The Unexpected Guest (2020)

An all-true memoir of befriending and housing Fisher King Mike, a neighborhood homeless man. The Unexpected Guest is a story of family, friendship and the meaning of home.

“L.A. couple Michael Konik and Charmaine Clamor gradually welcome Fisher King Mike, homeless and mentally ill, off the streets into their home—sparking an oft times frustrating, funny, and poignant life-changing event in all three lives. Heartwarming, compassionate, and well-crafted, The Unexpected Guest gives voice to those rarely heard, compels you to look closer when you want to look away, and reveals the joy of caring for others.”
–– Pete Earley, author of Crazy: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness, 2007 Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize


“What a pleasure to read a book that is quick in pace, absent of cynicism, and packed with conversations and stories we desperately need. The Unexpected Guest exceeded my already high expectations. Michael Konik does something that few journalists, let alone politicians even attempt to do. He humanizes the people who are without shelter. I won’t be soon forgetting ‘Fisher King Mike.’”
–– Dave Zirin, bestselling author and editor at The Nation
The Unexpected Guest is a deft meditation on the ordinary magic that happens when you open your heart and home, one small step at a time. Poignant, timely, compulsively readable. Konik’s story of family lingers long after the last page.”
–– Jack McCallum, New York Times bestselling author of Dream Team: How Michael, Magic, Larry, Charles, and the Greatest Team of All Time Conquered the World and Changed the Game of Basketball Forever


“Just as Fisher King Mike embedded himself in Michael Konik’s home, this story quickly establishes an enduring residence in a reader’s mind. The Unexpected Guest illuminates an urgent topic with an easy conviviality.”
–– John Temple, author of American Pain: How a Young Felon and His Ring of Doctors Unleashed America’s Deadliest Drug Epidemic 

Report from the Street:
Voices of the Homeless (2018)

MK Punky embarked on a yearlong listening project with the intent to capture the stories of individuals who live on the street in Los Angeles. This simple goal–to engage when others are more comfortable avoiding eye contact, let alone starting a conversation–led to a collection of poems MK hopes will act as “a wakeup call from the mute.”

Year 14 (2017)

A comedy, a tragedy, and a cautionary tale

The narrator of Year 14 was a young man when a revolution changed his homeland forever—a new regime, a new calendar, a new flag, a new anthem and new money. Thirteen years later he has a comfortable job as an editor for the state-sanctioned newspaper, a loving wife, and an unswerving belief in the benevolence of his country’s Caring Leaders. But when a new Information Gatherer is assigned to the newsroom—a peculiar man-child named Tup-Tup, the son of an important government minister—he’s forced to face the truth about his sacred homeland.

By turns frightening and absurdly funny, this timeless novel offers a hopeful, if hard-won, affirmation of humanity’s indomitable spirit.

How the Revolution Started (2017)

Revolutionary Words for Revolting Times

In a political climate unfriendly to the progress of Social Justice, with an administration unsympathetic to forward-thinking citizens, critical, smart and funny opposition is more essential than ever. In “How the Revolution Started: Essays and Impertinent Thoughts,” award-winning author Michael Konik offers a fast-flowing collection of his most pointed cultural critiques, exposing the underlying hypocrisy and foolishness that has created an American politics of hatefulness.

The Termite Squad (2016)

“Such a talented and creative writer! The structure of the book is fun, fast moving, brave, and perfect for the story.” – SIMON & SCHUSTER

“I can see why everyone is excited about this intriguing book.” – FSG

“A very talented writer. An artist.” – DUTTON

“A fascinating and strangely realistic near future, drawing the reader in with surprising and imaginative features.” – RANDOM HOUSE

“The author has a lively imagination and writes with a keen attention to comedy.” – ST. MARTIN’S

“Not only does the author construct an elusive narrator and setting, she executes a cutting satire of what the future may look like. I was impressed that all of this was presented in the voice of a young, idealistic woman.” – KNOPF

“A well rendered projection of what would happen if today’s techno-libertarians ever really had the chance to instill their values into society. Chilling and provocative.” – LITTLE BROWN

Making It (2014)

“Brilliantly funny, astonishingly upsetting. You can only pray this is fiction.” — New Yorker Review of Books

“Add Konik’s name to Sinclair Lewis, Nathanael West and William Goldman on the list of Hollywood’s greatest satirists. Scorching, burning writing that blurs the line between reality and imagination.” — Publishing Weekly

“Ingenious and arresting, but probably unsuitable for general circulation collections.” — MLA Library Journal

Becoming Bobby (2012)

The darkly satirical story about what happens when an average guy is overwhelmed by fantasies of being a Vegas big shot. Brutally funny fiction from “the Dean of the world’s gambling writers.” — Detroit Free-Press.

Reefer Gladness (2010)

“Whether it’s passing down and synthesizing long-held stoner mantras or recreating believable, emotionally stunted characters struggling to balance escapism and real world responsibility, Konik’s short, punchy prose tackles common misconceptions of marijuana (the kind he once had before his first hit) with the likeable tone of cynicism and common sense reasoning.” — Culture

“An original work that’s part fiction part social commentary.” — Los Angeles Magazine.

“This is where the personal meets the political, as those fears are internalized from a culture that’s criminalized what Konik and others insist is an essentially harmless substance. One that (with a more tolerant attitude toward legalization) could have very real medicinal, social and even taxable uses.” — Las Vegas Sun

“Reefer Gladness is a book that everyone can relate to. It is smart, funny, and honest, and appeals to readers of a wide demographic.” — Nug Magazine

“Thoughtful and persuasive, Konik’s style is sure to make the choir and skeptics alike gain a new thought. Reefer Gladness is a choice and solidly recommended read, not to be missed.” — Midwest Book Review

“This late-blossoming stoner has a potent voice that demands to be heard.” —

The Smart Money: How the World’s Best Sports Bettors Beat the Bookies Out of Millions (2006)

“This fascinating inside look at the gambling biz reveals so much information that you would swear the author was breaking some sort of Omerta-like code of silence. Konik conceals the identities of the principle players behind fake names, but his fictionalized stand-ins are so compelling (especially the Brain Trust chieftan, Rick “Big Daddy” Matthews) that the book feels like a mixture of true-life expose and high-stakes fiction (fans of Puzo’s Fools Die may see some similarities but only in a good way). A definite must-read for the gambling crowd.” — Booklist

“Author Michael Konik’s memoir ‘The Smart Money’ is sure to set the nation’s sports gamblers on their wallets with its portrayal of a betting king named Rick “Big Daddy” Matthews.” — Las Vegas Review-Journal

“Michael Konik might have been best known for two previous books related to gambling –“The Man With the $100,000 Breasts and Telling Lies and Getting Paid”. He could have been recognized more for the fact that he was the first to do a live TV commentary on poker. Some folks recognized him as a musical talent. But now he’s sure to be known as the man who wrote about the kind of life that dreams are made of. This book provides a rare glimpse inside a unique, sometimes strange world of new generation pleasure-seekers, and it deserves to be read by today’s players.” —

“Anybody who has played the office football pool knows how easy it is to fancy yourself an expert handicapper, and just how hard it is to outsmart the Las Vegas line. Michael Konik knows these gut-wrenching ups and downs all too well. [He] deftly builds suspense throughout his fast-paced account. Konik’s fascinating memoir rings true.” — Palm Beach Post

“Big Daddy is one cool customer…he’s also one of the most feared and loathed men in Las Vegas. Much of this memoir tells how Konik goes from low to high roller as he perfects his front as a ‘square,’ or unsophisticated gambler, while shuffling stacks of cash from casino to casino and laying huge wagers for his bosses.” — New York Times

“Penned by an operative in the world’s most successful gambling ring, ‘The Smart Money’ is destined to become a gambling classic.” — Las Vegas Advisor

“Konik’s first-person narrative is reminiscent of a classic Chandler detective thriller. ‘The Smart Money’ is a riveting and juicy look at the high-stakes world of betting. Grade: A.” — Rocky Mountain News

Ella in Europe: An American Dog’s International Adventures (2005)

“A highly convivial tour with dog. These pages offer plenty of easy fun, but they tug at something deeper as well. Ella tends to bring out the best in people, and she certainly brings it out in her owner.” — Kirkus Review

“It’s hard to imagine the stone-hearted reader who could remain unmoved by Ella and the feelings she engenders in Konik and those she encounters. ” — Publisher’s Weekly

“For readers who aren’t already dog lovers, this delightful book will make them so.” –Booklist

“A heartwarming story that will appeal to animal lovers and armchair travelers alike.” –Library Journal

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In Search of Burningbush: A Story of Golf, Friendship and the Meaning of Irons (2004)

“Few authors write as passionately about the game of golf as Michael Konik. In Search of Burningbush communicates why the greatest sport in the world has touched so many lives so deeply, including mine.” — Jack Nicklaus

“Golf is a game of Spirit and spirits. This true story, which reads like good fiction, describes a journey into golf’s magical realms.” — Michael Murphy, Author of Golf in the Kingdom

“I thoroughly enjoyed reading Michael Konik’s In Search of BurningBush. As the story of one man’s quest to experience the ultimate in golf in Scotland despite all odds, it is an inspirational must read for golf fanatics.” — Ty M. Votaw, LPGA Commissioner

“Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid with golf.” — USA TODAY

Telling Lies and Getting Paid: Gambling Stories (2002)

“It’s a shame bookstores will place ‘Telling Lies and Getting Paid’ in the ‘gambling book’ section, because it should be shelved amongst the other great literature of our times. Gambling merely serves as the canvas upon which Konik paints tales of the human condition.” — Detroit Free Press

“You’ll search the whole bookstore and never top Konik’s gambling writing.” — Las Vegas Review-Journal

“Michael Konik knows the gambling milieu from the inside. His collection of far-out gambling stories is both amazing and authentic.” — London Independent

Nice Shot, Mr. Nicklaus : Stories About the Game of Golf (2000)

“Michael Konik tells fun stories that all golfers can relate to and some that they’ll even envy. He’s a terrific storyteller — and believe me, because I’ve watched him, he can really putt!” — Dave Pelz, Golf Channel Short-Game Expert

“A good read. I enjoyed the book’s entertaining stories.” — Phil Mickelson, 2004 Masters Champion

“Konik’s sense of humor and easygoing style make this one of the most pleasurable golf books available.” — Golfweek.

The Man with the $100,000 Breasts : And Other Gambling Stories (1999)

“Michael Konik knows the world of high-rollers, big losers, hustlers and handicappers as well as anyone anywhere, and the twenty-six tales of risk and reward he recounts might read like fiction, but they’re not.” — Dallas Morning News

“If we were gambling men, we’d give big odds you’ll like Konik’s book.” — Maxim

“Konik has a deft touch with the personality profile.” — Chicago Sun-Times

“Immensely entertaining and informative – a truly stylish and accurate glimpse into the world of professional gambling.” — Midwest Book Review

“Entertaining, frequently outrageous, a unique entry in gambling literature, and altogether consistently wonderful.” — Blackjack Extra