In what has been said to be the summation of 20th-century philosophy, Zen and the Art of motorcycle maintenance has been one of my most favorite audible purchases in a long time. What starts off as a cross country trip becomes an exploration of the subject of quality, and perhaps men's duality with his past self and his present self.
My only complaint about this recording is the narration change that happens around three quarters of the book's length. Although it is the same voice the depth and speed of the narration changes which gave me the feeling of weight and sleepiness. Perhaps the reason is stylistic, or artistic, but there's a section within the book that dismisses style in lieu of quality. I've gone back and forth on whether I appreciate this or not.
None the less, this book has reinvigorated me to explore again the foundations of western thought and philosophy.
I will definitely recommend this book and intend to enjoy the recording many times again.
Enough has been written about this book that my uneducated words won't convince anyone's opinion
It is surely polarizing and if you are aware of it, you should probably have a go at it. Be warned, there is a major spoiler in the foreword. Skip it.
I have read or listened to ZMM at least seven times. I will probably continue reading it the rest of my life. Two books loom large in the formation of my history and personality. The first is The Lord of the Rings, for repeatedly transporting me to a place that feels like I've known it since BEFORE I was born. The second is Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Persig's masterpiece informs much of my view of the world, consciously and (I suppose) sub- consciously. Every time I revisit it there are new insights that either build on previous ones or that open whole new thought paths. Somewhere in the text of this work I believe Persig may unwittingly answer the question: is there a God.
if you're into high octane philosophical discussions in literary form this book's for you. really thoroughly enjoyed it.
Not your usual regurgitations of another book.
I was especially intrigued with his views on education… Is about learning and experiencing not chasing carrots and memorizing what other people have thought and done.
Wanted to read this story in the '70s when it was first published but never took the time. Audio books made it possible by listening to it during my commutes. Great story line and a fabulous way to consume literature with a busy schedule.
This one gets better with each listen. New insights and depths emerge, especially after seeing whispers of its wisdom in the real world. It took me a long time to get my head around this book, but once I did it seemed to add perspective to so many aspects of my life and world.
I found this reader a bit flat; he also varies his pronunciation of a key character's name. For first-time readers, the abridged version might be a bit more listenable. For those who want the whole thing, maybe scan for another reader.
Look beyond reality.
Thoreau's 'Walden' and Ayn Rand's 25th anniversary introduction to 'The Fountainhead' summarize my library well.
I attempted to read ZMM when I was an undergrad. I remember falling asleep and forcing myself to plow through one diatribe after another. I wasn't ready for ZMM then.
I purchased ZMM as my second ever Audible title one year ago, on a whim that audiobooks might be cool. Over twenty years after that first attempt, I didn't realize how ready I finally was for this title. Pirsig and Kramer took me on a journey that moved me profoundly.
I won't repeat anything the champions of this title have already said. Perhaps my two unique contributions to the collective pool of reviews are as follows:
- Tell me that Pirsig didn't intentionally open the first chapter ("I can see by my watch without taking my hand from the left grip of the cycle...") by taking his own advice he handed out to his English class ("In one class he had everyone write all hour about the back of his thumb.") and I'll call you a liar.
- The New York Times lavishly reviewed ZMM as "intellectual entertainment of the highest order." While I understand their intention of high praise, their choice of words is downright insulting. "Entertainment?" That word is reserved to describe a television sitcom or a karaoke machine. ZMM is too passionate to be simply called "entertainment" of any order.
"And what is good, Phaedrus, And what is not good—Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?" This opening passage nearly moves me to tears every time I think about it. Thank you Mr. Pirsig for following the railroad tracks of quality to the publication of this title. (If only Michael Kramer would record a production of Lila as well!)
The narrator brings a depth of meaning that I never got from reading the book myself. This is still a must-read book for 21st century Westerners.