Simple Machines

SimpleMachinesFullSizeLiving in an apartment above the bike shop owned by his embittered father, Tomas Zimmermann keeps company with Grey and Callie, his best friends since childhood.  At summer’s end, Tom leaves for Madison where he falls in with an unusual and ultimately destructive crowd.  As the book approaches a climax, Grey and Callie reappear with trouble of their own, and Tom is forced to choose between old loyalties and a new sense of belongin

Praise for Simple Machines:

Simple Machines is a novel motivated by movement. The characters travel on water and trek across land, they immigrate and move through time. They are invested in place like Steinbeck’s characters and are irreverent like Kerouac’s. Above all, the book focuses on one young man’s odyssey: coming of age.”
— New City 10/10/18 

 “Home, however, is the magnet with the strangest draw for Zim, and at its most basic, the novel is a story of leaving and return.”
— Fiction Writers Review 10/8/18 

 “Morris’ characters are quirky and often infuriating, but never forgettable.”
— Booklist 10/9/18 

“A vivid landscape of history and myth enriched by Ian Morris’s signature dark humor and keen eye for observation.”
— The Rumpus The Rumpus 9/14/18 

 “What a wondrous, immersive experience this novel by Ian Morris! Lyrical and yet consuming with trouble, danger, and fire. And funny, even experimental, farcical, picaresque—how does he do it all?!”
– Steve Yates, author, The Legend of the Albino Farm 

“Bicycles are simple yet beautiful machines, and so is Ian Morris’s latest novel, Simple Machines, which rolls on the timeless moving wheels of sunrises and sunsets; of the wilds of Lake Superior and Wisconsin country roadways; of those who stayed behind and those who break away; of the mythic struggle between Paul Bunyan and the Big Swede, and of the equally mythic struggle between a father and son coming to terms with each other and with the grief of a mother’s bewildering abandonment. Written in a graceful prose style touched at times with the lyricism of F. Scott Fitzgerald, this novel has all the ingredients of a great read, and of a classic in the making.”
– Joseph G. Peterson, author, Gunmetal Blue 

“Come listen to the story of Tomas Zimmermann as he navigates the waters between a silent father and the friends and women he should not trust, but somehow does. Hear how Tomas falls and gets back up again.
– Charles Rafferty, author of The Smoke of Horses 

“Authentic, touching, with the rueful tone of someone who has spent miles in the rain riding over cobblestones.”
– John Allis, U.S. National Road Champion and three-time Olympian 

“I’m sure there were a lot of times when he was glad I was there and times when he wished I wasn’t. There’s a lot of good and bad that comes when a father teaches a trade to his son.”
—  Book Q&As with Deborah Kalb 10/4/18: