Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – Book Review

by Hugh Kimura on March 25, 2011 · Live Well


This book is a classic philosophic tale by Robert Pirsig about a few friends and their motorcycle trip. It is very well reviewed on Amazon.com and it has gotten good reviews from the press.

So I decided to download the audio version…of course.  It is a story about Robert and his son Chris who are traveling cross country on motorcycles with a couple, John and Sylvia.

Robert prides himself in knowing everything about his bike and how to fix it.  In contrast, John has bought an expensive motorcycle and just crosses his fingers, hoping nothing goes wrong with it.

This primary difference is then expanded upon, explored and related to social phenomenon like how technology has made us feel more disconnected from other people.

That is where I stopped listening…

I love a good philosophy book that can tell a good story but also gives me something to think about in terms of how I view “reality. ”  To me, this book wasn’t it.

What I don’t like about the book is that the main character is a know-it-all.  He takes every little detail of the trip and examines it ad nauseam, trying to prove to you how smart he is.

You remember these types of people from school.  If you ask them what color their shirt is, they will tell you about how the color you are seeing is actually the wavelength of light that is being absorbed, how you couldn’t see the color of the shirt if you were colorblind or they will attempt to compare it to their favorite crayon color.

Your shirt is blue man, just say it’s fuckin’ blue.

Yes, I guess it could be said that this is the nature of all philosophy books and is what makes them so good.  They break things down, sometimes to almost a ridiculous scale to argue an idea.

Not that I have read so many philosophy books, nor do I fancy myself a great philophizer, but the other books that I have read generally come up for air every once in awhile.

So, needless to say I didn’t like the book and would not recommend it.  Maybe it was just the way it was read on the audiobook?  Possibly.

But for now this book is going back on the virtual bookshelf.  Who knows, I may end up liking it one day…yeah right.

About The Author: Hugh Kimura
Hi, I'm Hugh Kimura and my mission is provide you with the very best information about trading and living better through research and my own personal experience. You can also follow me on Twitter and Google+. Note: All information is for entertainment and education only and is not investment or trading advice.


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