Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Vous voulez voir cette page en français ? Cliquez ici.


or
Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
or
Amazon Prime Free Trial required. Sign up when you check out. Learn More
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Start reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Obtenez votre Kindle ici, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values [Paperback]

Robert Pirsig
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (323 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 21.00
Price: CDN$ 15.16 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
You Save: CDN$ 5.84 (28%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca. Gift-wrap available.
Want it delivered Thursday, August 21? Choose One-Day Shipping at checkout.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition --  
Hardcover CDN $21.00  
Paperback CDN $14.43  
Paperback, Sept. 22 2008 CDN $15.16  
Mass Market Paperback CDN $8.54  
Audio, CD, Audiobook, CD CDN $27.95  
Save Up to 90% on Textbooks
Hit the books in Amazon.ca's Textbook Store and save up to 90% on used textbooks and 35% on new textbooks. Learn more.
Join Amazon Student in Canada


Book Description

Sept. 22 2008 P.S.

"The real cycle you're working on is a cycle called 'yourself.'"

One of the most important and influential books of the past half-century, Robert M. Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is a powerful, moving, and penetrating examination of how we live and a meditation on how to live better. The narrative of a father on a summer motorcycle trip across America's Northwest with his young son, it becomes a profound personal and philosophical odyssey into life's fundamental questions. A true modern classic, it remains at once touching and transcendent, resonant with the myriad confusions of existence and the small, essential triumphs that propel us forward.


Frequently Bought Together

Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values + The Dharma Bums
Price For Both: CDN$ 27.43

  • The Dharma Bums CDN$ 12.27

Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed


Product Details


Product Description

From Amazon

In his now classic Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert Pirsig brings us a literary chautauqua, a novel that is meant to both entertain and edify. It scores high on both counts.

Phaedrus, our narrator, takes a present-tense cross-country motorcycle trip with his son during which the maintenance of the motorcycle becomes an illustration of how we can unify the cold, rational realm of technology with the warm, imaginative realm of artistry. As in Zen, the trick is to become one with the activity, to engage in it fully, to see and appreciate all details--be it hiking in the woods, penning an essay, or tightening the chain on a motorcycle.

In his autobiographical first novel, Pirsig wrestles both with the ghost of his past and with the most important philosophical questions of the 20th century--why has technology alienated us from our world? what are the limits of rational analysis? if we can't define the good, how can we live it? Unfortunately, while exploring the defects of our philosophical heritage from Socrates and the Sophists to Hume and Kant, Pirsig inexplicably stops at the middle of the 19th century. With the exception of Poincaré, he ignores the more recent philosophers who have tackled his most urgent questions, thinkers such as Peirce, Nietzsche (to whom Phaedrus bears a passing resemblance), Heidegger, Whitehead, Dewey, Sartre, Wittgenstein, and Kuhn. In the end, the narrator's claims to originality turn out to be overstated, his reasoning questionable, and his understanding of the history of Western thought sketchy. His solution to a synthesis of the rational and creative by elevating Quality to a metaphysical level simply repeats the mistakes of the premodern philosophers. But in contrast to most other philosophers, Pirsig writes a compelling story. And he is a true innovator in his attempt to popularize a reconciliation of Eastern mindfulness and nonrationalism with Western subject/object dualism. The magic of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance turns out to lie not in the answers it gives, but in the questions it raises and the way it raises them. Like a cross between The Razor's Edge and Sophie's World, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance takes us into "the high country of the mind" and opens our eyes to vistas of possibility. --Brian Bruya --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“An unforgettable trip.” (Time)

“The book is inspired, original. . . . The analogies with Moby-Dick are patent.” (The New Yorker)

“Profoundly important...full of insights into our most perplexing contemporary dilemmas.” (New York Times)

“It is filled with beauty. . .a finely made whole that seems to emanate from a very special grace.” (Baltimore Sun)

“A miracle . . . sparkles like an electric dream.” (The Village Voice)

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
First Sentence
I can see by my watch, without taking my hand from the leftgrip of the cycle, that it is eight-thirty in the morning. Read the first page
Explore More
Concordance
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book and think May 30 2004
Format:Paperback
This book opens:
And what is good, Phaedrus,
And what is not good--
Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?
If you are one of those that can keep your eyes open through this book then it will likely touch your mind and your life for years to come.
I first read this work as a high school student in an AP English class where we studied it, discussed it, disected it and taught it to one another. This book taught me how to think. And it taught me I can understand anything if it's written clearly enough and if I'm willing to put some thought into it.
Everything in this book interconnects...the characters involved, the setting, the philosophy--decoding the connections (such as wind and heights to phaedrus' appearance) is half the fun.
Reading it again after 15 years I find that some of my basic assumptions about the world and life stem from this book. I remember some of Pirsig's babies such as "stuckness" and "gumption" and they are thoughts I've loved to play with over the years. Other ideas--such as the split between eastern and western cultures and various philosophers--have perhaps subtily played with ME through the years. I enjoyed discovering this during my latest re-read.
It is so worth the effort to read about Pirsig's views on mechanization, the front windshield being compared to a TV screen, teaching english and so many other things. If you like to think (and why wouldn't you?) you will love this book.
That being said,I do feel that Pirsig's logic is flawed. And I enjoyed every step of figuring out why I believe the way I do. This book is a fascinating study into the personality of a proud intellectual grappling with subjectivity.
I say, read this book and think.
Was this review helpful to you?
By Isaac
Format:Paperback
... and, maybe, will never end.
This book caught me in this time of my life when I was "trapped in a crossroads": Too many options, too few means to take the right decision. I was searching for my own ultimate, ideal, perfect "quality"; the perfect road, the perfect direction. Gradually I started to feel more and more trapped, spending all of my time thinking about the "ideal solution" so that no time was left to actually IMPLEMENT it.
This is a whole deal of frustration. And then, a good friend of mine told me "you know what? You remind me very much of Phaedrus". I went "Who?", and this is how I got to know the book that is arguably the best book I have ever read.
I was amazed with each and every page in that book. Phaedrus' life-story, as described on these long, thoughtful chapters of wisdom, reminded me very much of myself. Same debates; same doubts; same choices; same fears. Same everything.
So is there a perfect truth? Absolute truth? Utopia? "The Perfect Quality"? The perfect road? The perfect path of life?
Before I read that book, I had a hunch that I know the answer. After I've read it, I realized that I was right. And that feeling was amazing; grab this book, read it, and I bet you'll feel the same way.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Life Altering March 14 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is truly amazing. It opens doors to questions that one never asks. For the days I spent reading this book I was lost in a daze of questions and thoughts which caused me to rethink everything I'd learned.
Pirsig takes the reader through a beautiful chautauqa that concerns itself with the question of truth and quality. Pirsig takes the reader on an adventure as he goes on a motorcycle trip with his son across the states. As he develops the ideas of his former self, Phaedrus, (before he was treated for mental illness) he faces an internal struggle between his true self and the new identity he has been forced to adopt. Beautifully written, the book mixes Pirsig's philosophical queries with the story of his journey and leads the reader to amazing epiphanies and insights. The story makes you realize how learning has forced students to imitate what is taught, rather than using their own thoughts to come up with original material.
A fascinating book, it seems to be one that everyone loves and many find life altering. Definetly a book to read again and again and again.
Was this review helpful to you?
3.0 out of 5 stars philosophical time capsule Feb. 3 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance for the first time a couple of years after it was published, when the eye-catching pink paperback cover was new to bookstores (I remember my parents talking about that bold color while we were on our own long trip of some kind). At that time, I was more or less the same age as the son of the book's narrator, Phaedrus, and of course I could not help but interpret the story from the younger man's perspective: this was an adventure story about a cross country trip, a boy learning about his father, an introduction to a life led by beliefs rather than instinct.
Now, as an adult, I see things through Phaedrus' eyes -- which is to say author Robert Persig's eyes, since in terms of concepts (if not geography) it is considered autobiographical -- and I can recognize many of Phaedrus' musings and thoughts as those of a man who is at once confident of and also seeking his place in the world.
The book is best known as a tribute or sequel to Henry David Thoreau's Walden, which Phaedrus refers to at several points. Others have pointed out, for example, that the protagonist's long (and not too interesting) discussion of what he carries in his knapsack recall Mr. Thoreau's own endless lists of the materials used to build his lakeside shack or the seeds he planted for his sustenance.
But there is much more to this book than that. The provocative blend of Eastern and Western thought, the way he generalizes regarding his philosophical predecessors (and gets some things wrong), the conclusions he draws and the way he sometimes fails to follow his own advice -- they blend to create a picture of an intelligent, complex, and flawed character. Not unlike many of the book's readers.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
Want to see more reviews on this item?
Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Cultural history
This book seemed to float just under the main stream culture in my parents generation. I have seen it on book shelves from time to time but never picked it up. Read more
Published 2 months ago by J. Ray Chretien
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible is an understatement.
I bought this book hoping for a good story provoking some deep thought at a tolerable pace. What I got was pages upon pages of the authors ramblings, often times pretentious while... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Chad
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must
This was a gift for a friend of mine. I have had this book for about 30 years and never tire of it.
Any thing that can make you feel this way about life must be good. Read more
Published 7 months ago by bill taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and Deep
Just a great read of two stories that merge together at the end. It is so much deeper than motorcycle maintenance.

I recommend this to anyone.
Published 12 months ago by Stewart Adams
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read
This isn't quite what I expected but I still enjoyed it. It is a novel crossed with a lot of psychology chatter that was occasionally over my head. Read more
Published 16 months ago by p00psicle
5.0 out of 5 stars Zen and the Art of Me
I have experienced this story twice. And both times they effected me.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is a journey written by Robert M. Pirsig. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Scoopriches
5.0 out of 5 stars profoundly life changing
I am dismayed at many of the reviews posted...I really do not understand!
As a college student some twenty years ago and having stumbled across this book..it changed my life. Read more
Published on Oct. 8 2011 by JetsonJoe
2.0 out of 5 stars Hard to get into
I read about 70 pages and found it just too hard to get into. I enjoyed some parts and then got lost with the rest. Going to take a break from it and maybe try it again later.
Published on Nov. 2 2010 by Moebuddy
1.0 out of 5 stars Dull, Schizophrenic, and Irrelevant
This is easily one of the worst books I have ever read.

1) It is incredibly dull. Having read thousands of books in my lifetime, I must say this could be the dullest... Read more
Published on March 15 2010 by Radek Dobias
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring
I remember reading this book when it first came out, but don't recall what I thought of it back then. Frankly, I'm amazed that I ploughed through this book when I was so young. Read more
Published on June 29 2009 by Shepherdess Extraordinaire
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Look for similar items by category


Feedback