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.
He was so strange and so crazy. And his moral and intellectual hubris, his arrogance and superiority were off-putting to be kind. Yet the story, and Chris were compelling.
This book is for deep thinkers and maybe Anarchist. I personally could not stay with when he started making lists and explaining motor cycle Maintainance. I believe there are plenty of people who have a different temperament and would love it.
I actually made it all the way through (mostly) this time.
Pirsig seems to me to have a lot of insight into certain things and at times I can relate to him and his experiences. However, the book often gets lost in his long babbling style.
Still, it's a book I would listen to again - sometime (not anytime soon).
first one i have had i enjoyed it.
When he spoke about adjusting his valves, and approaching a roadside lake i really connected with that part.
I really enjoy being able to listen to a book while I am doing other things.