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Guidebook to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  251 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
When Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was first published in 1974, it caused a literary sensation. An entire generation was profoundly affected by the story of the narrator, his son, Chris, and their month-long motorcycle odyssey from Minnesota to California. A combination of philosophical speculation and psychological tension, the book is a comple ...more
Paperback, 408 pages
Published November 19th 1990 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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Daniel Ley
May 30, 2013 Daniel Ley rated it really liked it
Initial Thoughts:
This book - 50% motorcycle repair/travel manual, 50% philosophical treatise, and 50% psychological horror story - left me with a strange disjointed mix of information and emotion in its wake.
I gave it a 4-star rating because of the uncanny amount of personal overlap I had with the narrator, who was also a molecular biologist, a philosopher driven by his thoughts (though sometimes to the point of what his peers would call madness), went to the University of Illinois, and had a
Thomas Burg
Jun 30, 2015 Thomas Burg rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ltuae
One of my all time favorite books. A++.

A hard read, but worth it.

The book in a single word: life is about QUALITY.
Eric Adriaans
Jul 02, 2017 Eric Adriaans rated it really liked it
Pirsig's ZAMM is a better book than it is given credit for. And possibly not for the reasons you think. DiSanto and his colleagues did a great job of breaking down some of the philosophy which is the surface upon which ZAMM travels. For those not familiar with philosophy, this guide does begin to make ZAMM familiar.
May 14, 2015 Nick rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
This was not a terrible book. I found a few different insights that I think were stated very eloquently. At the same time, I found there were several points where I was confused.

For example, part of this journey is for this chautauqua. Yet what is that supposed to mean? Is he actually talking to people or just thinking to himself? Most of that thinking is just recalling things from before, so I don't get what he's actually doing.

I also found a lot of the philosophical arguments to be confusing.
Jul 23, 2008 Maid4life rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
My husband bugged me to read this book. What a disappointment. The author obviously thinks he has a handle on what life is all about, so he uses his main character to spout a plethera of lofty philosophical mumbo jumbo. He thinks he's "waxing eloquent", but it comes across as arogant, egotistical and someone who loves to hear themselves talk, thinking all the time they are imparting pearls of wisdom to all who remain awake while he's doing so.
Paul Gibson
May 03, 2013 Paul Gibson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very informative book. This book probes the philosophical influences underlying Pirsig's book.
This book is to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance as Wisdom's Hiding Place is to The Oxbow Revelation.
This book reads like an introduction to philosophy that is written in such a way as to be accessible to the interested lay reader.
I do, however, think that the information on Taoism is weak.
Be aware that about half of the book consists of book reviews and the like.
Sep 02, 2007 Raydar added it
Recommends it for: anyone who wants more after ZMM & Lila, esp. of the philosophy drawn on in the stories
I was a philosophy major, so this is just what I was looking for: Detailed elucidations of the philosophical disciplines, thinkers, and theories Pirsig spoke of and drew upon, and a chance to keep being steeped in the thought-provoking stew of Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and Lila, even though this book is not *by* Pirsig.
Jamie Walker
Sep 13, 2014 Jamie Walker rated it it was ok
This book was a bit too philosophical for me.
Jun 23, 2013 Suza rated it it was ok
Gave up half way.....not feeling it
Mar 31, 2009 Clay is currently reading it
After going on my first group ride this past weekend I can relate to the author's romanticizing of taking the road less-traveled.
Feb 08, 2008 Reuel rated it really liked it
A really good book for the culture of the era.
Larry Chaves
Apr 20, 2013 Larry Chaves rated it it was ok
Take out the Zen and the motorcycle maintenance parts of this book and it would be a far better story. The afterward is actually my favorite part.
Tim Chizmar
Sep 02, 2012 Tim Chizmar rated it it was amazing
Fun fun fun
Jess rated it it was amazing
Apr 08, 2015
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