An father takes his kid on a motorcycle road-trip across the United States, and recalls his past life, when he was insane, and the philosophies he had drowned in.
A terrible book, full stop.
- Properly titled Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values
- ISBN 9-780688-002305
- See also http://www.robertpirsig.org/
Earlier I had read ISBN-10 0553277472
This book played on the heart strings of a generation which, having lost god, was turning to asian mysticism. Yoga and meditation were the fashion of the day, and as the author was hip-deep in it, his work unintentionally capitalises on this.
It's built on a deep misunderstanding of the tool of science and our position in and examination of a material world. The resulting bullshitting offends me to the very core.
Now it is interesting from the perspective of motorcycle maintenance and general storytelling, as well as one of the general veins in the story which I can't say or it would be a spoiler.
This book is absolutely showing its age. These days the main character would require special attention paid to justify just how it would be possible for a father to take his own son on a road trip, especially having recovered from insanity. We'd definitely need to know about the relationship with his son's mother and have explicit permission and multiple phone calls so she gives continued consent.
Skip the intro! ∞
This edition has an introduction to the book which spoils the book. I'm "glad" I had already read this, but I was still angry about this.
2006-12-18 - ISBN-10 0553277472 ∞
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance An inquiry into values Robert M. Pirsig 1984, ISBN 0553277472
Well, it has some very interesting points, and tends to run around a lot. It ought to be colour coded to point out when the author is narrating, telling the story of the trip or having insanity-flashbacks.
It was interesting to go through all the philosopher and philosophy references.. and find pages on the Wikipedia.
The ending FALLS FLAT ON ITS FACE. Booooooooooooooooooooooooooo.
I don't know that it's worth recommending that someone buy it.. there are certainly some interesting points in it. The "Quality" arguments are quite interesting.. certainly nothing new to someone who's sat down to think about it, but there are definitely some nice moments.