292 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
Release Date:01 Jun 2024

Slime Line

A Novel

West Virginia University Press

A fresh 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.

Fleeing the aftermath of a bizarre college prank and mourning the death of his deadbeat dad, Garrett Deaver escapes Pennsylvania for a salmon processing plant in remote Alaska, a state he has only known from his father’s stories. There he renames himself Beaver—just like a beaver, he’s “an industrious motherf*cker”—and he connives to become a supervisor at Klak Fancy Salmon, LLC, thinking it will solve his psychological and financial issues. He soon falls in with an entrepreneurial Turkish fish processor and a cynical old woman who mends nets and tells filthy jokes. In these two, he finds solidarity, or even friendship, for the first time in his life.

But the methamphetamines Garrett uses to work long hours delude his thinking, and an old photo on the wall of a bar contradicts his dad’s stories. When sabotage at the plant sets his new friends at odds with management and an ensuing act of violence disrupts his schemes, Garrett is set on a path toward reckoning with his dad’s secret legacy and the mythos of rugged individualism he’d always believed.

RELATED TOPICS: Fiction, Literature
Jake Maynard is a fiction writer and essayist from Pennsylvania. He has held a few different jobs in the Alaskan commercial fishing industry. His writing appears in Southern Review, Guernica, Gulf Coast, Alaska Quarterly Review, the New Republic, the Baffler, the New York Times, and others. Slime Line is his first novel.
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