Zen and Now: On the trail of Robert Pirsig and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Hardcover – Sep 9 2008
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“Zen and Now is a story worth telling, about a journey worth sharing–an entertaining, inspiring, and rewarding read.” –Neil Peart
“You don’t have to be familiar with the original book to enjoy Richardson’s tale, nor do you have to know how to ride a motorcycle.”
— Ottawa Citizen
“Like any really good road trip that’s also about a search for truth, it’s filled with revelation and surprise… and ultimately draws you in with its seductive rhythm and superior storytelling.”
— The Toronto Sun
About the Author
Mark Richardson is the editor of the Wheels section of the Toronto Star. He turned forty-two at the end of his journey, which he amusingly explains is the “meaning of life,” according the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Zen and Now is his first book. He lives in Toronto.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Would probably be helpful, but certainly not necessary, to have read Pirsig's classic 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance' at some point in your life. Might have slightly more meaning if you ride a motorcycle, or have ridden one in the past, for a long enough distance and time to realize every machine needs maintenance. And a full appreciation of this book might be deepened if you actually learned how to do motorcycle or other mechanical maintenance, however minimal.
Mark Richardson took the time he needed to write an excellent book. That book, 'Zen and Now', will teach you some very interesting things, provide you with a wide range of wry and humble observations on the human condition and make you laugh out loud.
A real piece of quality I'll be sharing with all my best friends. (Includes some folks who'll never ride or maintain a motorcycle in their entire life.)
And that's from a Canadian, eh.
The narrative and discription of the ride and Marks adventures were flawless. Exellent job Mark.
In 2004 Mark Richardson set out on a motorcycle trip retracing Pirsig’s journey and writes a book about it.
The first book is the classic bestseller Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, a tale that has achieved cult status with its ideological impact and lasting effect on the majority of its readers. Pirsig brings us a journey where he and his young son Chris embark on a lengthy motorcycle trip. Part of this story is Pirsig trying to reconnect with his son, another part is Pirsig attempting to rebuild his past memories partially obliterated by electro-shock, and another part is Pirsig expounding on his philosophical musings on Quality. All this in a book that openly admits it may not be entirely factual on the events, the zen, or the maintenance.
But even with these caveats, Pirsig still created an instant cultural touchstone when it was published in 1974. Very swiftly after premiering, Pirsig became an instant celebrity in bookish and intellectual circles, with the added byproduct of groupies stopping by his house before embarking on their own version of following his trail.
Flashforward to 2004 and Pirsig is divorced from his first wife and now remarried and the father of a twenty-something. A boat trip led to an extended stay in Europe and along the way the sequel book Lila came out. That volume filled with even more philosophy did not fare as well with the critics.
Into all this history and drama and travelogue and thinking comes Toronto Star journalist Mark Richardson.Read more ›
Mark does a good job of intertwining his story with the original Zen story, as well as followups to the characters in the original book and in his own book.
His writing reminds me of Tracy Kidder's style - who I like a lot. (Soul of a New Machine, House, Hometown). Hope to see more from Mr. Richardson.
Most recent customer reviews
A great old classic. And that is why it only got 3 stars. It's dated. Still, it is written well and the messages are timeless. A good read.Published 18 months ago by Armchair Reader
Very interesting, I have always heard of the "Zen and the art of motorcycle repair", a book from my parents generations. Read morePublished on June 14 2014 by J. Ray Chrétien
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You could not be any further from Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance by reading that book... Read more