Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (ZMM) is one of my all time favorite books. I’ve had this guidebook for a couple years, but never felt like reading it. I finally decided to, and was surprised and impressed. It was not what I thought at all.
First, after a short introduciton, the book dives into major Easter Thought, such as Hinduism, Taosim, Buddhism, and Confuscionism. Then the bookdives into major Western Thought on knowledge, value, ethics, etc. These are all given as background, as the narrator of ZMM often brings up such items briefly and sometimes without much depth. Having the background that the Guidebook gives is really useful.
Second, the Guide contains some sections deleted from the original manuscript, and third, includes several reviews of ZMM from the time it was 1st published or shortly thereafter. Fourth, one of the most interesting thing s in the book is a letter from Pirsig, the author, to Robert Redford, about ideas for a movie of ZMM. Apparently Redford had expressed a lot fo interest in doing it at one point. Pirsig’s letter is really a fascinating read and gives additional insight into the book.
All in all I was surprised and impressed by this guidebook, and would highly recommend it to anyone that has enjoyed ZMM. I’m actually now reading ZMM again. 🙂
I’m going to skip the normal quotes section, at least for now…