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I don't review books I don't like!

*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
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*        = Good, with reservations


*****Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

by Robert M. Pirsig

Reviewed August 2001.
A Sonderbooks' Best Book of 2001
Available at Sembach Library (B PIR).

During vacation I finally read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert M. Pirsig, on the recommendation of my husband.  Although this book was first written in 1974, I saw copies in an Irish bookstore, so it is still in print.

Don’t be put off by the title.  As Steve pointed out to me, one funny thing about this book is that it doesn’t have a lot to do with either zen or motorcycle maintenance.  It is an amazing book that can send your mind in hundreds of different directions with much to ponder over.

The first time I tried to read it, I didn’t get very far.  This time, I read one chapter farther and was captivated.  It’s set in the background of the author’s trip across the country on a motorcycle with his son.  Years before, the author was a professor of philosophy with some ground-breaking ideas, but he went insane (or did he?) and was given electro-shock therapy--erasing his personality.

The author presents his research into the person he had been and the ideas that he developed.  There are many different big ideas presented--father-son relationships, the question of what makes good art, whether one can teach writing, ideas about education.  This is even a good introduction to philosophy.

Guaranteed to make you think.

Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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