Title: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Date Completed: 2/14/10

Author(s): Robert Pirsig

Copyright: 2005, HarperPerennial Modern Classics

# pages: 430

Genre: Philosophy

ISBN: 0-06-083987-2

This book has been on my reading list for a very long time.  It is a modern-day classic that was written in 1974.  I didn’t really know what to expect, but I was really excited to dig right into the book.  Little did I know what I was up against.

ZAMM is two books in one.  There is the story of the author and his son as they ride across the country on their motorcycle.  It is the traditional story of a father and his son trying to figure out how their relationship works.  The second is a story of a (literally) crazy professor who is obsessed with defining the word ‘Quality.’  This is the philosophy part of the book.

You know how in college, you would read a book about a guy on a motorcycle wearing a scarf, and then you’d get to class the next day and find out it wasn’t really about a guy on a motorcycle wearing a scarf?  The motorcycle represents our vulnerability and the scarf represents the character’s attempt to block himself off from the vulnerability?  Well, I was the person who just always thought it was about a guy, a motorcycle, and a scarf.  I never really got the whole meaning behind the meaning thing.

This book is one of those really deep books that assumes that you are the kind of person who gets the meaning behind the meaning.  I’m glad I read it, but I’m also glad it’s over.  I know it isn’t a glowing review, but as with all books, you should read it for yourself and make your own judgment.  That’s what I love about reading.  It introduces you to new things and you get to make up your own mind about whether or not you like them.  There is a whole world out there to learn about.  Go read!