Aaron's Reviews > Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig
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's review
Oct 06, 2008

really liked it
Read in January, 2009

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 West with a couple philosophical insights, you'll probably end up with a similar negative review. However, if you go into this book with an open mind, and are willing to look at the world through the eyes of a man deeply entrenched in philosophical meanderings to the point of insanity then you will be rewarded with a new way to look at things.

Pirsig takes an 18-day motorcycle journey that he made with his son in 1968 and turns it into an autobiographical journey not only about this trip, but into his mind. Pirsig spent time in a mental hospital before this trip, and much of this book is the story of his trip entwined with the story of the "insane" Pirsig. Along with the story of his mental past, Pirsig attempts to break down many types of philosophy and explain the concept that drove him into the mental hospital. This concept is the concept that Quality is the only true reality. It is a very abstract concept and that's why there is so much mundane philosophical background information endlessly filling up the pages. However, I feel that once I finally conquered this book, I came away with some very powerful messages and unique perspectives about the world we live in and the way we live our lives. I recommend this to everyone looking for a thinker, but be sure you give yourself plenty of time to absorb everything this novel encompasses.
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Reading Progress

10/06/2008 page 90
05/26/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Owen (new)

Owen Hey bud,

I remember you talking to me about this book (on one of our road trips). How is it so far?

message 2: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca This is a tough read, isn't it? We'll have to discuss next weekend!

Aaron Owen wrote: "Hey bud,

I remember you talking to me about this book (on one of our road trips). How is it so far?


Just finished!!! I wrote a review so that should fill you in on how I felt. Overall, I'm glad I read it, but holy crap it took a long time! I'm now moving on to "In Cold Blood".

message 4: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca I love you! You're so smart and a good writer to boot. I'm proud to have you as a brother and Goodreads friend:)

message 5: by Eric (new)

Eric Sobolik Clap Clap Clap! That is the best review I've read yet! I really want to read that book now!

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