I will be brief. The writing is absolutely superb.
The Narration, musical interludes and "Performance" is excellent beyond words.
Truly a world class performance by the narrator Kramer. After listening to dozens of audio books from audible and other sources, this is without a doubt the finest audiobook ever. Period! Once you hear this one, you'll be spoiled and everything else will seem ho-hum... I'll bet you a dollar that you will agree! A benchmark for all future audio book productions. Seriously.
Often it is difficult to listen to a narrator of an audible book for some time before you grow weary of his voice or find flaws in his reading style. This book was EXCELLENTLY narrated and you felt that you were listening to the author and not someone merely reciting words yet not mellow dramatically done. The book requires much thought and being able to rewind and listen to certain passages over again is wonderful. I originally read the book in my early twenties but was looking for a travel book not a philosphy book so it had little affect upon me, listening to it now on my commute into the city, it opens up much thought and forces the reader/listener to really think and not just swallow without chewing first. It will inspire the listener if he is of that temperment, to want to further read both philosophers and Pirsig's other books which sadly are not yet here available.
Without a doubt, the best audio book, any book, that I have had the pleasure to listen to .... again and again.
Go ahead! Get the audio version and regain the insight of Quality living!
But I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - J.D. Salinger ^(;,;)^
There are parts of this book, and parts of this type of book I really enjoy. But at the exact same time, this whole genre of book (see: Ken Wilber and his oeuvre, especially A Brief History of Everything) really grinds and irritates.* Don't get me wrong, I love Greek philosophy and Zen Buddhism as much as the next guy (or gal) on Goodreads/Audible/Amazon. No serious. ON my FB page, I think I put my religion down as: γνῶσις-Mðrmon; 禪-Mormon. I'm all about the search for Truth. I want to pick and prune it where ever it grows (East or West). But these pop-Philosophy/pop-Zen/grand theory of everything books seem to promise way more than they ever deliver.
I DO get, however, how some people love it. I see it. I can feel it. It is seductive as hell for sure. And -- AND -- a part of me buys into a part of it. I just can't follow Pirsig all the way up or down his mountain.
Anyway, I'm not sorry I listened to t, just like after finishing a Malcolm Gladwell bestseller doesn't leave me with any sorrow either. I just feel like I've been given a light mental laxitive. Everything moves easy, and nothing is too damaging. I just don't really want to double down and read Lila. The Pirsig motorcycle is garaged. The seventies are over. I want a different sort of quality I guess.
* given that statement, I'm not sure why I'm not as critical of Matthiessen's The Snow Leopard. Perhaps it was the writing. Perhaps it was less pop. But ye Gads, the mid-to-late 70s was a bumper crop for Zen Buddhist books in the US
This was a very interesting and thought provoking story. I didn't know what I was getting into but found myself thinking at length about the ideas and concepts discussed in the book. Few books can manage that.
The production quality of this book was awful. The first several chapters sounded rich and full, but then sounded like it went through a pitch shift like it was speed up. By the 9th chapter you can hear other people talking in the background like it was recorded in a technical support center. I troubleshot this quite a bit and confirmed, it is in the recording.
The poor audio production was so distracting to me, I found it hard to listen to the book at times. I was trying to understand and absorb the authors points while trying to block out the "chatter" in the background or the pitch of the narrators voice, and found my concentration lost too often. Audible should never have let a title with these problems make it into the store.
Narration was wonderful. The seriousness of the main character is captured with full respect. Because it is about the mind and a mind that is unsound, the earnest steadiness of the narrator's voice is admirable. I read this in the 70's. The landscape is a retro experience as well as a literary force. The story breathes technology. I found poignant listening to the story now because his celebratory trip would have had a completely different texture today, more of the unknowns would now be easily knowable. Highly recommended.
I can't even imagine trying to read this book. Michael Kramer does an excellent job of bringing a cerebral text to life. He maintained my interest throughout the entire book.
Been intending to read this book for over twenty years. I wish I'd read/listened it sooner. A great story intertwined with some thought provoking ideas on the concept of quality and life. Highly recommended
This book should be required reading in schools. This is the essence of philosophy without putting one to sleep. The author covers so many topics and ties it neatly together in a story that makes the lessons usefuul to all. This is an audiobook that will be reread every other year and you''l learn new things each time....oh yeah, you don't have to be a biker to love this book but it may create an urge for you to get one after.
I read this book in college (was a english lit major) and liked it quite a bit. I have listened to it (many years later) and found it even better.
It is not a light easy read. It can be tough to get through at times. It challenges the reader/listening - but is a very intelligent book. I recommend it to anyone who wants more than a best seller thriller every week (which I enjoy as well) from time to time.