Any book project that concerns itself with the challenging matters of philosophy is doomed if nearly all its contributors lack the proper background in philosophy or cannot translate thought to word with high fidelity. Such is the case with Lila's Child. Its writings were never intended to be published, and it shows. This is so plainly evident that Robert Pirsig himself makes a half-hearted attempt at damage control in his introduction, not exactly countering the notion that the book is awful, but to argue that it's more interesting that way.
Even if it were interesting, why someone would pay good money to read these postings as a book instead of for free over the internet...is hard to understand, unless the notes Pirsig adds makes them worth it. And quality annotations would be highly valued by anyone interested in the Metaphysics of Quality (MOQ) - Pirsig's muddled, re-packaged form of idealism that could dearly use some clarity. But Pirsig mostly misses this opportunity and manages only a scant clarification here and there, such as when he expresses his desire to reverse the impression left in Lila that all moral issues can be solved with his system, or when he categorically states that only people, and not animals, are social patterns of value under the MOQ.
A typical notation of Pirsig's consists of one or two clipped sentences that do little or nothing to further understanding, except perhaps in the overactive imagination of some readers, and on a couple of occasions he appears distressingly detached from his own ideas, such as when he makes a statement that is prefaced by the qualifier, 'If I understand the MOQ properly,...'.
The book does manage to capture some of the excitement of a crusading bunch who are under the illusion that Pirsig's ideas will change the world, although it becomes exasperatingly apparent that no two people can exactly agree to what those ideas are, or how they should be applied. One contributor, Doug Renselle, went on to invent Quantonics, an offshoot of the MOQ that is a worthy addition to the burgeoning field of psychoceramics.
Dan Glover does a serviceable job of rearranging the posts to make them more readable, and Struan Hellier makes some incisive comments, but beyond that the book is notable only for its confusions, illogic, and philosophical stabs in the dark.