Book Reviews of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Author: Robert M. Pirsig
ISBN-13: 9780553244588
ISBN-10: 0553244582
Publication Date: 11/1981
Rating:
  • Currently 2.8/5 Stars.
 6

2.8 stars, based on 6 ratings
Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

48 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on + 79 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Well, I've heard nothing but raves about this book ... how it's a book you just HAVE to read and won't be sorry that you did. Hmmm?!

I am a pretty fast reader normally and I had such a difficult time getting into this book ... all the talk about Quality and what it is and how to get it and where it comes from, I was so confused ... it got to where I just began skipping over those sections where he begins to talk like this. Maybe that is why I did't enjoy the book ... maybe I missed some important bits in those parts I skipped ... but if I didn't skip them, I don't think that I would have ever finished the book!!

I am not one to really read "self help" books to begin with (and to be honest, I didn't realize that this is what this book was when I decided to go ahead and give it a try) so I did go into it without a preconceived notion that I wasn't going to like it ... but now that I see it is in the "self-help" category, maybe that also helps to understand why this book just wasn't my "cuppa tea" ...

I enjoyed the afterword more than anything else ...

There is a sequel to the book called ... Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals and one to that called ... Lila's Child: An Inquiry Into Quality
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on + 79 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Well, I've heard nothing but raves about this book ... how it's a book you just HAVE to read and won't be sorry that you did. Hmmm?!

I am a pretty fast reader normally and I had such a difficult time getting into this book ... all the talk about Quality and what it is and how to get it and where it comes from, I was so confused ... it got to where I just began skipping over those sections where he begins to talk like this. Maybe that is why I did't enjoy the book ... maybe I missed some important bits in those parts I skipped ... but if I didn't skip them, I don't think that I would have ever finished the book!!

I am not one to really read "self help" books to begin with (and to be honest, I didn't realize that this is what this book was when I decided to go ahead and give it a try) so I did go into it without a preconceived notion that I wasn't going to like it ... but now that I see it is in the "self-help" category, maybe that also helps to understand why this book just wasn't my "cuppa tea" ...

I enjoyed the afterword more than anything else ...

There is a sequel to the book called ... Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals and one to that called ... Lila's Child: An Inquiry Into Quality
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
From Amazon.com:
Arguably one of the most profoundly important essays ever written on the nature and significace of "quality" and definitely a necessary anodyne to the consequences of a modern world pathologically obsessed with quantity. Although set as a story of a cross-country trip on a motorcycle by a father and son, it is more nearly a journey through 2,000 years of Western philosophy. For some people, this has been a truly life-changing book.
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on
Helpful Score: 1
i read this book about 7 years ago and always aquire another copy somehow with intent to read again but never do. great book about the journey and not just the end.
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A must read book for anyone who has wondered about the meaning of life, the universe & everything.
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on
Helpful Score: 1
Someone else might understand Chautauqua and Phaedrus better than I do and get more out of reading this book. Perhaps I would have understood it better if I have already read Plato, Aristotle and Socrates ... but at the present the philosophy is beyond me. I did enjoy the motorcycle ride across country between the dad and son. But the heavy thinking was too deep for my comprehension and attention.
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on + 121 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The fabulous journey of a man in search of himself - Front Cover. This classic is a must read for anyone who has not already discovered it. Timeless and motivating.
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on
Helpful Score: 1
I tried to read this book about ten years ago and couldn't do it. I struggled through about half of it but just could not relate to or understand the authors point.

I recently picked it up again and this time could not put it down. Perhaps it has been life experiences that have given me a greater appreciation for what Pirsig has to say. If you are not 'in to' what you are doing, you won't do it well...plain and simple. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance has opened the door for me into the very interesting world of philosophy. It is a great story with a lot of insight into human nature.

You definitely have to be in the right âmoodâ to read this book and if you are, I would highly recommend it!
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on + 79 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Well, I've heard nothing but raves about this book ... how it's a book you just HAVE to read and won't be sorry that you did. Hmmm?!

I am a pretty fast reader normally and I had such a difficult time getting into this book ... all the talk about Quality and what it is and how to get it and where it comes from, I was so confused ... it got to where I just began skipping over those sections where he begins to talk like this. Maybe that is why I did't enjoy the book ... maybe I missed some important bits in those parts I skipped ... but if I didn't skip them, I don't think that I would have ever finished the book!!

I am not one to really read "self help" books to begin with (and to be honest, I didn't realize that this is what this book was when I decided to go ahead and give it a try) so I did go into it without a preconceived notion that I wasn't going to like it ... but now that I see it is in the "self-help" category, maybe that also helps to understand why this book just wasn't my "cuppa tea" ...

I enjoyed the afterword more than anything else ...

There is a sequel to the book called ... Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals and one to that called ... Lila's Child: An Inquiry Into Quality
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I loved this book. I just read a review where the reader 'skipped over giant sections of pertaining to quality" because it was confusing, saying she didn't like the book... well if you don't like to be challenged in your reading, and would rather breeze through words without having to really think about them, this is not for you. If you like philosophy, abstract thinking, and opening your mind to new conventions, this is a phenomenal book.
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on + 79 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Well, I've heard nothing but raves about this book ... how it's a book you just HAVE to read and won't be sorry that you did. Hmmm?!

I am a pretty fast reader normally and I had such a difficult time getting into this book ... all the talk about Quality and what it is and how to get it and where it comes from, I was so confused ... it got to where I just began skipping over those sections where he begins to talk like this. Maybe that is why I did't enjoy the book ... maybe I missed some important bits in those parts I skipped ... but if I didn't skip them, I don't think that I would have ever finished the book!!

I am not one to really read "self help" books to begin with (and to be honest, I didn't realize that this is what this book was when I decided to go ahead and give it a try) so I did go into it without a preconceived notion that I wasn't going to like it ... but now that I see it is in the "self-help" category, maybe that also helps to understand why this book just wasn't my "cuppa tea" ...

I enjoyed the afterword more than anything else ...

There is a sequel to the book called ... Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals and one to that called ... Lila's Child: An Inquiry Into Quality
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on + 79 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Well, I've heard nothing but raves about this book ... how it's a book you just HAVE to read and won't be sorry that you did. Hmmm?!

I am a pretty fast reader normally and I had such a difficult time getting into this book ... all the talk about Quality and what it is and how to get it and where it comes from, I was so confused ... it got to where I just began skipping over those sections where he begins to talk like this. Maybe that is why I did't enjoy the book ... maybe I missed some important bits in those parts I skipped ... but if I didn't skip them, I don't think that I would have ever finished the book!!

I am not one to really read "self help" books to begin with (and to be honest, I didn't realize that this is what this book was when I decided to go ahead and give it a try) so I did go into it without a preconceived notion that I wasn't going to like it ... but now that I see it is in the "self-help" category, maybe that also helps to understand why this book just wasn't my "cuppa tea" ...

I enjoyed the afterword more than anything else ...

There is a sequel to the book called ... Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals and one to that called ... Lila's Child: An Inquiry Into Quality
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on + 179 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A classic and must read for everyone as we are all on a philisphical journey in life. Here, the journey is described through the motorcycle trip a son and dad take across country. An original work that has widely been noted to have changed countless lives after reading it. Stands the test of time. Just fantastic. You'll probably wind up reading it again and again.
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on + 126 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The narrators motorcycle journey takes him in search of himself and life's values. As the author states inside the front cover..."The real cycle you're working on is a cycle called 'yourself'". This book is very profound and deep.
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on + 79 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Well, I've heard nothing but raves about this book ... how it's a book you just HAVE to read and won't be sorry that you did. Hmmm?!

I am a pretty fast reader normally and I had such a difficult time getting into this book ... all the talk about Quality and what it is and how to get it and where it comes from, I was so confused ... it got to where I just began skipping over those sections where he begins to talk like this. Maybe that is why I did't enjoy the book ... maybe I missed some important bits in those parts I skipped ... but if I didn't skip them, I don't think that I would have ever finished the book!!

I am not one to really read "self help" books to begin with (and to be honest, I didn't realize that this is what this book was when I decided to go ahead and give it a try) so I did go into it without a preconceived notion that I wasn't going to like it ... but now that I see it is in the "self-help" category, maybe that also helps to understand why this book just wasn't my "cuppa tea" ...

I enjoyed the afterword more than anything else ...

There is a sequel to the book called ... Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on + 15 more book reviews
Father and son take off across the US to ride, see scenery and bond a bit... good.
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on + 7 more book reviews
It is a pretty good, thought provoking book that I enjoyed but not immensely.
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on + 136 more book reviews
Started out interesting but then it delved into the author's bouts of depression and his fear that his teenage son was experiencing some sort of mental illness too. I wanted to send this book to my son in Iraq (he's a motorcycle enthusiast) but felt it was too depressing to send someone in an already depressing situation.
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on + 40 more book reviews
A classic. One man's journey to find himself; an inquiry into values. Standard liberal arts college reading.
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on + 33 more book reviews
This book is a classic. Not a light read, but fascinating.
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on + 79 more book reviews
Well, I've heard nothing but raves about this book ... how it's a book you just HAVE to read and won't be sorry that you did. Hmmm?!

I am a pretty fast reader normally and I had such a difficult time getting into this book ... all the talk about Quality and what it is and how to get it and where it comes from, I was so confused ... it got to where I just began skipping over those sections where he begins to talk like this. Maybe that is why I did't enjoy the book ... maybe I missed some important bits in those parts I skipped ... but if I didn't skip them, I don't think that I would have ever finished the book!!

I am not one to really read "self help" books to begin with (and to be honest, I didn't realize that this is what this book was when I decided to go ahead and give it a try) so I did go into it without a preconceived notion that I wasn't going to like it ... but now that I see it is in the "self-help" category, maybe that also helps to understand why this book just wasn't my "cuppa tea" ...

I enjoyed the afterword more than anything else ...

There is a sequel to the book called ... Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals and one to that called ... Lila's Child: An Inquiry Into Quality
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on + 26 more book reviews
A classic
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on + 32 more book reviews
I liked, hoping I would really love it. Maybe if I had read it 30 years ago it would have more impact. Definitely give it a try.
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on + 6 more book reviews
What more is there to say... I loved the quotes!
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on + 34 more book reviews
A lot of people think this book is brilliant. I think it is ambiguous and not very well developed. But hey, that's just me.
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on + 114 more book reviews
Wonderful book. My kids even read it after I did. We all enjoyed the motorcycle ride.
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on + 2 more book reviews
It lives up to high expectations, considering the hype and publicity surrounding this book. Very enjoyable and insightful.
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on + 17 more book reviews
I have not finished reading this yet. I appreciate the deep thought and mindfulness philosophy of this book, but it is not easy to read; certainly does not grasp me!
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on + 13 more book reviews
Exploration of one man's encounter with Zen Buddhism interwoven with the account of a cross-country motorcycle journey.
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on + 20 more book reviews
The extraordinary story of a man's quest for truth. It will change the way you think and feel about your life.....
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on + 65 more book reviews
Tough to get into but once your past the fist 100 pages or so you will be glued to the book. Very creative with lot of great life lessons.
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on
This is a book that I've heard about for years, which, for me, tends to build a resistance against reading it, fearing that it will never live up to its own legacy. After having had it recommended to me by three separate friends, whose tastes in books are comparable to mine, within two months, I decided to take the plunge. It was worth it.

Pirsig manages to wrap up his dense philosophy into an engaging travel story, grounding his metaphysics in "real-life" experiences. While I've never found this to be a requirement for philosophy to be engaging, this sort of presentation does make it a more relatable system. The narrator's life is an example of an attempt at implementation of his theories, which allows for a examination of the pros and cons of that implementation.

The progression of Phaedrus's search is rivoting as well. He doesn't set out from the outset to define an overarching philosophy, but by pulling himself along the thread that started with his question, "What is Quality?", he is compelled to question the basic structure of Western thought. I won't go much more into it for fear of butchering Pirsig's eloquent arguments, but I can say this. You should read it.
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on
This is one of the best books I have read. Excellent and thought provoking. Highly recommended.
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on + 13 more book reviews
I had never bought a copy of it, yet for years I would find it sitting on my bookshelf.
Several times I have moved, after selling most of my books, including this one, then I would find it on my bookshelf a few months later.
Finally got the hint and read the darn thing.
Many people say it changes the way you look at life and the whole experience of living.
They are totally correct.

I have moved many times again since I first read the book, and the bookshelf always had the familiar lilac cover snuggled amongst the other volumes.
I would pick up extra copies and give them away when people expressed an interest in the book.
My then 19 year old son said it was the most important book I had ever given him.

Strangely, I no longer have a copy, and it is time to read the book again, something I try to do every few years, so I am ordering it today on PBS.

Read it.
Read it every once in awhile, you will find new prespectives.
Get several copies and share them with friends. I'm betting they will thank you, several times over.
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on + 12 more book reviews
As the cover says... it will change the way you think and feel about your life!
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on + 3 more book reviews
I think I really liked it.... I read it such a long time ago.
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on + 8 more book reviews
a classic must read.
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on + 4 more book reviews
I hated this book. But a lot of folks find it to be enlightening.
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on + 40 more book reviews
A thought-provoking classic.
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on + 18 more book reviews
A book about life's lessons, finding yourself...and yeah...motorcycles!
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on
self engrossed and long but highly acclaimed
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on + 3 more book reviews
After years of hearing others speak about and refer to this book in casual and scholastic conversation, I finally decided to take the plunge and see what all of the fuss was about.

After completing this book last night, I come away feeling conflicted. While there were many insightful and inspirational quotes and stories, I found myself really not liking the protagonist, which happens to be the author.

I fully understand and am sensitive to his mental illness, and mental illness in general, but the way he treats his son, Chris, I found very upsetting. It feels like he is largely ignored or treated as an inconvenience throughout the story. It also feels that he projects his mental illness onto his son. As someone who had a less than perfect childhood, I found myself feeling more for the plight of Chris than I did for the re-discovery of the almighty "Phaerdus".

Again, there is an angle of the story that I found very inspirational. Looking outside of the box. Looking inside of the box. Questioning everything including that very question. Doing things your own way. Self accountability. Self reliance. Recovery. Coming to understand what "is". The concepts of "quality". But through all of the chautauqua, I found my heart breaking over and over again for Chris.

A recommended read for anyone interested in looking a little deeper or differently at life. Deconstructing it. Rebuilding it. And carrying that rebuild with you. But it was weaved into, what I thought was, a very bizarre and troubling father and son story.
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on
An extended nonfiction article on "quality" disguised as an autobiography disguised as a fictional novel. The plot seems like it was hijacked part of the way through, and the supporting cast constantly gets overlooked in favor of the narrator's personal musings. However, despite all of this, the main character has a lot of depth, and his personal musings more than make up for the shortcomings of the novel not following a more traditional narrative pattern. Very quotable book. In the meantime, his descriptions of the different roads and towns give a vibrant and fulfilling view of a drive across America, leaving me following along in his travels with a map and my own memories. Definitely worth the read.
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on
This is my go to book for a good solid read. I recommend getting a fresh copy, for the simple fact that the older books are yellowing badly. That makes it hard to read for me personally.
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on + 8 more book reviews
"The Most Explosive Book You Will Ever Read". The extraordinary story of a man's quest for truth. It will change the way you think and fell about your life. (From Back Cover)
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on + 19 more book reviews
A classic and very readable and engaging.
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on + 149 more book reviews
was a must read for a college course, a little out there but gives you something to think about.
reviewed Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on + 275 more book reviews
A classic!