Keely Hyslop's Reviews > Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals

Lila by Robert M. Pirsig
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's review
Nov 24, 07

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bookshelves: philosophy
Recommended for: anyone questioning morality, convention, or society
Read in November, 2007

This book started out quite promisingly. It had some really amazing, mind-blowing parts. But near the middle of the book there is a light drizzle and then a torrent of classism and a touch of veiled racism. The ending is also rather disappointing. The book hovers between epiphany and wrongheadedness. It was to be fair, a very ambitious topic, constructing an entirely new metaphysics based on the value as an intuitive undefinable concept. The sort of project where it is easy to lose your way.

The analysis of Victiorian society was brilliant. I liked the idea that ideologies could have more or less value rather than be true or false. The discussion of insanity was quite illuminating.

So the book is hovering between three and four stars. I'd probably give it 3 1/2 if that was an option. My advice: read it for the ideas, not the narrative or the writing style. Read it when you're feeling analytical, generous, and patient so that you can absorb the useful ideas and let the intellectualized ignorance roll off your back. If you're only going to read one Robert Pirsig book read "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance", the book is far more consistent in its level of quality.
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