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A Simple Machine, Like the Lever

by

A Simple Machine, Like the Lever Cover

ISBN13: 9780982770412
ISBN10: 0982770413
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Nicholas Allander, 31 — carless and careerless — is trying to get his life on track while holding his head high. He's trying to pay off his debt, impress his girlfriend, keep his job, cast off his introversion, and accept the world's imperfections without abandoning his heart. Unsure of what moves to make, though, he considers growing his beard, taking up alcoholism, abandoning scrounging, and owning an automobile — before too much slips by. All the while he clings to his bicycle, a simple machine whose purpose and workings he grasps.

Nick's struggle to position his aesthetic within the world is the story of a perfectionist who is far from perfect, who is considerate but clumsy, and may be invisible. Like Nick, A Simple Machine, Like the Lever is short, toned, observant, generous, purposeful, and brimming with bicycle wisdom.

Review:

"Clever, poignant and unexpectedly funny, Schneider's A Simple Machine, Like The Lever masterfully evokes the simple pleasures — and harsh realities — of keeping to one's ideals in a world where speed is revered and complexity is king." David Rozgonyi, author of Goat Trees: Tales from the Other Side of the World

Review:

"Schneider's literary cycling uplift is enough to counteract the weight of the world. He nails the essence of being a cyclist and of being young — the yearning, the detachment, the attempted grace, the uncertainty, the gray confusion." Jonny Waldman, founder of Zero Per Gallon

Review:

"All the fresh pleasures of taking a bike ride are to be found in A Simple Machine, Like the Lever. The novel is by turns innocent, lyrical, wistful, funny, and poignant. Necessity has made its observant narrator, Nick, hopelessly thrifty, but what has made him so bafflingly sweet?" Mary Rechner, author of Nine Simple Patterns for Complicated Women

Review:

"Evan Schneider's debut novel, A Simple Machine, Like a Lever, is exactly that: a deceptively simple, efficient, and potentially revolutionary machine. Like its co-protagonists — Nick and his bicycle — the novel cranks out quietly subversive, smart, and funny prose that crackles with insights on the current human condition; a book that, while never polemical, seduces you into fully re-examining the stuff of your life and somehow convinces you that the answer lies in reducing, reusing, and riding . . . just riding." Steven Church, author of The Day After The Day After: My Atomic Angst

Review:

"Just as a simple machine is defined as 'a mechanical device that changes the direction or magnitude of force', A Simple Machine, Like the Lever is a literary creation that changes the reader's intellect and heart. With sincere and engaging narration, Schneider unfolds the spirit and the flaws, the sorrows and the loves of an endearing character whose honest observations transcend the conventional cultural obsession with profit, convenience, and speed. Like a child lifted upon a teeter-totter, like a rider propelled upon a bicycle, the reader is carried back to the invaluable world one can never purchase, and given again the too-often forgotten splendors of everyday life." Erzsébet Gilbert, author of Logodædaly, or, Sleight-of-Words

Review:

"We aren't told much about where Nick has come from or where he's going. Much like you might write a journal, he gives us a series of ordinary moments in the present, by turns cute, mundane, funny, and pitiful. But they are told with such a refreshing honesty that you root for Nick even as you may question his decisions. Self-consciously and without angst or sarcasm, Nick lives in the details. Narrating how carefully he rolls up his pants before a ride, explaining why he wears two pairs of socks instead of one, parsing the logic of his plan to win Marie back — the simple machine here is not the bike. The machine the title references is Nick himself, and by extension, his quiet, elegantly dispassionate story." Virginia Thayer, Portland Mercury

Review:

"This unforgettable first novel effectively taps into bike culture — but on a deeper level it's about the emotional and financial deficits faced by our recession-battered generation. The climactic scene at the Oregon Coast is both cathartic and haunting... The physical book itself is beautiful, complete with French flaps. Forget about using them for bookmarks, though — you won't put this one down." Justin Hocking, author of Life and Limb, and Beach 90th

About the Author

Evan P. Schneider is the founding editor of Boneshaker: A Bicycling Almanac. His work has appeared in The Normal School, Propeller, False, GER, on the McSweeney's website, and in other publications. He has received a fellowship from KHN Center for the Arts, and in 2006, his poem "Traffic" was printed as a limited-edition broadside by New Leaves Press. Born in New Mexico and raised in Colorado, Schneider now lives in Portland, Oregon.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

daisyblue, September 8, 2012 (view all comments by daisyblue)
This is a lovely, lyrical book that makes me want to curl up on my couch and drink tea and read. The prose is wonderfully poetic. I enjoy literary fiction, and I'm an avid cyclist, and it's been a delicious treat to read a fine book with so much cycling. Thanks to Evan for sharing his work with us.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9780982770412
Author:
Schneider, Evan P.
Publisher:
Propeller Books
Copyright:
Publication Date:
November 1, 2011
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Pages:
179

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Related Subjects


Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Small Press » Fiction and Prose

A Simple Machine, Like the Lever Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 179 pages Propeller Books - English 9780982770412 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Clever, poignant and unexpectedly funny, Schneider's A Simple Machine, Like The Lever masterfully evokes the simple pleasures — and harsh realities — of keeping to one's ideals in a world where speed is revered and complexity is king."
"Review" by , "Schneider's literary cycling uplift is enough to counteract the weight of the world. He nails the essence of being a cyclist and of being young — the yearning, the detachment, the attempted grace, the uncertainty, the gray confusion."
"Review" by , "All the fresh pleasures of taking a bike ride are to be found in A Simple Machine, Like the Lever. The novel is by turns innocent, lyrical, wistful, funny, and poignant. Necessity has made its observant narrator, Nick, hopelessly thrifty, but what has made him so bafflingly sweet?"
"Review" by , "Evan Schneider's debut novel, A Simple Machine, Like a Lever, is exactly that: a deceptively simple, efficient, and potentially revolutionary machine. Like its co-protagonists — Nick and his bicycle — the novel cranks out quietly subversive, smart, and funny prose that crackles with insights on the current human condition; a book that, while never polemical, seduces you into fully re-examining the stuff of your life and somehow convinces you that the answer lies in reducing, reusing, and riding . . . just riding."
"Review" by , "Just as a simple machine is defined as 'a mechanical device that changes the direction or magnitude of force', A Simple Machine, Like the Lever is a literary creation that changes the reader's intellect and heart. With sincere and engaging narration, Schneider unfolds the spirit and the flaws, the sorrows and the loves of an endearing character whose honest observations transcend the conventional cultural obsession with profit, convenience, and speed. Like a child lifted upon a teeter-totter, like a rider propelled upon a bicycle, the reader is carried back to the invaluable world one can never purchase, and given again the too-often forgotten splendors of everyday life."
"Review" by , "We aren't told much about where Nick has come from or where he's going. Much like you might write a journal, he gives us a series of ordinary moments in the present, by turns cute, mundane, funny, and pitiful. But they are told with such a refreshing honesty that you root for Nick even as you may question his decisions. Self-consciously and without angst or sarcasm, Nick lives in the details. Narrating how carefully he rolls up his pants before a ride, explaining why he wears two pairs of socks instead of one, parsing the logic of his plan to win Marie back — the simple machine here is not the bike. The machine the title references is Nick himself, and by extension, his quiet, elegantly dispassionate story."
"Review" by , "This unforgettable first novel effectively taps into bike culture — but on a deeper level it's about the emotional and financial deficits faced by our recession-battered generation. The climactic scene at the Oregon Coast is both cathartic and haunting... The physical book itself is beautiful, complete with French flaps. Forget about using them for bookmarks, though — you won't put this one down."
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