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Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Audiobook

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

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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

4.2 (2973 )
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  •  
    Word Nerd United States 05-29-12
    Word Nerd United States 05-29-12 Listener Since 2006
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    "A must read for everyone!"

    I originally read this book twenty-something years ago. My paperback copy is frail and yellow and the cover is barely hanging on by a thread. I thought it'd be neat to listen to it. It was a good choice. Michael Kramer did an excellent job narrating both Phaedrus and Robert's perspectives (though Robert is never mentioned by name in the entire book). I learned a few more things this time around, even though I thought I sucked all the philosophy out of it the first 100 times I read it. I think I learned more about the rhetoric of quality than any one person should in a lifetime. Pirsig spent way too much time pondering it -- but then again, I think that was the whole point and the reason he eventually lot his mind.

    If you've ever pondered anything--relationships, equations, language, theory--you must read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. If you own and ride a motorcycle and have ever pondered life during a road trip, you have to read this. If you have a heartbeat, you should read it. Seriously. You need to read it. And then listen to the Audible.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greg Bel Aire, KS, United States 02-26-08
    Greg Bel Aire, KS, United States 02-26-08
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    "Glad I listened- but still don't understand"

    I ride motocycles and this book certainly made me long for the open road. Anyone who has read it knows the book is much more than a road trip on a bike. It examines the development of Western thought and the duality of conflict between what people beleive to be "quality" in a (insert noun here). I have to admit that the discussion on Plato, Aristotle and such left me in the dust. Having taken no philosphy in school I have little foundational knowlege to go on. But it spurred my curiosity in "rhetoric" and how present day people share ideas. Going online helped me clear up some of the issues I had in lack of familiarity.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 01-11-03
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    "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance"

    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!

    28 of 40 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 11-02-16
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    "I'm sleeping"

    Narrator is not very enthusiastic, hard to pay attention. could not finish the story. no bueno

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Curtis J. Salisbury Pleasant Grove, UT 08-12-16
    Curtis J. Salisbury Pleasant Grove, UT 08-12-16

    DarthOpto

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    "not my cup of tea"

    I found this book rather boring. I may have just proved the authors point about romantic and classical minds, but this book didn't do anything for me .

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bioarches 07-04-16
    Bioarches 07-04-16 Member Since 2017
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    "A Serious Waste of Time"

    This may be a book of its time, but just be aware that it's time has passed. A few excerpts:

    "....what is the cause of causality?"

    "....in the pile of sand, which grain of sand is the Buddha?.......oh, the Buddha is everywhere!"

    If philosophy is your thing and the ramblings of a story about a man who lost his personality and memory due to Electric Shock Therapy floats your boat, then go for it.... I suppose.

    Let the rationality of what is irrational and the lateral exploration of what is or might not be but could be if your exploration becomes linear again rule the day #*{^}£*}*{£~£}?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    levi 06-21-16
    levi 06-21-16
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    "Huge disappointment. "

     There was a good story in there somewhere, but it was lost in his self-centered philosophical musings. Pirsig's "philosophy" is on par with Ayn Rand's: highly flawed and devoid of rigor.

    He treated his son like shit, and he was condescending toward everyone else. I got nothing out of this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Munster Monster 04-11-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Overhyped Ravings of a Lunatic"
    Would you try another book from Robert M. Pirsig and/or Michael Kramer?

    No


    Has Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    This book is a relic of the 70s when we were saturated with allegedly "deep" parables like Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Jonathan Livingston Seagull etc, but are woefully short of substance or inspiration. Although the reader is admirable, the writing is that of a caustic, angry, delusional person. This is a travel log that makes me NOT want to ride a motorcycle around the country.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr. BS Near Seattle. 07-12-15
    Mr. BS Near Seattle. 07-12-15
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    "Spoiler warning in the audio version."

    Enough has been written about this book that my uneducated words won't convince anyone's opinion

    It is surely polarizing and if you are aware of it, you should probably have a go at it. Be warned, there is a major spoiler in the foreword. Skip it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 05-20-14
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 05-20-14

    I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - Salinger ^(;,;)^

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Just can't follow Pirsig all the way."

    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

    18 of 28 people found this review helpful

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