Listen to this audiobook excerpt from Robert M. Pirsig's book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values. At its heart, the story is all too simple: a man and his son take a lengthy motorcycle trip through America. But this is not a simple trip at all, for around every corner, through mountain and desert, wind and rain, and searing heat and biting cold, their pilgrimage leads them to new vistas of self-discovery and renewal.
This lyrical, evocative, thought-provoking journal of a man's quest for truth -- and for himself -- has touched and changed an entire generation. At its heart, the story is all too simple: a man and his son take a lengthy motorcycle trip through America. But this is not a simple trip at all, for around every corner, through mountain and desert, wind and rain, and searing heat and biting cold, their pilgrimage leads them to new vistas of self-discovery and renewal. "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" is an elemental work that had helped to shape and define the past twenty-five years of American culture. This special audio edition presents this adventure in an exciting new way -- for the millions who have already taken this journey and want to travel these roads again, and for the many more who will discover for the first time the wonders and challenges of a journey that will change the way they think and feel about their lives.
Many great reviews have been written here and have said most of what I want to say and agree with. I only wanted to add that this book is an incredible take on modern metaphysics. I see it as one person's search for universal truth, the search for meaning beyond dichotomous concepts such as 'good' and 'bad', hence the long and fascinating journey into what 'Quality' really means. Pirsig attempts to convey something beyond a simple view of the world, just as many before him have, such as Lao Tzu in the 'Tao Te Ching' or other books on Eastern Philosophy. This book is definitely for thinkers and will give you plenty to process. Another fascinating book, which is more a book that you absorb than think about and which really allows a practical understanding of something beyond 'good/bad' and 'right/wrong' is Ariel and Shya Kane's 'Working on Yourself Doesn't Work'. Whether or not you liked Pirsig's book, if you have an interest in understanding life and its meaning for you, the Kanes do a brilliant and beautiful job of making life easy and truly understanding 'Quality'. I think Robert Pirsig would even like them and their book. 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance' offers a conceptual framework of how one might search for meaning and 'Working on Yourself Doesn't Work' is like the How-To Manual for getting meaning and satisfaction out of life.
The story of a father and son’s summer motorcycle trip across America from Minnesota to California, “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” is at its heart a philosophical journey.
Profoundly important...full of insights into our most perplexing contemporary dilemmas New York Times Mr Pirsig has written a work of great, perhaps urgent, importance... Read this book Observer The book is inspired, original...the narrative tact, the perfect economy of effect defy criticism. The analogies with Moby Dick are patent New Yorker Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is an unforgettable trip Time Disturbing, deeply moving, full of insights...this is a wonderful book Times Literary Supplement