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Publisher's Summary

In 1968, Robert Pirsig and his son, Chris, made the cross-country motorcycle trip that was the basis for Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, a book that has inspired generations with its searching personal and philosophical narrative.

After rereading the book at the onset of middle age, reporter Mark Richardson tuned up his old Suzuki dirt bike and became a "Pirsig Pilgrim", one of the legions of fans who regularly retrace the author's route from Minneapolis to San Francisco.

Richardson, like Pirsig before him, traveled the lonely roads of the American West, where he encountered many of the same people and places that inspired Pirsig. Richardson also corresponded with the reclusive author and his legendary editor, James Landis, and uncovered new details about Pirsig's mental illness, his unhappy celebrity, and his struggle to put his life together after the brutal murder of his son in 1979.

Published to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Pirsig's trip, Zen and Now is an intellectual adventure, a meditation on the values of a classic book, and an inquiry into its relevance to the complex and bewildering world we inhabit today.

Zen again: listen to the classic Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
©2008 Mark Richardson; (P)2008 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

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  • Overall
  • James
  • Atlanta, GA, USA
  • 04-17-09

Wonderful

As a more than middle aged ZMM fan whose '61 BMW has not yet, and may never, make the pilgirmage of the Zen Riders, I find that Richardson's musings parallel some and suggest others I might have on the ride. Darren is correct - if you want to read about Pirsig, this is not the audiobook for you. But keep in mind that Pirsig's advice to Richardson when he declined an interview was that if you want to know an author read his books, don't talk to him. I suggest that if you want to read about ZMM, then you need to go to DiSanto and Steele's Guidebook [as Richardson had]. But if you want to experience the ZMM pilgrimage but can't make the trip[yet], then this book is for you. Richardson's story is fun, interesting, introspective and full of vicarious adventures and experiences of the real thing, in route, in spirit and in thought.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great Companion.

great companion book to the original Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. if you enjoyed the original take another journey as you examine the road from another perspective.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Sam Smith
  • Regina, Saskatchewan Canada
  • 11-02-08

Disappointed

I bought this thinking it would be about Robert Pirsig but it's mostly about Mark Richardson following the path that the Pirsig's took across the US. Don't get this book if you want to learn about Robert Pirsig, there is some interesting things in it about Pirsig but it's scattered here and there in between many pages of Mark Richardson, and it's not worth listening to if all you are interested in is Pirsig. The narrator, Buck Schimer, was very good. One of the best narrations I have heard.

12 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Self indulgent

Richardson takes a 'Pirsig Pilgrimage' and disappoints. How does one other than Pirsig remember so much along the way? I struggle to open myself up to his voyage because Richardson has a destination. Pirsig did not. I'm truly interested in what Richardson gained from the voyage, other than a birthday present. Void of "Quality", and "Substance". Watery syrup with no pour. The John Goodman style narrator went in and out of Irish accents at his discretion.

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  • bkfist
  • North Carolina, USA
  • 04-26-17

Entertaining story line, good background info.

loved the book. I was sorry the journey had to end. I can highly recommend this book to any fan of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.