Lucky Linderhof, a 12-year-old latter-day Lolita born of the privileged sperm club, lives in New York with her affectionate but ineffectual mother, a woman who changes her lovers as quickly as she changes her designer clothes. Abandoned by her father, Lucky seeks a symbolic replacement among her mother's boyfriends--but when the piranha lodger Roger Fishbite moves in, she ends up with a father figure who becomes a lover. Funny and surreal, Roger Fishbite
has the stylistic atmosphere of Angela Carter in Disneyland for the millennium. Emily Prager's third novel develops into a satirical, nightmarish adventure, and along the way a hilarious parody of American consumerism from a child's point of view. As Fishbite drags Lucky from one seamy motel to another, her prepubescent sexual fantasies give way to the brittle survival instincts of the abused child. Prager has modernized Nabokov's original by giving her child heroine a voice:
Was I in love with Fishbite? Sometimes, when the light hit his shoulder blade in a certain way, or he made a game of chasing me down one of the empty corridors or at a mall when he was paying at the register, I could forget the iniquity and a wave of warmth would rush over me and I'd have to kiss him.... But that was apart from the sex, you see, which was in a box somewhere off by itself.
Lucky is as sassy as "Fishy" is disgusting, and her final revenge is a discordant symphony of mayhem and murder, her story reflecting "the real pain of moral children forced to live under morally indifferent grown-ups." --Rachel Holmes
Here Prager has captured an essential truth of childhood... -- The New York Times Book Review, Andrea Higbie
It takes a very good writer to translate such creepy stuff into richly comic story-telling. To quote Nabokov, which Prager slyly does from time to time, "Beauty plus pity--that is the closest we can get to a definition of art." Prager comes pretty close. -- The London Times, Penny Perrick, January 30, 1998