Our Books

Paragraph Line Books publishes outsider and absurdist literature.  We focus on experimental, hilarious, and readable fiction.

He

He

Author:
Jon Konrath is back with He, a collection of 100 intertwined micro-fictions. The flash fragments of raw emotion each begin with the titular word “he,” and descend in every possible direction, with great absurdity and hilarity. In an apocalyptic world filled with sex, violence, the macabre, UFOs, Mariah Carey belly-button-fetish videos, NyQuil jello shots, and beer-battered, deep-fried Lunchables, Jon Konrath’s fiction stands out for its complete lack of restraint, taste, and human decency. Drifting through a nonlinear journey of torment, confusion, and laugh-out-loud lunacy, each story’s narrator presents a capsule of their deranged life, filled with darkness, humor, emotion, and pain. He challenges our identity of who we are in the modern world of disillusionment, within a unique landscape escaping genre that can only be described as Konrathian. The extreme inappropriateness and humor provide a view of our emotions and ourselves. Both hilarious and dark, the experimental form of He is a bizarre mixture of insanity, emotion, and ridiculousness. More info →
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My Body Would be the Kindest of Strangers

My Body Would be the Kindest of Strangers

Author:
Fiona Helmsley’s My Body Would be The Kindest of Strangers begins with an epigram from Anne Sexton’s With Mercy for the Greedy and ends with an essay on the virtues of Courtney Love. In-between, her stories and essays breathe new life into the idea that the things that we are ashamed of often make for the best stories. Badly wounding her boyfriend in a fight over money for drugs, Helmsley leaves her beloved bloody, and the responsibility of getting him to the hospital on someone else. After plotting with a friend how to best get money for drugs, their decision to start charging their friends for sex leads to devastating results. Sam D’Allesandro once wrote, “I like living with the danger of what you know about me,” and the candidness on display in My Body Would be the Kindest of Strangers takes an incredible amount of guts. Including essays on art and persona, the rejection of the word “victim,” and an imagined meeting between Joan Vollmer Burroughs and Patti Smith at the Chelsea Hotel, My Body Would be the Kindest of Strangers proves Fiona Helmsley is as deft at turning her gaze outward as she is at turning it in on herself. More info →
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The Dove and the Crow

The Dove and the Crow

Author:
Meet the Crow: He’s been around for hundreds of years. He took scalps in the time of Cortez and Columbus. He skins men and makes rugs of their hides, lassos of their intestines. Right now he’s angry, and out for blood. Meet the Dove: Matina’s a whore at the Maison de Joie, with more mojo than you can shake a stick at. It’s been said that, with just one bat of her eyelashes, she can turn pennyroyal tea into tincture of opium. Meet the Tracker: Dognose Jones, the adopted son of a Cherokee medicine man, has a special gift. He can smell his prey like a bloodhound scenting its chase. Welcome to the Wild, Weird West. "Joseph Hirsch is scary good." - Jed Ayres, author of Peckerwood "A writer of uncommon talent." - Tom Kakonis, author of Treasure Coast and Criss Cross More info →
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After the Jump

After the Jump

$9.99
Author:
Frank Novak’s seven-year-old daughter Audrey awakes one night screaming, “Get her out of me!” When he asks who, she replies, “Me!” It is the beginning of an adventure for the father and daughter that includes shadowy agents, alien invaders, two computer geniuses named “Steve,” a homicidal child aviator, and Ronald Reagan. “…an easy affection for his characters and a sense of natural, unforced humor.” —Booklist “Sheppard’s characters pretend to not be funny, to not be emotional, to not need each other, when of course, they are, and they do. There’s a clarity to the chaos, the restraint, the vulnerability Sheppard creates, something so human and essential you can’t help but turn the page.” —Entropy Magazine More info →
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Atmospheres

Atmospheres

Author:
No plot summary can suggest the mesmerizing texture of this caustically hilarious, aggressively mordant, constantly surprising and terrifyingly fun summation of the death-by-choking-on-hubris of the American dream in the 21st Century. More info →
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Kentucky Bestiary

Kentucky Bestiary

Author:
Welcome to Tipple Hollow, a rural Appalachian town where a mysterious and seemingly magical man has set up camp, claiming he has the power to rescue America from all of its worries. The only problem is that he may not be what he appears to be, and his dark secret may cost the people of Tipple Hollow their very souls. More info →
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Thunderbird

Thunderbird

Author:
Absurdist writer Jon Konrath returns with another collection of hilarious and demented flash fiction. Descend into a manic world of Kafkaesque insanity and paranoia including FDA drone strikes against weight-loss clinics, amputee porn, a celebrity kickboxing match between Yo Yo Ma and Manuel Noriega, and hobby shop exorcisms. The author of the cult classic Rumored to Exist continues his surreal nonlinear journey through a nightmarish terrain of Jeff Spicoli-themed restaurants, indian casino abortion clinics, and an apocalyptic landscape laced with insane humor and nonstop non sequitur references to pop culture, medical technology, military machinery, and extreme heavy metal. This collection of 26 short stories and flash fiction pieces explores the human element through deranged comedy in what demonstrates Konrath's bizarre style of experimental writing. More info →
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Alpha Mike Foxtrot

Alpha Mike Foxtrot

Author:
The book is a great black-humored capture of the culture of the mid-00s, a Midwest full of oversized SUVs with yellow ribbon magnets on the back, with owners racking up credit card debt to keep the biggest TVs in every room of their house. This is the story of a guy named Joe, a soldier, but it starts after Iraq, after he got wounded and discharged, and has more to do with starting over, finding your duty in life after your duty in the armed forces has abruptly ended. He's got a mom with cancer and a brother that's schizophrenic, and instead of immersing himself in that drama, he thumbs his way to the Midwest, finds a room in an eclectic boarding house filled with lost souls, and stumbles into the only career for which his service trained him: stocking crates of junk merchandise at the local big-box store. More info →
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Sleep Has No Master

Sleep Has No Master

Author:
Can we tell the difference between our dreams and reality? In his latest collection of short stories and flash fiction, Jon Konrath dances between metafiction and nihilism in an absurdist world of geek culture where cancer is the latest fashion trend, books have been replaced in schools with episodes of Barney Miller, time travel is possible but annoying because of the commercials, and mutant krill/human hybrids perform special forces military operations in Iran. Each story either shows the narrator's past in a land called Bighikistan, or peeks at his subconscious in a series of insomnia-influenced dreams and nightmares. More info →
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The Earworm Inception

The Earworm Inception

Author:
A food truck craze involving human cannibalism. A Texas Governor who obsessively listens to Rebecca Black right before every state execution. A chainsaw factory that plays Ozzy Osbourne for its welding robots. An ex-girlfriend drunk-dialing from Kandahar, where she's starting a Shakey's Pizza restaurant chain. And an endless search to find the right mix of prescription medication to stop the memories of a bizarre past. More info →
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