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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 (3343 )
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Story
4.3 (2414 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Erik MANSFIELD, TX, United States 01-25-13
    Erik MANSFIELD, TX, United States 01-25-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Loved it, but hard to stay focused at times."
    Would you listen to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance again? Why?

    Yes, I would listen again. I may take a listen to the dramatized version to provide a greater audible depth into the story. The story of father and son I was able to follow, and even at times made me sad. The philosophical elements of the book went pretty deep at times, and that would be my purpose for reading (listening) again. I don't know if I necessarily got any real value from this book, but rather it has inspired me into deeper thought and personal study. Maybe that is the intent of the book. In the last chapter of the audio book, it takes place 10-years after the release of the book and provides deeper insight to their life after the story. I would listen to that chapter again, by itself.


    What other book might you compare Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance to and why?

    I don't know that I could. I haven't read or listened to many books in my life. This one is so unique. I do wish I could find more like it, though. I have always liked the personal journey type stories.


    Have you listened to any of Michael Kramer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I don't believe so. He did well, but it is noticeable and older recording taken from cassette. His voice can be droning at times, but after you get used to it and put that voice the main characters image in your mind, it works.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    At times I chuckled, and times I felt a little emotional. Didn't actually cry.


    Any additional comments?

    This was taken from a cassette recording, so you can hear the other side of the tape in reverse, just enough to notice, but not enough to be annoying. This would be worth redoing at some point, unabridged, dramatized a little. It could draw a younger audience to the book.

    Great story, though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Allen Texas 01-16-13
    Allen Texas 01-16-13 Member Since 2017
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    "The long road of a man going insane"
    Would you listen to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance again? Why?

    It had more philosophy about the art of quality and I wasn't really impressed with the fact that it didn't have much to do with motorcycle maintenance.


    What could Robert M. Pirsig have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Very heart felt but it is a little weird to hear someone give themselves an alter ego that they refer to in the book.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Michael Kramer?

    I 'm not sure this book should have been brought to audio because it was written to be more on philosophy and it's easy to loose focus when listening. Probably a much better read so that it can be easily reviewed to ponder deep thinking.


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

    No I had to take several breaks so I could ponder the philosophy mentioned in order to attempt to grasp the quality.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne-Marie Birmingham, AL, United States 01-05-13
    Anne-Marie Birmingham, AL, United States 01-05-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Stuck in First Gear"
    Would you try another book from Robert M. Pirsig and/or Michael Kramer?

    Yes. Keyword: TRY


    What could Robert M. Pirsig have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Added SOMETHING interesting in the first chapter.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The reader had a droning, monotonist voice. He read it as if HE had little interest in the prose.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It would help me drift off to sleep.


    Any additional comments?

    Most people love this book, I just couldn't get into it. I am a motorcyclist and I adore philosophy, but this book actually bored me. I only made it through chapter 1, but I kept thinking, "Come on, get out of First Gear!!!!"
    Perhaps it eventually got better, but I need something more entertaining. I can't imagine listening to this while driving late at night!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carl R. Lunsford Austin TX. 11-26-12
    Carl R. Lunsford Austin TX. 11-26-12
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    "A clasic book that has nothing to do with Zen."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I highly recommend this book to anyone. It is an American classic that presents Pirsig’s philosophy of Quality and his struggle to assimilate it in a very readable and interesting way.


    What aspect of Michael Kramer’s performance would you have changed?

    The narration is adequate, Nothing to complain about. There used to be a version available with the author narrating which was much better but it doesn’t seem to be available any more.


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

    This book is alittle too long to listen to in one sitting.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Toby 08-02-12
    Toby 08-02-12 Member Since 2016
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    "Wonderful to return to this classic"
    What did you love best about Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance?

    Wonderful classic. Not to be missed. Books like these leave the reader changed.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance?

    I would constantly lose track of the story as my mind would be snagged by some new concept and then follow the logic independently of the narrator. I would then have to rewind to the point of departure just to get snagged all over again. It was a real treat.


    What didn???t you like about Michael Kramer???s performance?

    The narrator's voice has a wonderful timber and (when played at double speed) the narration is beautifully delivered. You could almost imagine that the background noise is the crackle of a camp fire and that you are huddled around listening to ghost stories. (In a way you are!).
    I suspect the publishers messed it up as it sounded as if the narrator was performing under the influence of strong sedatives from outside a crowded train station. The constant drone of background voices is very distracting and I had to play the title at double speed just to make it sound normal. Are they slowing these recordings down just make the time quota? I prefer to get through a book faster so that I can get onto the next one.


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

    I would advise taking leave to get through this in one shot.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer Springfield, IL, United States 07-03-12
    Kindle Customer Springfield, IL, United States 07-03-12
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    "Good audio narrator voice"
    What did you love best about Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance?

    Of course, the book and the author are classics - the book is on several publisher lists as one of top 100 books of the 20th century - also selling over 15 million copies in 26 languages makes this the top selling "Philosophy" book ever published - no more needs to be said


    What did you like best about this story?

    The observations and insights of the narrator


    What about Michael Kramer’s performance did you like?

    He has just the right amount of melancholy in his voice and inflexions are also effective in the story telling which has the "first person" perspective deliverance that has a greater challenge to the narrator


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

    No - it is better to pause and reflect so the "Audible" format is very suitable for the listener (reader) to digest the powerful messages that are being told in the context of the motorcycle journey


    Any additional comments?

    My favorite book of all time - read it as a teenager in mid 70's and it profoundly affected my formation as a person of values, integrity, and the quest for quality and constant improvement. Enjoy the journey and it is a book worth coming back to every so often.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe Bloggs WASHINGTON, IL, United States 03-23-12
    Joe Bloggs WASHINGTON, IL, United States 03-23-12 Member Since 2017
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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
  •  
    Fortunee 09-07-11
    Fortunee 09-07-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "For those of us who love technology"

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Johnston 07-25-09 Listener Since 2006
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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 B. 07-14-09
    Karen B. 07-14-09 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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