Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

One of the most important & influential books written in the past half-century, Robert M. Pirsig's Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is a powerfully moving & penetrating examination of how we live, 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 & his young son. A story of love & fear--of...


Details Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

TitleZen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
ISBN9780060589462
Author
Release DateApr 25th, 2006
PublisherHarperTorch
LanguageEnglish
GenrePhilosophy, Fiction, Classics, Spirituality
Rating

Reviews Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

  • Christy
    2008-02-23
    Maybe it's unfair to give a poor rating to a book I read in high school. However, I like to think that I was wise beyond my years and knew a phony, self-congratulatory, pretentious buffoon when I saw one. On the other hand, I did wear baggy overalls with Birkenstocks every day back then and wondered why I didn’t have a boyfriend, so clearly I didn’t know everything.But as I read through the reviews here, I am confronted by a rush of unpleasan...
  • Clinton
    2007-06-22
    I feel like Robert M. Pirsig has wronged me personally.
  • Petra X
    2012-07-04
    When I was quite young my brain said to me, after a particularly long and stoned session listening to Pink Floyd and discussing philosophy, 'oh give me a break'. So I said to my brain, 'there's no need to be so rude,' and my brain said, 'no seriously, I can't handle this anymore, really, let me take a break'. So it did and I've been operating on brain-stem alone ever since. I don't know it's made that much difference.I wonder if the author's brai...
  • Richard
    2007-07-31
    There are three threads weaving through this book (none of which, as is pointed out, has much to do with either eastern philosophy or with motorcycle maintenance.)The first is a straightforward narration by a man riding across the country with his young son and two friends (a married couple). This evocative travelogue is by far the most enjoyable aspect of the novel.The second element is a sort of mystery as that man struggles with his memory; it...
  • Katherine
    2007-05-23
    After years of people saying, "Oh, you're a philosophy major? Have you heard of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance? You should read it!" I finally broke down and bought a copy. I am usually wary of books that seem to hold promises of sweetness and light and spiritual awakening, in this age of The Purpose-Driven Life and Silver Ravenwolf.My thoughts on the book, even months after reading it, are still mixed. Artistically, I do think it's a ...
  • Riku Sayuj
    2011-08-31
    Plato's Phaedrus said, "And what is written well and what is written badly...need we ask Lysias or any other poet or orator who ever wrote or will write either a political or other work, in meter or out of meter, poet or prose writer, to teach us this?"Modern Phaedrus said, “And what is good, Phaedrus, And what is not good— Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?” I keep re-reading passages from Zen and the Art and Tao of Pooh and Siddh...
  • Mason Wiebe
    2008-02-03
    I must start by saying that this is one of my favorite books ever. Although it is deep and complicated and takes a lot of focus to read, I feel that there are a lot of great messages here in the author’s search for Quality. This was my second time reading this book, and I liked it more this time. Interlaced with stories from an across-the-west motorcycle trip with his son and some friends, Pirsig tells the story of his past in an almost former ...
  • Michael Finocchiaro
    2016-07-18
    Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: "I can see by my watch, without taking my hand from the left grip of the cycle, that it is eight-thirty in the morning."I have read Zen probably four or five times. The clinical precision of the author is apparent in all the detail here ("left grip", "eight-thirty"). The self-reference of the author looking at his own watch will become a leitmotif as the entire book is about the author ...
  • Charlotte
    2007-09-13
    OK, maybe I'm being a little too harsh. I actually enjoyed the idea of the cross-country motorcycle ride, the details about motorcycle mechanics, and especially the portrayal of the narrator's relationship with his son. The son was the best part of the whole book. Unfortunately, there wasn't much space for sonny, because dad was too busy advertising the author's brilliant philisophical insights. Even more unfortunately, the insights weren't brill...
  • William2
    2017-11-17
    Brilliant! Pirsig might be something of an American Montaigne, producing readable philosophy with a minimum of abtractions. That’s a gift. After undergoing electro-convulsive therapy 28 times, Pirsig, in this book, gives his formerly insane self a doppelgänger-like alter-ego, Phaedrus, and bravely tries to piece together that formerly insane self’s thought in order to learn from it. This alone is fascinating. At the same time Pirsig is revie...
  • Tatiana
    2007-08-12
    This book is extremely good and also important. It's a treatise on metaphysics as well as a compelling story which the author says is autobiographical. It's exactly right about the scientific method, and the way we go about discovering truth as a society and as individuals. The analogy of working on motorcycles is a good one. In my life it's been programming computers and figuring out how to get industrial machinery to work, but the same process ...
  • Natasha
    2008-09-04
    I just re-read this book and HAD to annotate it because it sent my head swimming. I'd studied quite a lot of philosophy since I read it a year and a half ago and so the philosophies didn't go over my head this time.First, I must say if you find the narrator off-putting, rest assured that the protagonist is NOT the narrator. The narrator is the nemesis who has eclipsed the protagonist; the story reveals their struggle. The introduction of my editi...
  • Guillermo
    2013-07-09
    Fuck! I hate this. I give up. I can't anymore. The last page I actually read was 217, so I didn't officially "finish" this book, but it will go into my finished pile. I need all the help I can get. My goal was 50 books this year, and Im 8 books behind. I will count this book as read no matter what you say. You know when you start a roadtrip and everything is awesome and a breath of fresh air in the beginning, but then you're at each other's throa...
  • Zora
    2007-05-21
    I learned from this book that you can sell a billion copies of a book that no one should ever waste three minutes reading. This is just another neo-philosophy book disguised as a novel. I'm almost convinced that the only reason people buy this book is so that their pseudo-intellectual (read: pompous scumbag) friends will accept them into the hippie circle. Although I know about twenty people who claim to have read this book, I have yet to meet a ...
  • Becca
    2008-05-30
    Okay, I confess I haven't finished it yet. But I'm finding it so irksome I don't know if I'll be able to get all the way through it. Here's what I wrote on my bookmark 50 pages in:"the author's logic is self-contained, entirely self-referential and so his argument is self-sustaining! He can set up armies of logical strawmen and have them elaborately duke it out in massive rhetorical battles taking place entirely without any grounding in reality. ...
  • Jason Koivu
    2010-07-29
    The author went insane and nearly took me with him! After years of putting this one off, I finally recently read it and was floored by how it was almost nothing like what I expected: motorcycle talk and philosophy. I did not expect the contemplations of a depressing, crazy person. But that's no reason to hate on a book, and I don't hate Zen..., I'm just not in love with it. I was close to giving it only 3 stars mainly for its inability to move. I...
  • Daniel Bastian
    2014-12-05
    I'm convinced this is one of those books that somehow made it onto the high school syllabus and just sort of stuck around, with no one ever examining its right to be there. This then created the unwarranted impression that Pirsig's text is a 'classic' or something approaching significance. I say this with only slight reservation, but I don't think there is any kind of genius, misunderstood or otherwise, to be found in this bloviated acid trip. Pi...
  • Trevor
    2007-06-27
    I started reading this book because i'd heard from a number of people, including comedian Tim Allen, that it was good. In fact i read an entire Tim Allen book ("I'm Not Really Here") which was kind of about his experience reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintainence. Tim Allen, although not exactly a respectable philosopher (maybe not even just respectable), had some of Robert Pirsig's philosophy without all his inane bullshit. At least Tim...
  • Jill
    2010-04-12
    I hated this book. Hated, hated, hated, hated, hated it. I'm sad no stars is not actually a rating. This is my least favorite book ever. And I've done a lot of reading. The problem is that it is written by some guy who apparently thinks he is God's gift to philosophy. And if you don't agree with him, well, you're clearly an idiot. This is not a constructive discussion about ideas, this is a presentation of why Pirsig is right, which, because this...
  • Aaron
    2008-10-06
    This book is one of those books that I want to rate way higher than 3, but I don't think I'd quite give it a 4. I always have this problem with Netflix too! By reading the random reviews posted about this book, many of them are extremely negative, focusing on the "arrogance" of the narrator or his "absurd" search for quality. I think if you go into this 400 page novel with the expectation that it will be a light read about a motorcycle trip out W...
  • Kevin
    2007-07-05
    Well, this book is not for everyone, and I have certainly heard people say that they found it overblown, pretentious, pointless, etc. but I loved it and found that what I read and my life experiences as I read it formed a didactic and interesting dialectic with the content of the book.The book itself interstices Pirsig's account of a motorcycle road trip with his son and some friends with the story of his personal and professional struggles devel...
  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    2016-11-02
    Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert M. Pirsig تاریخ نخستین خوانش: سوم ماه نوامبر سال 1990 میلادیعنوان: ذن و فن نگاهداشت موتورسیکلت؛ عنوان روی جلد: ذن و فن نگاهداشت موتوسیکلت؛ نویسنده: رابرت پیرسیک؛ مترجم: اسدالله طاهری؛ تهران، شباویز، 1366؛ در 530 ص؛ شابک: 9645511542؛ موض...
  • Darwin8u
    2014-05-17
    “When analytic thought, the knife, is applied to experience, something is always killed in the process.” ― Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle MaintenanceThere are parts of this book, and parts of this type of book I really enjoy. But at the exact same time, this whole genre of book (see: Ken Wilber and his oeuvre, especially A Brief History of Everything) really grinds and irritates.* Don't get me wrong, I love Greek philosophy...
  • Daniel Clausen
    2017-10-03
    I'm not sure where I stand on the philosophy in the book. In the early phases, I thought that perhaps I was responding negatively to the philosophy meditations because the book was a bit behind in the times (over 40 years old now). But then, as I went deeper into the author's Chautauquas, I understood the philosophy as part and parcel of a narrative that is not quite a narrative -- artifacts from a devastated psyche and the routine of a dad who i...
  • Wendy
    2007-05-23
    According to family lore, my brother gave this book to my father when he - my brother - was in college. When my father read it, it apparently made a very deep impression on him, 'cuz he turned around and bought 4 copies and gave one to each of his children. I refused to read it for years because...well...because my father gave it to me. Sometime after college though, I picked it up and read it for the first time and, for the next 5 years, I read ...
  • Jonathan Ashleigh
    2016-08-18
    Sometimes it seems as though a book finds you. And, sometimes you ignore that book and then it finds you again ... and again .... and, eventually, you give in. I feel as though this book found me dozens of times, and I regret that I finally gave in. It may not have had all the answers in the universe and I didn’t expect it to. I did enjoy the ride (their actual trip enough was enjoyable and wasn't described enough) and even fell for some of the...
  • Andre
    2009-02-18
    You know, just to give you some perspective, I was somewhere in the middle of Act III when I recognized a horrible habit of mine. I like to find out how many pages are in the current chapter that I'm reading. It seemed like, possibly multiple times in a single page, I'd double check how many pages I had left until I finished it... or how many pages left until the next act.Pirsig said:To the untrained eye ego-climbing and selfless climbing may app...
  • Knjigoholičarka
    2017-07-26
    Dosta mazohizma za ovu godinu. Mislim, čitala sam i ranije knjige koje mi se ne dopadaju, ali ovo je prva koju sam bacila u smeće.I ne sablažnjavajte mi se, naći će je neko u kontejneru sutra ujutro. Nadam se da će je odneti na reciklažu. Biće od koristi.
  • Gwen (The Gwendolyn Reading Method)
    2011-01-23
    This book is far more pretentious than I remember it being when I first read it. It gets downgraded from "love" to a mere "like."