- Mass Market Paperback: 560 pages
- Publisher: HarperTorch; Reprint edition (April 25 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060589469
- ISBN-13: 978-0060589462
- Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.8 x 17.1 cm
- Shipping Weight: 249 g
- Customer Reviews: 2,028 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #62,908 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values Mass Market Paperback – April 25 2006
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From the Back Cover
One of the most important and influential books written in 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 breathtaking meditation on how to live better. Here is the book that transformed a generation: an unforgettable narration of a summer motorcycle trip across America's Northwest, undertaken by a father and his young son. A story of love and fear -- of growth, discovery, and acceptance -- that becomes a profound personal and philosophical odyssey into life's fundamental questions, this uniquely exhilarating modern classic is both touching and transcendent, resonant with the myriad confusions of existence . . . and the small, essential triumphs that propel us forward.
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makes me want to get on a motorcycle and have my own adventure
Top international reviews
I feel; personally speaking, that this is a book I will need to re-read to fully understand all that it offers, but I can understand the criticism offered by others who find it puzzling, banal or just self-indulgence by the author.
The author was clearly very intelligent and well versed in Classical literature
Having completed the book, I found this to be one of, [if not the hardest book I have ever read]. The author seemingly was dealing with his own intellectual struggles with the duality of life and this is the context of the book, set within a motorcycle journey that he took previously and which he now repeats with his son and a couple of friends.
It is my take, that it was written to illustrate both the perspectives of himself now when 'recovered'; and also his recollections of earlier perspectives of his mind whilst he was facing these challenges. We would label these mental health challenges, [I think he records it as catatonic schizophrenia], but I like the alternative supposition posed by the author when he suggests a Zen perspective for the dichotomous struggles of his mind/personality.
He uses motorcycle maintenance as a metaphor for some of the aspects of our man-made constructs of human life and learning.
I have learnt from reading this book and would like to see it made into a film, if someone intuitive enough had the capacity to properly demonstrate the meanings and the lessons that Mr Pirsig was trying to tell us about.
I’ve always had quite a deep interest in Zen and it always seemed to me that putting it with motorcycle maintenance just wasn’t something i wanted to know about. But now i have a motorbike that needs some maintenance and this book turned up in Kindle daily deals for 99p i thought the time was right.
But oh, how wrong i’ve been all these years. It’s not a book about Zen or how to fix a motorbike while practising Zen, it’s a wholly different thing altogether.
In fact, it’s a road trip book where our narrator takes his son on a road trip on an old motorbike across the USA. But it’s a road trip with a difference.
At it’s heart it’s a book about insanity, the condition of society and its relationship to technology, and a fair bit of Greek philosophy as well; and it’s all broken up with the story of the road trip. And it’s simply, awesome.
With hindsight i’m happy that i’ve never read it until now as i’m much older and it really blended nicely with my own life experiences: having dropped out of a Philosophy degree course for much the same reasons and now many years later i can look back and see things more clearly.
And the ending in the ‘Afterword’ is what truly completes this book. It really is a masterpiece of writing.
One of those books that you keep and intend to read again one day...
A man is one a motorcycle road trip with his son through America - that part made me want to go and do one myself. I could imagine the character's joy riding along the open road with the wind rushing past them.
Whilst he is driving he uses the time to think through a line of philosophic thought, which is quite interesting, although some people in my bpokclub found it a bit too in depth at points.
The other part is a different person the writer used to be, before electro shock therapy completely changed his personality. That person embarked on a radical philosophy that ultimately led to him having a mental breakdown.
This version includes an afterward, part of which adds a melancholic edge to what has been read before, in the same way that the ending of 'The Body' (Or Stand by Me) does to that story.
Using a motorbike trip with his son as the backdrop for his philosophical musings and conjecture, the author contemplates his own existence, the meaning of quality and the nature of family relationships, applying his practical mechanical experiences to help understand his questions.
Despite some outdated 1970s language and the fact that I did not especially warm to the main character, this was a surprisingly entertaining and engaging read and worth pursuing, even when some of the philosophical meanderings became a little intense for my liking.
While on holiday with friends and his younger son the author uses to time to get back his former self although for a long time he believes he wants to lay the ghost of his former self to rest. He studies the philosophies and how his views have been affected by life and experience.
What I like about this book you will find parts of this book deep and need to be though about before moving on to the next chapter, but they are nicely balanced by sections that are lighter and a great travelogue about 1970's America.
If you are looking for something a deeper than just a page turner, but are not wanting a total technical book you still want the personal relationships, then I Recommended this book, if you want a quick light this book is not for you...
It demonstrates the values and the importance of quality excellently.
It provides personalities relevant to the subjects that we can choose whether we'd like to identify with, or observe.
Reflecting on this book provides the necessary potential for your horizons to expand.