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Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance | [Robert M. Pirsig]

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

This thought-provoking journal of a man's quest for truth - and for himself - has touched and changed an entire generation, and is ready to reach out to a new one. At its heart, the story is all too simple: a man and his son take a motorcycle trip across America. But this is not a simple trip at all, for around every corner, their pilgrimage leads them to new vistas of self-discovery and renewal.
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Publisher's Summary

This lyrical, evocative, thought-provoking journal of a man's quest for truth - and for himself - has touched and changed an entire generation, and is ready to reach out to a new one. At its heart, the story is all too simple: a man and his son take a motorcycle trip across America. But this is not a simple trip at all, for around every corner, through mountain and desert, wind and rain, and searing heat and biting cold, their pilgrimage leads them to new vistas of self-discovery and renewal.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is an elemental work that has helped to shape and define the past 25-years of American culture. This special audio edition presents this adventure in an exciting new way - for the millions who have already taken this journey and want to travel these roads again, and for the many more who will discover for the first time the wonders and challenges of a story that will change the way they think and feel about their lives. Unique to audio, this edition features a new introduction by the author.

©1974 by Robert M. Pirsig; (P)1996 by Books on Tape, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Profoundly important...intellectual entertainment of the highest order." (The New York Times)
"Brave wanderings, high adventures, extraordinary risks...A horn of plenty." (Los Angeles Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (1637 )
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4.1 (880 )
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4.1 (877 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Joe Bloggs WASHINGTON, IL, United States 03-23-12
    Joe Bloggs WASHINGTON, IL, United States 03-23-12 Member Since 2011

    Simple Joe

    HELPFUL VOTES
    51
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    54
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    "A Quality Book"
    If you could sum up Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance in three words, what would they be?

    Very High Quality


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The motorcycle, because I don't like the question. And it is a very cool old BMW.


    What about Michael Kramer’s performance did you like?

    He did a great job using a different voice for Fedras, who is actually the same person as the main character. It really gives you an eerie feeling when Fedras speaks.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    no, that would be too much to digest at one time


    Any additional comments?

    While I'm no Zen Buddist, and I happen to disagree with the metaphysics of quality, I loved the book. I learned something that just clicked in my head when he finally got to the ancient Greeks. The hero of an ancient Greek book embodied quality or good because he was good at everything! This is completely contrary to modern day thought, but makes so much sense. Today the hero of a book is likely lopsided and good at only a few things. You'll have to read the book to understand what quality is. A lot of stuff that I couldn't understand from a logical point of view makes a whole lot more sense to me now. It's the whole idea of good or quality sort of infused into something or someone. Once you get the idea, you get what the book is about. But even if you don't care for philosophical arguments and ideas, this book is still entertaining and thought enhancing. This book has inspired me to take a motorcycle trip on my own motorcycle.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jes Hobart, IN, United States 12-21-11
    Jes Hobart, IN, United States 12-21-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not a simple story, it goes deep."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance to be better than the print version?

    I would never have gotten through the book or have tried.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a book that you can read and never get the story beneath the surface. It goes very deep that you may have to listen to more than once to get the story below or behind the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Plymouth, MA, United States 01-14-11
    Paul Plymouth, MA, United States 01-14-11 Member Since 2009
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    "Couldn't finish it"

    Dated. Narrator drones. Tried three times.If you're circling back to books you should have read in high school, skip this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven 09-28-10
    Steven 09-28-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Where do I start?"

    I think there is something in here for everyone. I don't know how to explain this book or offer something that others haven't said. There is so much in this book, that I think you just owe it to yourself to listen and think and enjoy. It is a strange book, but I will be listening to it again soon and am looking forward to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan indianapolis, IN, United States 03-21-10
    Jonathan indianapolis, IN, United States 03-21-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "all about quality"

    to me, this book is about understanding. understanding what is kind of subjective because the story is metaphorical. but that just makes it one of those books that you are likly to listen to more than once. if it's worth doing, then it's worth doing well. but if it's not worth doing well, then is it not worth doing? if you are thinking that over right now, you shold download this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Martinez, CA, USA 03-03-10
    Robert Martinez, CA, USA 03-03-10
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    3
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    "excellent"

    very good life values and what is really important

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Johnston 07-25-09 Listener Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Always an Adventure"

    I like many others have listened to this after originally reading it many years ago. Now after my own experiences with an 11 year old son of my own I can say that the entire narrative seems almost autobiographical, as if I was somehow listening to my own story and inner thoughts (minus the shock therapy mind you!!). This book can not be listened to on the surface level. If one dimensional story telling is what you are expecting then you will surely write reviews similar to the many negative ones we see here. If you approach each chapter as a multi layered metaphor then in every detail you will find many "ahaa moments" that will stick with you for days, even years to come.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Bevan 07-14-09
    Karen Bevan 07-14-09 Member Since 2015
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    "It's the genre...."

    The first third of this book held my attention as i enjoyed the author's analysis of life through the function of his motorcycle. But I grew tired of the philosophy and continuous self examination and so- did a lot of fast forwarding. Basically, a book dealing with this level of philosophy is not my genre so I feel my opinion is biased. My husband, on the other hand, listened to an hour's worth and wants it for his Kindle!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    alison 06-18-09
    alison 06-18-09

    "Hi My name is Ali and I'm an Audible addict." "Hi Ali!"

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good good good good"

    This is a nice mix of story telling in regards to the road trip with the author's son Chris, and nightmarish flashbacks to college philosophy 101 with a health dose of abnormal psychology tossed in just to make it interesting! I had to listen intensely to the philosophical arguments that I would have glazed over if reading it in the book but managed through the narration. At times the recording sounded tinny, but overall excellent narration and vocalization.
    I've wanted to read this book for a few years now and can check it off my long list of books to read. The most shocking part of the whole thing happens at the afterward...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D.J.S. 05-24-08
    D.J.S. 05-24-08 Member Since 2014

    Bones

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A good read"

    I had never read this book before. I found it to be a delight. I ride a bike, though it is not about motorcycles-really. It is more about phsyology (wich I have studied) and metaphysics (which I have not).

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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