HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance:…
Loading...

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values (original 1974; edition 2006)

by Robert M. Pirsig (Author)

Series: Phaedrus (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
14,624206137 (3.84)219
Member:gregvogl
Title:Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values
Authors:Robert M. Pirsig (Author)
Info:HarperTorch (2006), Edition: 1st, 540 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:travel, philosophy, science

Work details

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values by Robert M. Pirsig (Author) (1974)

  1. 50
    Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work by Matthew B. Crawford (prehensel)
  2. 00
    The Road by Cormac McCarthy (SCPeterson)
    SCPeterson: A man and his son travel very different paths toward self-discovery, confronting ultimate truth and the source of all meaning along the way
  3. 00
    A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz (jeff.s.thomson)
  4. 00
    My Mercedes is Not for Sale: From Amsterdam to Ouagadougou...An Auto-Misadventure Across the Sahara by Jeroen van Bergeijk (gonzobrarian)
    gonzobrarian: an inquiry into travel, adventure, and meaning
  5. 01
    Stranger in a Strange Land (Uncut Edition) by Robert A. Heinlein (emf1123)
    emf1123: If you're in your late teens, reading both of these books back to back (stranger in a strange land, zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance) is a good quality mindfuck. I doubt that either have the same influence as one ages, though.
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 219 mentions

English (183)  Italian (7)  Dutch (6)  Finnish (4)  French (3)  All (2)  Danish (1)  All (206)
Showing 1-5 of 183 (next | show all)
this book meant a lot to me when I read it in the 1970s. It meant a lot again in 2018. Reading it the second time I realized his description of how one approaches a technical problem shaped my life. The same can be said for his analysis of the concept of "quality" post shock treatment mental patient / college professor takes a motorcycle trip with his son; discussion of technology, maintenance, quality ( )
  margaretfield | May 30, 2018 |
This is indeed a remarkable book. It is all about the distinction between classical (facts) and romantic (feelings) approaches and continuity. A sentence or two on page 165 of the Bodley Head edition (1974) made me stop and think. 'Peace of mind isn't at all superficial, really...It's the whole thing...The ultimate test's always your own serenity. If you don't have this when you start and maintain it while you're working you're likely to build your personal problems right into the machine itself'. This is the answer to everything. If you are trying to put together some flat pack furniture you need to have peace of mind at the outset. Some people focus in on the technology - they put everything together perfectly; other people are not interested in the nuts and bolts they, just want the function - put some books on those shelves. For peace of mind, continuity is needed underpinning it all - form, function, beauty like the motorbike, the journey, the sensation of travelling across a beautiful landscape. Experience tells me that If i start out on something rattled rather than serene, then I know it won't work out. ( )
1 vote jon1lambert | May 10, 2018 |
This book was on my reading list for three years plus and I finally got the chance to read it last month. Unlike my other reviews, I’m not going to give any comment or reflection on this book. The first reason is that I don’t want to spoil any bit of it and I’m afraid whatever I would say would have that effect. The second reason is I don’t want to inadvertently influence anyone who hasn’t read it yet. If you’re interested in life, value and philosophical things, you should give it a go. That is all I have. ( )
  chrysedonia | Apr 26, 2018 |
This book should be essential reading for all university lecturers. Pirsig says what I feel but couldn't describe. I wish I had read this years ago, but like many things, maybe I would not have grasped the issues if I had read it with less experience. I can't help but find comparisons with Edward de Bono's "Greek Gang of Three". I actually worked on our car as a result of this book, and my return to old-school technologies and move away from many social networks makes more sense. Now to buy a vintage motorcycle! ( )
  madepercy | Nov 7, 2017 |
Couldn't finish it. It's like hanging out with a stoner friend—it's kinda fun, he's a good friend, but eventually it's 4 AM and you gotta drop the armchair philosophy and go to sleep.
  mrgan | Oct 30, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 183 (next | show all)
One is tempted to call the book a psychomelodrama, for Pirsig's intentions are as extravagant as his themes. The attempt to triumph over madness, suicide, death in the self, of his son, for our world, by means of the patient exploration of ideas and emotions is certainly an extravagant ambition. That he succeeds in finding a plausible catharsis through such an enterprise seems to me sufficient reward for the author's perseverance, and ample testimony to his honesty and courage.
added by Shortride | editThe New York Times Book Review, Edward Abbey (pay site) (Mar 30, 1975)
 
Whatever it's true philosophical worth, it is intellectual entertainment of the highest order.
 

» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pirsig, Robert M.Authorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bacon, PaulCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
And what is good, Phaedrus,

And what is not good -

Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?
Dedication
for my family
Aan mijn familie
First words
I can see by my watch, without taking my hand from the left grip of the cycle, that it is eight-thirty in the morning.
Quotations
You want to know how to paint a perfect painting? It's easy. Make yourself perfect and then just paint naturally.
Live in the future, then build what's missing.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language
Book description
Acclaimed as one of the most exciting books in the history of American letters, this modern epic became an instant bestseller upon publication in 1974, transforming a generation and continuing to inspire millions. This 25th Anniversary Quill Edition features a new introduction by the author; important typographical changes; and a Reader's Guide that includes discussion topics, an interview with the author, and letters and documents detailing how this extraordinary book came to be. A narration of a summer motorcycle trip undertaken by a father and his son, the book becomes a personal and philosophical odyssey into fundamental questions of how to live. The narrator's relationship with his son leads to a powerful self-reckoning; the craft of motorcycle maintenance leads to an austerely beautiful process for reconciling science, religion, and humanism. Resonant with the confusions of existence, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is a touching and transcendent book of life.

In his now classic Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert Pirsig brings us a literary chautauqua, a novel that is meant to both entertain and edify. It scores high on both counts. Phaedrus, our narrator, takes a present-tense cross-country motorcycle trip with his son during which the maintenance of the motorcycle becomes an illustration of how we can unify the cold, rational realm of technology with the warm, imaginative realm of artistry. As in Zen, the trick is to become one with the activity, to engage in it fully, to see and appreciate all details--be it hiking in the woods, penning an essay, or tightening the chain on a motorcycle. In his autobiographical first novel, Pirsig wrestles both with the ghost of his past and with the most important philosophical questions of the 20th century--why has technology alienated us from our world? what are the limits of rational analysis? if we can't define the good, how can we live it? Unfortunately, while exploring the defects of our philosophical heritage from Socrates and the Sophists to Hume and Kant, Pirsig inexplicably stops at the middle of the 19th century. With the exception of Poincaré, he ignores the more recent philosophers who have tackled his most urgent questions, thinkers such as Peirce, Nietzsche (to whom Phaedrus bears a passing resemblance), Heidegger, Whitehead, Dewey, Sartre, Wittgenstein, and Kuhn. In the end, the narrator's claims to originality turn out to be overstated, his reasoning questionable, and his understanding of the history of Western thought sketchy. His solution to a synthesis of the rational and creative by elevating Quality to a metaphysical level simply repeats the mistakes of the premodern philosophers. But in contrast to most other philosophers, Pirsig writes a compelling story. And he is a true innovator in his attempt to popularize a reconciliation of Eastern mindfulness and nonrationalism with Western subject/object dualism. The magic of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance turns out to lie not in the answers it gives, but in the questions it raises and the way it raises them. Like a cross between The Razor's Edge and Sophie's World, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance takes us into "the high country of the mind" and opens our eyes to vistas of possibility. --Brian Bruya
Haiku summary
Biker -- deep thinker:

finally finds acceptance

for his peace of mind.

(legallypuzzled)

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060589469, Mass Market Paperback)

In his now classic Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert Pirsig brings us a literary chautauqua, a novel that is meant to both entertain and edify. It scores high on both counts.

Phaedrus, our narrator, takes a present-tense cross-country motorcycle trip with his son during which the maintenance of the motorcycle becomes an illustration of how we can unify the cold, rational realm of technology with the warm, imaginative realm of artistry. As in Zen, the trick is to become one with the activity, to engage in it fully, to see and appreciate all details--be it hiking in the woods, penning an essay, or tightening the chain on a motorcycle.

In his autobiographical first novel, Pirsig wrestles both with the ghost of his past and with the most important philosophical questions of the 20th century--why has technology alienated us from our world? what are the limits of rational analysis? if we can't define the good, how can we live it? Unfortunately, while exploring the defects of our philosophical heritage from Socrates and the Sophists to Hume and Kant, Pirsig inexplicably stops at the middle of the 19th century. With the exception of Poincaré, he ignores the more recent philosophers who have tackled his most urgent questions, thinkers such as Peirce, Nietzsche (to whom Phaedrus bears a passing resemblance), Heidegger, Whitehead, Dewey, Sartre, Wittgenstein, and Kuhn. In the end, the narrator's claims to originality turn out to be overstated, his reasoning questionable, and his understanding of the history of Western thought sketchy. His solution to a synthesis of the rational and creative by elevating Quality to a metaphysical level simply repeats the mistakes of the premodern philosophers. But in contrast to most other philosophers, Pirsig writes a compelling story. And he is a true innovator in his attempt to popularize a reconciliation of Eastern mindfulness and nonrationalism with Western subject/object dualism. The magic of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance turns out to lie not in the answers it gives, but in the questions it raises and the way it raises them. Like a cross between The Razor's Edge and Sophie's World, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance takes us into "the high country of the mind" and opens our eyes to vistas of possibility. --Brian Bruya

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:59:19 -0400)

(see all 11 descriptions)

The novel, published in 1974, uses a long motorcycle trip to frame a prolonged exploration of the world of ideas, about life and how best to live it. It references perspectives from Western and Eastern Civilizations as it explores the central question of the how to pursue technology so that human life is enriched rather than degraded. Narrated in the first person, it incorporates a parallel presentation of trip details and an ongoing retrospective concerning dramatic events from the Narrator's past, creating rich symbolism and including numerous analogies reinforcing the overall theme of coming to terms with the mysteries of why we exist and how best to live.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 17 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.84)
0.5 16
1 86
1.5 18
2 217
2.5 41
3 631
3.5 124
4 956
4.5 127
5 976

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 126,463,382 books! | Top bar: Always visible