Konik, Michael

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KONIK, Michael

PERSONAL: Son of Eugene and Renice (a teacher) Konik. Education: New York University, B.F.A. Hobbies and other interests: Auto racing, poker, travel.

ADDRESSES: HomeLos Angeles, CA. Agent—Jennifer Joel, ICM, 40 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019. E-mail[email protected].

CAREER: Writer, singer, comedian, and painter. Has performed with punk rock band the Clitboys, as front man of Michael Konik and His Tasty Band, and with vocal jazz quintet Crescendo. Has performed with Los Angeles-based improvisational comedy troupe Los Hombres. Has done volunteer work as a literacy tutor and an animal therapist



The Man with the $100,000 Breasts and Other Gambling Stories, Huntington Press (Las Vegas, NV), 1999.

Nice Shot, Mr. Nicklaus: Stories about the Game of Golf, Huntington Press (Las Vegas, NV), 2000.

Telling Lies and Getting Paid: More Gambling Stories, Huntington Press (Las Vegas, NV), 2001.

In Search of Burningbush: A Story of Golf, Friendship, and the Meaning of Irons, McGraw-Hill (New York, NY), 2004.

Ella in Europe: An American Dog's International Adventures, Delacorte Press (New York, NY), 2005.

Also author of gambling column for Cigar Aficionado magazine and golf column for Sky magazine. Contributor of articles to other magazines and newspapers, including Travel & Leisure, Sports Illustrated, Men's Fitness, and New York Times.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Becoming Bobby, a novel.

SIDELIGHTS: Michael Konik has said that his parents—a schoolteacher mother and an autodidact father—encouraged him to become a Renaissance man. Toward that end, Konik has developed a wide range of interests, such as music, gambling, golf, and travel, and he has written about many of them, in addition to performing in a rock band as a teenager and with jazz groups and a comedy troupe as an adult. After writing extensively for periodicals, he began to publish books on golf and gambling. In Search of Burningbush: A Story of Golf, Friendship, and the Meaning of Irons focuses on the former interest but reflects the latter as well, as it tells of Konik's real-life golfing trip to Scotland, where the sport originated, with a casino poker dealer whom he met while participating in the World Series of Poker.

Dealer Don Naifeh is a devotee of the mystical novel Golf in the Kingdom by Michael Murphy, which describes a man's life-changing encounter with a golf teacher named Shivas Irons on a haunted course known as Burningbush. Naifeh is determined to find the real-life counterpart of Burningbush, although it turns out few Scots have heard of Murphy's novel; Konik accompanies Naifeh simply out of love for the game. The two play on courses all over Scotland, with Naifeh carrying on despite severe health problems. Their strong friendship is apparent throughout the book, leading USA Today reviewer Carol Herwig to comment, "Think Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid with golf carts." Although Booklist contributor Gilbert Taylor felt that Konik and Naifeh's story is "embellished," he did not consider that a flaw, saying, "the border between fact and fiction is amusingly vague here." He predicted that In Search of Burningbush would please many fans of Golf in the Kingdom.

Konik's next book is Ella in Europe: An American Dog's International Adventures. Konik and his Labrador-greyhound mix, Ella, toured Europe for six weeks, covering Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands. Ella was welcomed almost everywhere, including pubs, Venetian gondolas, and even upscale restaurants—a marked difference from the situation in the United States, where most places of business do not admit canines. "Ella tends to bring out the best in people," noted a Kirkus Reviews critic, who added of author Konik: "Whenever he finds himself drifting into the mawkish, the author takes a look at his dog and starts behaving himself." Library Journal reviewer Sheila Kasperek called Ella in Europe "a heartwarming story that will appeal to animal lovers and armchair travelers alike," while Booklist contributor George Cohen remarked that "For readers who aren't already dog lovers, this delightful book will make them so."



Booklist, April 1, 2004, Gilbert Taylor, review of In Search of Burningbush: A Story of Golf, Friendship, and the Meaning of Irons, p. 1348; December 15, 2004, George Cohen, review of Ella in Europe: An American Dog's International Adventures, p. 697.

Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 2004, review of Ella in Europe, p. 1134.

Library Journal, December 1, 2004, Sheila Kasperek, review of Ella in Europe, p. 146.

USA Today, June 23, 2004, Carol Herwig, "Burningbush Keeps Duffer Buddies on Course," p. C8.


Michael Konik Home Page, http://www.michaelkonik.com (April 12, 2005).

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