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Guidebook to "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance"
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on 1 July 2005
I bought this book hoping for a large amount of further discussion and explanation to ZMM. Instead I found a brief (necessarily, given the hugeness of the topic) background to Eastern and Western philosophy (better covered elsewhere), some previously unpublished sections of the original ZMM manuscript (which felt somewhat like watching short DVD "Deleted Scenes" and trying to relate them to the original film), and a very large section devoted to reprinting original reviews of ZMM. A lot of the book seemed to be merely filler to me.
Perhaps the best part of the guidebook is a reprint of a letter written by Pirsig to Robert Redford explaining his views on the book and how it could be turned into a film (thankfully never realised!).
This book _does_ provide some additional discussion of Pirsig's ideas, but I found the topics were better covered in Pirsig's second book: Lila (which, incidentally, documents the meeting with Redford that follows the aforementioned letter). Lila, being an extension of the ideas of Quality discussed in ZMM, forms a far better "guide" to ZMM than this book.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on 1 December 2001
Fascinating look into some of the deep issues behind ZMM - brilliant section on Eastern religion/philosophy is only slightly marred by turgid overwrought section on Western philosophy -or perhaps that's my own philisophical preferences talking. Essential for people who found themselves fascinated by the deep metaphysical issues in ZMM. Not recommended, however, for people who found themselves skipping the long bits about philosophy and wanted to get back to the road story all the time.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on 21 June 1999
Additional background material, both philosophical and historical, really illuminates the original Pirsig book. The bonus is sometimes startling insights, and new questions (often unanswered for the reader to work out). Think of it as an informal but well-written textbook by teachers who care both about the material and the student. It lures the reader into further self-study in epistemology, metaphysics, aesthetics, and ethics. Contains valuable passages that were edited out of the original Pirsig book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 February 2015
fantastic brilliant amazing superb good
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 13 September 2014
good sections/some better than others!
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8 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on 3 August 1998
Very profound. Not many books make you think like "Zen ..." does. Heightens the pleasure of reading by adding the dimension of thought to it. 'Phaedrus' leaps off the pages of the book to stay with you for the rest of your life...and perhaps beyond too. Keeps up to its own high quality values. If you liked "Zen ..." I would recommend "LILA" by Robert Pirsig which is another masterpiece.
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3 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on 29 June 1998
I am a young fan of the power of freedom motos can offer us, even without driving one, anyway, Pirsig's travels along America have all a sense of epic and total democracy of mind, in the sense that each men and women are looking for their good path in this World, and here we have a solution of a man with his son totally ready to face the misterious magic of the open road, plus the force given by oriental zen and inner peace! Incredible America, once more!!! FABRI atiber@tin.it
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