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Humble Assessment

Sea Monkeys

Eat Jellied Eels

Reverend America

Enigmatic Pilot

Sinister Miniatures

Private Midnight






Humble Assessment wrap around
The Humble Assessment (2013) Lazy Fascist Press

"At once, names like Ionesco, Beckett, and Albee come to mind, but then are topped by the understanding that this voice has an even more unsettling, hard-hitting edge." -Phil Abrams

Instructions for Reading The Humble Assessment:

Step one: Take a deep breath.

Meet Mr. Humble. He is the sixteenth person to be interviewed for the position of Financial Controller. He needs this job. But he's not going to beg. Yet. Follow Kris Saknussemm, the masterful creator of Zanesville, Sinister Miniatures and Reverend America, on a dark and narrow path through the malign terrors of the modern American corporate machine. He will show you a fish bowl full of crickets. He will show you a tarantula as big as a suburban home. He will show you a woman in a black lace bra, a man in a gorilla mask. The Humble Assessment is a masterpiece of modern theatre. In a few short pages, Saknussemm will take you in, make you comfortable, then rip your heart out before you even notice he's been holding a dagger the whole time. Meet Mr. Humble. They've been watching him his whole life.

Sea Monkeys
Sea Monkeys: A Memory Book (2012)
Soft Skull Press

Bowling lessons with a hunchback. A bizarre first-grade teacher who hallucinates in class. A tragically innocent family blind-sided by flower power, and the salvation of soul music at a radio station straight out of a Quentin Tarantino version of The Twilight Zone. These are just a few of the luminous characters and conjurings Kris Saknussemm delivers in his kaleidoscopic Sea Monkeys—the story of his growing up in the counterculture San Francisco Bay Area and central California in the 1960s.

Known for his genre-bending works Zanesvilleand Private Midnight, Saknussemm now gives us a highly original take on the nonfiction memoir, in which he shatters the stained glass windows of his father's church and mixes the pieces with ghost cartoons, the Cronkite contradictions of Civil Rights demonstrations, and ads for laxatives during a strange hiatus in American sanity when Sly Stone and Perry Como could both be in the Top 10. Honest, funny, and at times heartbreaking, Sea Monkeys is the no-holds-barred tale of one of our most exciting contemporary authors’ own coming of age, and the perfect follow-up to Saknussemm’s Zanesville, whichBooklist hailed as “one of the most creative, edgy, and entertaining novels spawned in a decade.”


Eat Jellied Eels and Think Distant Thoughts
Eat Jellied Eels and Think Distant Thoughts (2012)
PS Publishing


Is it any surprise then that conspiracy theories may be the default religion of our apocalapsed times? Disintegration and chaos may just be show biz. Maybe everything really is connected, if we could but see the vast jigsaw intelligence that lies behind the spastic marionette theater we call reality.

This strange work of dangerous scholarship is a sparkle from the wheel of Saknussemm’s masterwork in progress: The Lodemania Testament. Deemed too weird by Random House, PS Publishing is proud to make this puzzle piece of his mythology available to readers just as he intended it.

Q & A

  • What if Sam Cooke wasn’t murdered by a wannabe actress hooker in a fleabag motel in Watts—but was really executed by the FBI?

  • What if there was more advanced technology at work in medieval Ireland than we can imagine today?

  • What if there was considerably more than meets the eye to the death of President James Garfield, the first American President to be assassinated?

  • What if all the cartoon and animated characters—all the fuzzy creatures, the plastic figures—the toys, the dolls that surround us . . . what if they had us surrounded?

  • What if Kris Saknussemm isn’t as crazy as some people think?

Reverend America
Reverend America (2012)
Dark Coast Press

MATHIAS TRUE IS REVEREND AMERICA. CALLING YOU BACK TO THE HOLY MUSIC OF LIFE. IT IS TRUE! LOVE IS YOUR ONLY REDEEMER! Rocky is the road. Weary is the way. Lay your burden down. Come be Healed by this Glorious WHITE KNIGHT! Mathias is better known as Casper, an albino preacher who had healing ways in his youth. Back in his hometown of Joplin, Missouri seeking rest from years of hurt, Casper soon finds himself with the pregnant teenage prostitute Angelike outrunning their pasts on the great road south. Dangers follow them, characters as crazed and colorful as America’s own history greet them, and Casper finds himself on the unexpected road to salvation. Singing in a space between Flannery O’Connor and Carl Hiaasen, Reverend America mixes the old with the new. A kicking and spitting true-to-life tale that is Saknussemm’s most heart-rending to date.

Sinister Miniatures
Sinister Miniatures (2011)
Lazy Facist Press

"James Ellroy meets David Lynch." - Publisher's Weekly

"One is hard pressed, while reading him, to recall the existence of any other reality." - The Boston Review

". . . an original blend of noir procedural, horror, and dark eroticism." - School Library Journal

"Kris Saknussemm has a voice like no one else's." - Joan Wickersham, National Book Award Finalist

"SINISTER MINIATURES is as beautiful as Bizarro gets--a galaxy of black holes rendered in stained glass. Kris Saknussemm's prose mixes intimate, delicate detail and molten intensity, taking you through powerful and mystifying experiences to deliver too-human truths. Twisted, smart, strange, earnest, and awesome--SINISTER MINIATURES reads like the mutant spawn of Bradbury and Vonnegut, born after a particularly nasty night at the S & M club." - Jeremy Robert Johnson, author of Angel Dust Apocalypse and Extinction Journals

"Reading Kris Saknussemm is like watching killer wombats drag babies out of strollers and eat them in alleyways." - Cameron Pierce, author of Ass Goblins of Auschwitz and The Pickled Apocalypse of Pancake Island


Enigmatic Pilot
Enigmatic Pilot: A Tall Tale Too True (2011)
Del Ray

Enigmatic Pilot is Kris Saknussemm’s outrageously brilliant yet profoundly moving exploration and excavation of the American dream—and nightmare.
In 1844, in a still-young America, the first intimations of civil war are stirring throughout the land. In Zanesville, Ohio, the Sitturd family—Hephaestus, a clubfooted inventor; his wife, Rapture, a Creole from the Sea Islands; and their prodigiously gifted six-year-old son, Lloyd, whose libido is as precocious as his intellect—are forced to flee the only home they have ever known for an uncertain future in Texas, whence Hephaestus’s half-brother, Micah, has sent them a mysterious invitation, promising riches and wonders too amazing to be entrusted to paper.

Thus begins one of the most incredible American journeys since Huck Finn and Jim first pushed their raft into the Mississippi. Along the way, Lloyd will learn the intricacies of poker and murder, solve the problem of manned flight, find—and lose—true love, and become swept up in an ancient struggle between two secret societies whose arcane dispute has shaped the world’s past and threatens to reshape its future. Each side wants to use Lloyd against the other, but Lloyd has his own ideas—and access to an occult technology as powerful as his imagination.

Private Midnight
Private Midnight (2009)

By the author of Zanesville, a seductive story of grit, gunplay, vampirism, and a bit of bondage.

Detective Birch Ritter is a man on the edge-of himself. His past is filled with secrets, shadows, guilt, and ghosts. Then a dubious police buddy he hasn't seen in a year introduces him to a mysterious woman who says her business is shadows. What she knows about what lies between the darkness and the light inside men is more than Ritter may want to find out, and much more than he can resist learning. It's said that to try to forget is to try to conceal, and concealing evidence is a crime. But maybe revelation is another kind of crime-against nature.

Kris Saknussemm, the widely acclaimed author of the sci-fi smash Zanesville, now delves into another genre, and another world-a world where even the sunlight is shadowy and where deviancy is the norm. Private Midnight is a journey into the seedy, sexy, underbelly of life-crime noir for a new generation.

Zanesville: A Novel (2005)


Futuristic bioweapon or good old-fashioned messiah? Reincarnated ex-porn star or mutant information-age revolutionary? The man who awakens in New York City’s Central Park with no memory of his identity and the enigmatic message FATHER FORGIVE THEM F carved into the flesh of his back may be all of these things and more.

Taken in (and then expelled) by a group of freedom fighters battling the soul-deadening Vitessa Cultporation, Clearfather is a stranger in an even stranger land. Following tantalizing clues that point to the gnomic Stinky Wiggler, and pursued by murderous Vitessa agents, Clearfather embarks on a surreal odyssey of self-discovery across an America that resembles a vast amusement park designed by some unholy trinity of Walt Disney, Hunter S. Thompson, and Hieronymus Bosch. 

Accompanying Clearfather is an unforgettable cast of characters–including Aretha Nightingale, an ex-football-playing drag queen; Dooley Duck and Ubba Dubba, hologram cartoon characters sprung outrageously to life; and the ethereally beautiful Kokomo, whose past is as much a mystery as Clearfather’s own.

By turns hilarious and deeply moving, a savage, fiercely intelligent satire that is also a page-turning adventure and a transcendent love story, Zanesville marks the arrival of a brilliant new voice in fiction.


The Color of Compulsion
The Colors of Compulsion (2012)
Les Éditions du Zaporogue

Many know Kris Saknussemm as the amazing writer behind "Zanesville" and "Private Midnight, " but he is also an incredibly talented and polymorphous artist. Le Zaporogue is really proud to present Saknussemm's graphic work, which is as exciting and mind-boggling as his prose. To say the least.


West of 98
West of 98: Living and Writing in the New American West
antique children
Antique Children: Kingdom Freaks & Other Divine Wonders
bizarro starter purple
Bizarro Starter Kit (Purple)
Mammoth Erotica 8
The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica 8

Foreign Translations

Russian Zanesville
Zanesville (Russia)
french private midnight
Private Midnight (France)
Italian Private Midnight
Private Midnight (Italy)