One of the great novels of the 1970s and a multi-million copy best-seller.
Against astonishing landscapes, a father and his troubled teenage son journey together by motorcycle from Minnesota to California through shifting climates and changing moods.
Behind this literal journey lies a turbulent philosophical one; an attempt, in the face of despair and insanity, to rediscover the fundamental nature of ‘quality’ in a world where it no longer exists.
©1974 Robert Pirsig (P)2013 Craftsman Audiobooks
Classics, history, historical fiction, marketing, Napoleonic stuff and of course 'Boys own Adventure'. This is my bent. Occasional self help as well.
Be careful if you try to work out what these words mean you might end up mad. Well if you believe the story in this book. I suppose if you look at a speck long enough you could go mad trying to explain and work it out. This book is an excellent introduction to Zen philosophy. You will not become an expert and you will not be able to fix a motorbike after reading it but what ever you do this attitude the book discusses could be the determining factor between doing something and being something. Might also improve your golf game. The book like any good philosophy book opens more questions than it answers. Some of the book went over my head but I was listening to this book as an introduction and so should expect that. This is a great book for a journey as it parallels a motorbike journey across North America. If anything this book should open to your eyes to becoming a master of what every you wish to pursue. An attitude rather than just learning knowledge. I enjoyed the book and was a little lost after finishing it. I don't think I will ever read/listen to it again but will recommend it to some people who I think might benefit from some enlightenment. Michael Kramer did an excellent job narrating the book.
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"A coming to terms, a brave recollection"
Yes, I would recommend this book, because it processes several different registers of existence in a seamless way. Firstly the day today living in the world, moments of social discomfort or fatigue; secondly a troubled memory, how to approach a remembered trauma - slowly - geographically ; thirdly, an attempt to generate a philosophical framework outside the academy - and the subsequent emotional exhaustion that entails.
It is heartening, saddening, and hopeful all at once and all the way through.
It is hard to isolate a 'moment', but one of the striking aspects of the writing is the parallel between the acute incisive philosophical analysis and the minutely accurate descriptions of machine parts. Both demand/presume a level of perfection and at the same time highlight the contrasting moments of vagueness... looseness in the thinking in the same section of text. Utterly compelling and magnetic...
Kramer as Phaedrus, was quite the balance of passion, distaste and obsession, to be completely believable
Yes, but it is dense and shorter, paced, goes, allowed a deeper engagment with its complexity
Everyone should read this book every ten years...
"A Classic for Now"
I read this when I was a teenager in the late 1970s. I loved it then, and many of the themes have echoed around my head since. Listening to the wonderful narration by Michael Kramer, not only brought back my earlier memories and feelings, but enlightened me in my wiser years!
I get it more now, of course.
I love the layers in this book. The building of the relationships between his friends and his son, and the mystery of the relationship with his wife.
This is a book that you sometimes need to pause and really think about. Reading it in one session or listening to it all at once would be exhausting! Coming back after a day or two helps.
I will be listening to this again in about a year, I think, and then I will gain another bit of insightfulness.
"Awful rising inflection...."
This is a great and classic book and one which I've read many times. I downloaded the audible version to listen to on a long cycle ride, thinking it would be quite Zen! Unfortunately the narrator has the most AWFUL rising inflection, turning every sentence into a question. I couldn't listen to more than a couple of hours before wanting to smash my phone! Genuinely terrible narration....
Neil Peart's Ghost rider... similar themes
Anyone that has the ability to speak a sentence without making it a question!
The story is a classic - buy it and read it!
Probably the biggest waste of money I've ever experienced.
Brilliant book. The potential to be life changing, drive you mad, or bore you out of your mind, depending on your perspective, very marmite, but probably the greatest book I've ever read or listened to.
"Lost in narration?"
Was looking forward to reading/listening to this after numerous references to it I had heard over the years. Well it fell short. A very long rambling book. While the narrator was pleasant, even at 1.5x speed was slow and lethargic. Very hard to maintain concentration so I felt I missed parts, however feel this is on the content, not the reader.
Does pique ones interest in philosophy. Not recommended.
"Fantastic story, new views and perspectives"
If they are interested in philosophy and look to broaden their view, most defiantly. If you dont know anything about Kant or Poincaré this will be an eyeopener.
Right off the bat, the part where the friends wife noticed the sadness the people in the cars. How when you are looking at something frames, its not like you are part of what is going on. A passive observer of reality and not a part of it
How they found the national part so "fake", how if there is a big arrow to something it takes away from the experience.
I wasnt aware of "classic" and "romantic" knowledge, so that was the biggest eye opener. Ive seen it and felt it but never had it put into words. People in my surrounding actively look away from information about things they are dependent. The "war" between the two "sides" explains this perfectly
Fantastic book. As some one who never had an interest in philosophy this book opened my eyes big times. Both explained concepts in society that Ive seen and introduce/explain concepts I had never thought about before.
"A classic made more available"
Absolutely I would recommend. The book raises interesting points of philosophy in a very accessible way.
The bit where he visits his old University and reminisces.
No, it's too dense for that.
If you have ever thought about the meaning of life, then you will likely enjoy this book. If not, then it is not for you.
"Amazing book ."
I absolutely loved this book , I didn't want it to end and will definitely listen again. The narrator is perfect for this book as he is so relaxed and really draws you into the narrative. This book is probably my favourite from all my audiobooks, after listening to this for a few chapters I also bought the hard copy .
"Mind blowingly good!"
Though provoking and deep an amazing work that moves your thinking forward in the right direction.
"more than the words"
When I started this book I did not know what to expect but I thought the title was appealing. At one level it is the story of a man coming to terms with his life and his relationship with his son . If it were just this it would be a well written book and a compelling story but it is so much more, As a philosophy student some of the ideas that are put forward will need to be read re read and thought about many times It needs a lot of thought!11
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