horror writers). At 180-some pages, it's possible to read the entire thing in just a few hours, perfect for a story that covers roughly the same amount of time. Almost as if you're reading in "real time," which is cool.

Anyone looking for a quick and entertaining read of vampire mayhem should love this. Garton's cinematic style is in top form here. After his okay-ish first couple novels (Seductions and Darklings), I've found the rest of his 80s and early 90s output to be not just among the best splatterpunk-style fiction of the era, but among the best horror fiction in general, and Lot Lizards is no exception.

4.0 Stars

Lot Lizards (3)

Author19 books421 followers

March 17, 2015

Here is another fine example of how the shameful lack of male willpower and moral judgment can lead to trouble....

Lot Lizards (4)

Feeling lonely (and "in the mood") after his wife leaves home with their children, trucker Bill Ketter opens his driver's side door to a gaunt-looking young girl asking if he would like some company. Big mistake, Billy. Bill contracts something different from the typical STDs. He's developed an aversion to sunlight and an appetite for...you guessed it, blood. Bill is now a member of the undead.

Months later, he is searching for those responsible for his condition when, by chance, he meets his son at that same ill-fated truck stop. He is there will his mother (Bill's ex), her boyfriend and his sisters. But they're not the only ones there. A group of pale, scrawny lot lizards (blood-sucking hookers) are on the loose and in a feeding frenzy. Will Bill be able to save his family from becoming blood donors?

This is another great story by the wonderfully talented Ray Garton. I can always count on one of his books when I'm in a rut or craving an exceptional horror story. Lot Lizards is very well-written, deeply engrossing and suspenseful. The characters are relatable, the pacing is perfect and the ending is satisfying. Just what I needed!

My advice...don't play with dirty lot lizards...

Lot Lizards (5)

...and you won't get lot lizard "cooties!"

Lot Lizards (6)

Oh, men...will you ever learn?!? :D

Lot Lizards (7)

Lot Lizards (8)

Author35 books123 followers

July 12, 2019

I'm not really a vampire guy, sparkly or otherwise. It takes a special kind of vampire book to appeal to me. Ray Garton's LOT LIZARDS is that kind of vampire book. It's a bit out of left field. It's not the tired old trope and yet it stays true to the creature in its own way. LOT LIZARDS is a "classic" 90's era horror book.

This is the first time I've read Ray Garton. I'm glad I took the time to give myself the experience. He represents another in a far-too-long list of 90's era horror I missed out on when I found myself burned out on all the 80s stuff. LOT LIZARDS is the kind of book that makes me appreciate when I take the time to do some catching up. Not so old that its out-dated and not so new that it's just a tired old rip off. LOT LIZARDS is a unique telling of a vampire story. In fact, to the best of my recollection the "V-word" was not used in the story (or if it was its was only once or twice.)

In the end, I'm glad I discovered Ray Garton if only twenty years too late. I will certainly delve into his other work in the future. I know there are more popular titles than even this one. Its nice to read some nostalgia without it reading like nostalgia.

Lot Lizards (9)

1,856 reviews179 followers

February 13, 2021

A quick, fast and fun read by Garton. Our main protagonist, Bill, drives a truck and at the start of the novel, he decides that after months of being estranged from his wife he could use a little company and finds a 'lot lizard' at truck stop. Lot lizards are prostitutes who work the 'truck trade', hanging out at truck stops looking for Johns, but Bill's little number gives him more than he bargained for, turning him into a vampire after sucking his blood.

The 'queen' vampire resides in the back of a semi, along with dozens of young women vampires; they play the role of lot lizards, robbing the Johns after taking their blood. Bill is an exception, however, as he actually turns into a vampire himself. After his 'turn', Bill divorces his wife, leaving his three kids, and goes on a quest to find the vampire lot lizards and put an end to the madness. During a snow storm in Oregon, Bill finds himself at a truck stop, full to overflowing with stranded motorists, including his ex-wife and the kids, but also including two trucks of vampire lot lizards!

Garton keeps the story flowing right along, and the characters are fun. One quibble: Garton changes among the characters often and sometimes it gets a little confusing as their actions are interrupted mid action if you will only to resume in a few paragraphs or pages. These rough transitions are exacerbated by numerous typos in the Open Road edition I have; I know this is an indie press, but come on, they should still have some copy editors on the payroll! 3 stars.

Lot Lizards (11)

Author9 books467 followers

July 21, 2014

Reading Ray Garton novels is a lot like reading literary movies that are just plain fun. Lot Lizards is no different. As the description states, lot lizards are prostitutes that haunt truck stops, truckers being their target ... um ... market.

We begin the story with Bill, a trucker who's stopped for the night at a truck stop and is feeling a little frisky. He hopes to hear the knock on his driver's side door, indicating the solicitation of a lizard. One comes, but Bill is taken by how skinny and pale the girl is. I found this part very interesting. He takes her in but is no longer horny. He wants to feed her, warm her up, take care of her. He goes from wanting to do the dirty with a prostitute to becoming a caring father within a blink of the eye.

Which is good, in my opinion. It shows depth of character and makes us like Bill almost immediately.

Of course, the lot lizard isn't the frail young girl looking for a meal Bill thinks she is. Nope. She's a blood sucking vampire! In Lot Lizards, the vampires travel in their own rig from truck stop to truck stop. They feed on truckers, but only enough to knock them out so that they can steal all their money and worth-while belongings. If they kill them, then the victim will reanimate, becoming a blood-sucking fiend themselves.

Bill's lot lizard has similar intentions. Only she takes it too far. When Bill wakes up again, he's cold and distorted and hungry. Only he isn't hungry for the food he's accustomed to eating.

We meet up with Bill one year later. He's spent the year living on the road, unable to return to his wife and son. He hasn't even sent them so much as a Dear Jane letter. He returns to the truck stop where he lost his humanity. There's a terrible snowstorm, and what's worse is that his wife, now remarried, her new husband, and his kids are also there. And so is the rig full of vampiric lot lizards. Worse yet: the highway has been closed because of the storm, and so everyone is stuck at the truck stop, unable to leave.

Now, I realize that this might be the kind of literary coincidence that often makes you shake your head and roll your eyes. But trust me, while you're reading, it makes sense and you're able to suspend your disbelief. Because what we have here is a set up for something great and fun to watch unravel, and the reader is not disappointed.

For the most part.

Despite the great build up, I felt that certain aspects of the story lagged or became unbelievable or could have been expanded. I didn't like Jonny, Bill's son. Although he displayed emotion and acted as any kid would in that situation (meeting his father who disappeared on him a year later), he still felt a little flat to me. And although the story ended with a bang, I wanted more. Something like a Saving Private Ryan battle, but with snow and vampires.

Over all, Lot lizards is a great, fun read. And the story behind how Ray wrote it is fascinating as well. From his own blog post on the subject, he actually wrote this book at a truck stop. He would work on it from midnight until four in the morning while visiting the woman who would one day become his wife while she worked.

If you want a good time, then I recommend this one. Have fun, but I suggest you stay away from the lizards.

Lot Lizards (12)

163 reviews21 followers

June 26, 2018

It's Okay, Some brain farts along the way and some decent fun, That's about it.
2.5 lizard lips outta 5

Lot Lizards (13)

2,959 reviews125 followers

March 6, 2020

Our MC Bill is depressed at his wife having left him again because of his truck driving job. It appears this time that she isn't coming back so Bill decides to take advantage of the hookers that hang around truck stops. In this case, the hooker is an underfed vampire who manages to turn him by accident while feeding from him, as well as robbing him. Bill decides to follow the truck that she gets into to try and try to get some answers.

I didn't really get far with this one.There was nothing really wrong with Bill as a character and I understood his mission to follow the truck and then stop the evil brothers. However the 'coincidence' of just Bill just happening to bump into his wife and kids at the truck stop where the vampires are at is just a bit annoying. I get that it's fiction but it wasn't the kind of plot twist that I was looking for. I'm not a fan of relationship angst and I suspect that there is going to be a lot of that when Bill meets his family again, though I quit before getting to that stage. I couldn't get into the book at all and decided to DNF it.

Lot Lizards (14)

Author4 books12 followers

February 4, 2012

I guess I still like vampire stories.

In this one, several subplots feed the main story arc in a well thought out night of blood sucking fun-packed excitement.

You've got a victim, Bill Ketter, a trucker who's been turned and wants to stop them.

The them of which I speak are the lot lizards, young prostitutes who knock on the cabs of resting truckers looking to provide some—ahem—company.

There's a house within sight of the truckstop occupied by the sick daughter of one of the waitresses. Watching her overnight is Mrs. Tipton.

Coincidence has brought along Bill Ketter's ex; her new beau, Doug; and Bill's three kids.

It's snowing, the highway is closed, the lot lizards have a queen, and the power goes out. Who'll be left standing when the sun comes up? This one reads quick because the pacing just keeps the reader engaged all the way till dawn and the explosive ending.

Or maybe it's just the beginning...

109 reviews1 follower

November 20, 2012

I really liked this book. I like Ray Garton in general. I remember when I finally started reading "other horror" (i.e., not Stephen King, Koontz, etc), I read a book "The Loveliest Dead" which really raised the bar on how cool a horror book could be. As with other Ray Garton books, this may not be earth shattering or ground breaking but it's fun and well worth the read. I suspect I'll eventually go through his entire catalogue.

Aside: now that I'm into e-Reading, there's a whole bunch of books that I have easy access to for a lot less money. If you're into authors such as Ray Garton, Edward Lee, Bryan Smith and don't live in the US, I recommend switching to ebooks!

Lot Lizards (15)

137 reviews5 followers

September 19, 2008

The author seems to have turned in a second draft of an unfinished novel and someone published it. Everything moves way to fast and all plot threads get tied up in nice neat unrealistic bows. Even the scenes that are supposed to be scary are not very. It could make an OK B movie in the hands of a decent screenwriter & director, but this SK wannabe author needs to work a lot harder next time.

Lot Lizards (17)

Author5 books25 followers

March 27, 2023

I just got into Ray Barton’s books about a year ago and this was one of my favorites of his to date. I’m a big fan of siege/home invasion type horror and this story of a bunch of unwitting travelers snowed in at a truck stop surrounded by vampires fits the bill!

While Ray’s work is typically filled with graphic violence and sex (and this book being no exception with the titular “Lot Lizards” being slang for truck stop prostitutes) this story also has a lot of emotion and heart when dealing with familial relationships. It also has an interesting twist that is a byproduct of being released in the 1980s.

Overall, this was a highly entertaining read that I recommend for fans of Ray Garson, vampires and siege stories.

Lot Lizards (21)

498 reviews26 followers

January 17, 2021


No spoilers:

This little story was some campy fun... Loosely, this is an original tale where the vampires are hookers working a truck stop in a snowstorm...

They travel from stop to stop in two 18 wheelers carrying coffins and their queen...

The girls knock on the truck's sleeper window asking the trucker if he would like a little company for the night...

...Then they suck the guy's... blood...

That's really about it as far as plot goes. The rest of the story sees the MANY characters trying to stop the killers and their queen... and stay alive...

There were some very eerie moments that I would have liked to read more of where the girls stalked their prey between the trucks during the evening snowstorm...

There are a lot of IT'S swapped for IF'S in the Kindle version so be aware when you're reading...

Reading this novel reminded me of reading issues of TALES FROM THE CRYPT and EERIE horror comics...

3 1/2 stars. I enjoyed and devoured this story quickly but I would have enjoyed it more if more action had taken place in the lot instead of the restaurant. Proofing was sorely needed as well. Try IN THE VALLEY OF THE SUN by Andy Davidson for another original vampire tale.

Lot Lizards (22)

129 reviews3 followers

June 14, 2014

For years I've had this on my bookshelf and for some reason didn't get down to reading it until a few weeks ago. Ordinarily I'm not fond of vampire books but this was a thrill ride. Don't think Dracula here - think "30 Days of Night". The vampires in this book are vicious, horrific,scary creatures and the story telling is gritty, fast paced and thrilling. This is a vampire novel and a survival novel with characters that you care about. A quick but well worth it read if you like your horror a little more on the hardcore side of the genre spectrum.

Lot Lizards (24)

Author14 books57 followers

November 18, 2013

Next to Stephen King's 'Salem's Lot, no one does vampires like Ray, and he's created another masterpiece. The way he makes supernatural stories personal is uncanny, just the touch of sick realism they need.

Lot Lizards (25)

60 reviews16 followers

November 28, 2014

This was my first Ray Garton novel. It's a fast paced story featuring it's share of violence gore, and even a bit of sex. The story centres around a truck stop diner that has been overrun with vampires. Overall a fun quick read with a solid finale.

Lot Lizards (29)

303 reviews5 followers

January 4, 2018

It’s sometimes tough to gauge whether a reader will enjoy a particular book or not, but you can tell whether a particular person will like Ray Garton’s Lot Lizards simply by gauging the reaction to this three-word description of the book: Vampire. Truckstop. Hookers. Anyone who doesn’t like books that involve one or more of those words will not like Lot Lizards. On the other hand, readers whose initial reaction to the description is to slap themselves on the side of the head and wonder why no one thought of such a plot theme before will have a lot of fun.

As I learned when I read the book, a lot lizard is a prostitute who frequents highway rest stops and provides temporary professional companionship to the truckers spending time there. In Lot Lizards, they provide a good bit more than companionship. These lot lizards are vampires who, by day, spend time in a large trailer full of coffins, being driven around by a pair of brothers who operate a long distance moving company. At night, thes brothers park their rigs at a remote truckstop and let their cargo out to feed on their customers. The brothers’ second trailer contains the vampire queen, an extremely powerful creature that has turned the various lot lizards into vampires over the years.

As Lot Lizards begins, this unsavory crew sets up shop in the dead of winter at a rest stop that winds up becoming completely isolated when an auto accident on the main highway closes the road and all the human truckers and other travelers find themselves snowed in. As the night progresses, the humans gradually learn the full extent of the horrors that await them in the truckstop and barricade themselves in the truckstop diner for safety.

For the most part, Lot Lizards is simply a lot of fast paced, action, horror fun, a variant on other works about a group of stranded people such as Stephen King’s The Mist. There’s plenty of action in Lot Lizards, some of it rather gruesome, and a few genuinely shocking moments. This book was written in 1991, and the time period plays a major part in the story. For beginners, there were no cell phones, Wi Fi or any type of Internet service back then, so the travelers were definitely stranded with only some unreliable landlines to contact the outside world. The time frame is also crucial to another major plot development in the book involving the seemingly invincible vampire queen.

At times, author Garton gets a bit too ambitious in his storytelling, introducing too many characters in a fairly short book, so that when he cuts back and forth from one part of the truckstop to another, the story becomes a bit confusing. To make matters worse, Garton has a bad habit of shifting from one story to another by means of a single transitional sentence. It’s an intentional stylistic device on his part but a poor one, since it makes a relatively simple story considerably harder to follow.

Still, I did enjoy Lot Lizards a good bit with its mix of trashy characters (both human and vampire), trashy sex, and grotesque violence. Plus, the main characters are rather appealing, especially a trucker-turned-vampire who runs into his former family at the rest area and joins forces with them against the other vampires. Ray Garton has taken some very familiar vampire themes and put a very different twist on them to create an entertaining horror adventure. You’ll find a lot to like about Lot Lizards.

Lot Lizards (30)

271 reviews3 followers

September 19, 2022

We are nearing the spooky season. Sometimes I like to get prepared and do some “Pre-reads”. Now I have been aware of Ray Garton for a while, and his book Lot Lizards has been in my TBR pile for a gazillion years. The other night, I spun my e-book and put my finger on my next read, and BINGO, up came Garton’s book.

A lot lizard is a hooker who works truck stops. They knock on a cab door and if the occupant says come in, they go and do what it is two consenting adults do. Money is exchanged and the hooker goes on to the next truck. These lot lizards are a bit different. They come in, initiate sex, and before the trucker knows it, in the throes of ecstasy, they are bitten and drained of blood, money, and anything valuable in the truck. The truckers do not turn, well, not usually. One trucker, Bill, turns, and he is following the truck that holds the hooker responsible. He comes to a truck stop and sees two trucks that are similar. A snowstorm blocks the roads, keeping anyone at the truck stop there until the roads are clear. The problem is that night has set in, and the lot lizards are hungry. Anyone is fair game. Including Bill’s family who happen to have been involved in an accident and had to walk to the truck stop. All hell is going to break loose.

The magic in this book is it hits on two vampire tropes and makes them fresh and new. Trope #1) A vampire must be invited in. The lizards have to knock and get permission to enter. Trope #2) Garlic. Garton ups the revision that the vampires have and make garlic deadly if ingested.

The problem I had with this one was some of the editing. There were a few mistakes later on in the book that made the read a bit confusing. Other than than the editing problems, this book was a solid read.

I give Lot Lizards 4 bookmarks out of 5!

Lot Lizards (31)

6 reviews9 followers

May 27, 2020

Bill Ketter's life is on the skids. His wife is unhappy as a result of the long hours he works as a trucker. In a bout of depression (or maybe just because it's something he's always done when out on the road), Bill decides to hook up with one of the young prostitutes working the truck stops - the lot lizards of the title.
It turns out this girl is just one of many hiding a similar dark secret. These Lot Lizards are truck traveling vampires, and they operate under control of the sinister Carsey brothers. The attack on Bill ends with him too becoming a vampire.

We rejoin Bill some months later. Circ*mstances have led Bill's wife and child, and his wife's new boyfriend (jeez, they're all at it!), and the boyfriend's family to a truck stop, and into the sightlines of the Carsey brothers. During a dark and bloody night vampire Bill has to face off against the Carseys' pack in an attempt to safe his wife and child.

This felt like one of the old pulp novels I used to read off my dad's bookshelf, although Lot Lizard's was a whole lot bloodier than any of those. It was good fun.

Lot Lizards (32)

Author15 books138 followers

March 24, 2020

Joe Lansdale anointed Ray Garton with his blessing as the new voice in redneck horror, so that may be the ultimate rave review for Lot Lizards. Nevertheless, here is my two cents: a pack of slu*tty teenage vampires cruise a snowed-in truck stop looking for red-blooded truckers to suck, and then some. I kept expecting Joe Bob Briggs to step in and count the number of hooker fu scenes, but no such luck.

Mr. Garton is a decent pulp writer but has the maddening tendency to shift names on the main characters, eg. sometimes AJ is called Adele and sometimes she's called Mom and then back again. This happens with several characters and it can get pretty frustrating.

AMAZON PLUG: If you buy the Kindle version you automatically get a free audio version to listen to, and if you alternate both it keeps your place from where you left off. Super service!

Lot Lizards (33)

226 reviews1 follower

August 2, 2020

Bill Ketter est routier et se sent seul. Sa femme l'a quittée avec ses enfants, depuis plusieurs mois . Esseulé, il décide de profiter des charmes d'une fille peu farouche dans un restoroute. Mal lui en pris, la jeune femme n'en voulait pas seulement à son argent. De puis ce temps, il se sent transformé avec des envies bizarres. Mais il a pu remarquer un semi-remorque qui semble relié à la jeune femme. Et il est bien décidé à se venger.

Des vampires qui ont trouvé le moyen de passer presque inaperçues tout en pouvant s'alimenter. Mais, une tempête se profile.

Une histoire originale de vampire avec une montée croissante vers une fin pleine d'action.

J'ai beaucoup aimé.

Lot Lizards (2024)


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