Simple Machines
By Ian Morris

Simple Machines is a novel of passage – of myth and unexpected consequence – set in Wisconsin during one year in the life of Tomas Zimmermann.

Simple Machines
By Ian Morris

NEWS: Simple Machines named finalist, Book of the Year Awards

“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

“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

“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

“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


Living in an apartment above the bike shop owned by his embittered father, Tomas 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 Simple Machines 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 belonging.

Ian Morris is the author of the novel When Bad Things Happen to Rich People and co-editor of The Little Magazine in Contemporary America. He lives in Chicago.


5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ * Fiction/Literary; Fiction/Coming-of-Age * October 2018 publication
$16.99 US/$22.99 CAN * ISBN-13: 978-1-948721-00-4 * Original Trade Paperback
Also available in ebook formats

Trade distributor: PGW

Publicity contact: Mary Bisbee-Beek, [email protected]

Selected Simple Machines reviews and interviews
Booklist 10/9/18
The Rumpus 9/14/18
Fiction Writers Review 10/8/18
New City 10/10/18
Book Q&As with Deborah Kalb 10/4/18

Simple Machines reading group guide
More buzz for Simple Machines


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