Zen and The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance

Discussion in 'Beat and Hippie Books' started by WallFlower69, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. WallFlower69

    WallFlower69 Member

    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've heard a lot about this book but have never read it. I really want to read it however. Can anyone tell me what it's about? Is it as good as everyone says it is? Thanks :)
    Peacefully yours.
    .:daisy:
     
  2. Jeabou

    Jeabou Member

    Messages:
    241
    Likes Received:
    2
    Contrary to what the title might imply, the book is neither (really) about Zen or motorcycle maintenance. The book follows real events in the life of the author, Robert M. Pirsig, from being submitted to electro-shock therapy for the treatment of his mental illness, to the recollection of events from his "previous" life, prior to that treatment.

    It is deeply philosophical, Pirsig himself having been a lecturer in rhetoric. He explores areas of thought you may have never crossed before. The centrepiece of his ideas being "What is Quality?"

    I won't give away too much, but it is a must read! It was the first book I read in 2013 and I wouldn't have started my year any other way.

    Enjoy!
     
    stormountainman and wrat1 like this.
  3. Mr.Writer

    Mr.Writer Senior Member

    Messages:
    14,289
    Likes Received:
    641
    ^ that's a perfect summary. It's very philosophical, and does touch upon both motorcycle maintenance and zen, and more importantly, how the two are/can/should be inextricably linked :)

    the central question of the book is what is "quality"? Very abstract and wonderful
     
  4. MeAgain

    MeAgain Dazed & Confused Lifetime Supporter Super Moderator

    Messages:
    18,252
    Likes Received:
    12,222
    stormountainman likes this.
  5. Jeabou

    Jeabou Member

    Messages:
    241
    Likes Received:
    2
    Ah! I had no idea he had written about Phaedrus again! Have just added it to my Book Depository wish list!
     
  6. Bouga

    Bouga Member

    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    1
    It's a really great book, you can actually find it online for free as a college has it posted up. I read it a really long time ago, but some of the things really just stick with you. I found it to be philosophical in its own way and at times I couldn't help but relate to the author who was slowing having a breakdown.
     
  7. Voyage

    Voyage Noam Sayin

    Messages:
    4,844
    Likes Received:
    8
    eggzactly... an allegory. The motorcycle parts are just icing on the cake :)
     
  8. Maelstrom

    Maelstrom Banned

    Messages:
    2,872
    Likes Received:
    17
    I had to read it in college. I was not impressed. Then, classic literature tends to bore me.
     
  9. ClintonsSon

    ClintonsSon Yeah......it's Me!!

    Messages:
    284
    Likes Received:
    5
    Never read it. Sounds interesting.
     
  10. Driftwood Gypsy

    Driftwood Gypsy Lifetime Supporter Lifetime Supporter

    Messages:
    2,420
    Likes Received:
    130
    it was the first book my husband ever suggested to me, back when we were dating. an amazing book, a must read; it's very compelling and fascinating.
     
  11. Tman58

    Tman58 Supporters HipForums Supporter

    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    90
    Thanks for this commentary. I've yet to pick this one up. I remember it was quite popular back when I was in high school.

    I read Zen in the Art of Archery which I enjoyed.
     
    MeAgain and granite45 like this.
  12. wrat1

    wrat1 Members

    Messages:
    766
    Likes Received:
    477
    It is a must read
     
  13. Running Horse

    Running Horse A Buddha in hiding from himself

    Messages:
    2,777
    Likes Received:
    2,257
    Aye it is a must read. I've reread it 5 times since me first go at 14. Such complex ideas.
     
    MeAgain and stormountainman like this.
  14. stormountainman

    stormountainman Soy Un Truckero

    Messages:
    10,693
    Likes Received:
    7,222
    It's about a motorcycle trip from Minnesota to Montana where a guy has his son riding with him in an underpowered motorcycle which requires maintaining along the way. The other guys in the voyage have more expensive and bigger bikes. During the trip, the narrator talks about the concept of quality. Robert Pirsig, who wrote the book, has another one titled LILA. You'll need an open mind and a desire for Philos to enjoy his work.
     
  15. stormountainman

    stormountainman Soy Un Truckero

    Messages:
    10,693
    Likes Received:
    7,222
    He did tune up his bike during the ride to Bozeman and contrasted it with the expensive big bikes his companions had.
     
    ~Zen~ likes this.
  16. stormountainman

    stormountainman Soy Un Truckero

    Messages:
    10,693
    Likes Received:
    7,222
    I liked having that crazy woman on the boat during the ride down the Hudson.
     
    ~Zen~ likes this.
  17. ~Zen~

    ~Zen~ Dreamer Administrator

    Messages:
    11,283
    Likes Received:
    13,568
    Guess I have to re-read and read anew!
     
  18. stormountainman

    stormountainman Soy Un Truckero

    Messages:
    10,693
    Likes Received:
    7,222
    Don't miss the part where Jamie, Fatso, and Lila talk about killing Phaedrus and tossing him overboard on the voyage to Florida.
     
  19. granite45

    granite45 Lifetime Supporter Lifetime Supporter

    Messages:
    1,469
    Likes Received:
    1,444
    I liked them both....spent a lot of time along the route between Minnesota and Montana In the late 70s and 80s. Now live in view of our friendly neighborhood stratovolcano........Raineeeeeeer!
     

Share This Page


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice