Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance: 40th Anniversary Edition

Front Cover
Random House, Nov 30, 2011 - Philosophy - 432 pages

A philosophical odyssey into life's fundamental questions during an unforgettable summer motorcycle trip, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance transformed a generation and continues to inspire millions

One of the most influential books written in the past half-century, Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is a powerful examination of how we live and a breathtaking meditation on how to live better. Following a father and his young son on a summer motorcycle trip across America's Northwest, it is a story of love, fear, growth, discovery and acceptance. Both personal and philosophical, it is a compelling study of relationships, values, and eventually, enlightenment – resonant with the confusions and wonders of existence.
Acclaimed as one of the most exciting books in the history of American letters, this modern epic became an instant bestseller upon publication in 1974.

‘The book is inspired, original...the analogies with Moby-Dick are patent’ New Yorker
‘Mr Pirsig has written a work of great, perhaps urgent, importance... Read this book’ Observer

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

One of the best philosophical book I read after FountainHead.
Nicely written.
Some confusing thoughts though.
Especially with the concept "Laws of logic of mathematics are also human inventions
like ghosts. The whole blessed thing is human invention, including the idea that it is not"
I had this argument with cousins.
I agree that we, humans can think in "refutation systems".
1. We could enjoy a Rajnikanth film which does not satisfy any laws of nature.
2. We also enjoy a highly scieitific movie like bicentennial man which is based on true scientific observations.
3. We could extend the laws of physics like in the movie Matrix "Morpheus: This is a sparring program, similar to the programmed reality of the Matrix. It has the same basic rules, rules like gravity. What you must learn is that these rules are no different that the rules of a computer system. Some of them can be bent. Others can be broken".
Thus these thoughts exists in mind. But when we believe in so called "knowledge of science" or of mathematics, we could create things which are visible outcomes. I could not see any such outcomes in the belief of a ghost.
So, are they comparable?

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

"Look, I tried...I really tried with this audiobook, I got past the seven chapter itch, but now I'm up to chapter 28 and I have forgotten why I'm reading this 'would be classic'. It has become background noise while I think of something more interesting. I can only conclude that (for those of you who have read this behemoth of navel gazing, forgive me for the bad paraphrase) 'the only Zen you will find in this book, is the Zen you bring with you'. One good thing that has come out of the experience is that I now want to buy a motorbike. LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO FINISH BAD BOOKS." 

About the author (2011)

Robert M. Pirsig was born in 1928 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He holds degrees in chemistry, philosophy, and journalism and also studied Oriental philosophy at Benares Hindu University in India. He is the author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and Lila.

Bibliographic information