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WVU Press

Barnes and Noble


Audiobook coming June 4 from Brilliance Publishing

SLIME LINE is the name of my first novel. It's also an endearing term for a processing line where fish get cut up. (It's also definitely not the word I use for all my passwords.) 


The book: A raw and trippy portrait of the diverse underclass of the commercial fishing industry, Slime Line is a tragicomedy of one college dropout’s attempts to remake himself into a hard-nosed workingman. 

Coming June 1.

Some sentences I liked writing: 

"Listen. Yesterday I got a little too deep in my feelings a/k/a bullshit. I see that. I know the stuff they say about millennials but I’m not your typical whiny summer job jackoff. Work, life, food, fuck, jump—the essentials all have four letters so we can write them on our knuckles and never forget."

"With two-foot swells, the sea is just a log with a bird on top. A log with three birds on top. A

tentacle of bullwhip kelp that could wrap around a house. A group of jellyfish like plastic grocery bags. Or maybe those were just grocery bags? An old buoy. The nose of a seal. A whale blowing in the distance. The flashers like beer cans in the water. Salmon writhing on the top lines. Mountains, far white cliffs, charter boats, an even smaller smallness and the comfort in that.

Praise from world-famous writers: 

A cult classic is born, Jake Maynard's inspiring Slime Line is a backward glance at what the American novel could achieve before it got highjacked by English departments. Stumbling through the stinking grist of the salmon processing slums, written with fish-gut fingers, and fueled by an impetuous, chemical verve of prose a la Thom Jones, Slime Line exposes Alaska's wage-slave work camps via the addled observations of its indefatigable narrator, one Garrett Deaver, a kid wielding a fillet knife manically passionate about a job that will leave him beaten, abandoned, and hiding from the police inside a floating trailer park while still attempting to solve the mystery of his father's death. Sinclair and Steinbeck would applaud this novel's eye, but it's Maynard's outrageous characters loosed upon the Alaskan seacoast that propel Slime Line into page-turning madness. Maynard gets every word right.

Lee Durkee, author of The Last Taxi Driver and Stalking Shakespeare. 

“Maynard's SLIME LINE is an arresting read that sinks its claws deep into your gut and dares you to blink. It's a story of hard work, loss, exploitation, and family set against a backdrop of blood, ice, and heavy machinery at an Alaskan fish processing plant peopled by misfits, scoundrels, and ghosts. You'll never look at a salmon filet the same way again.”


Kim Kelly, author of Fight Like Hell: The Untold Story of American Labor


“A bold and forceful and glorious book, like a beer bottle smashed to bits over your head, leaving you sticky with glass shards. Jake Maynard's Slime Line depicts the world how it really is, or one hard slice of it anyway: the puke-inducing Alaskan commercial fishing sector. You'll learn how to gut a salmon in one chapter, then how to lose a family in the next. In both cases, it's not pretty. ("Everything," as Maynard tells it, "comes out clean except for the heart.") This is an eviscerating read, at once improbably raw and real.”


Ben Purkert, Author of The Men Can’t be Saved

“Slime Line is a deeply compelling novel. Maynard's energetic prose is as gritty and raw as Alaska itself.”


Callan Wink, author of August


There aren't enough gross books about work. This is a story that hasn't yet been told, and thank goodness Maynard was in right place to bear witness and tell it. Slime Line is a wild romp, both compelling and educational. It will change how people approach fish processing—and work, even—in Alaska.


Brendan Jones, author of The Alaskan Laundry

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