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Showing 1-10 of 28 reviews(1 star). See all 351 reviews
on 12 February 2001
Let';s get one thing straight. I love reading. I love books. 1 or 2 a week is my normal diet. I have shelves full of them. Then came ZEN. OK, I fell for the hype. I read the reviews about how it changes your life etc. and fell for it. I read it from cover to cover and found it about as interesting as damp cardboard. If only the rating system gave you a chance to give it no stars. If you want to enrich your life spend the money on something more worthwhile than this badly written, pretentious rubbish. It's the first book I've thrown away in years.
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on 17 March 2017
This story is well past its concept, old hat now & lot of repetition 🤐
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on 23 January 2016
Such a big fuzz out of it. I found it very slow, boring and pretentious. It happened very rarely for me to have such feelings for a book.
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on 23 November 2009
I bought this book because it was a choice of someone in my book club- and I'd heard of it back in the 70s. I found it incredibly tedious. It did not encourage me to find out more about philosophy; just put me off the whole subject.
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on 26 November 2014
Don't waste your time with this. Cheap philosophy for the hippy & the new age generation....
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on 24 July 2016
Bulls*** overhyped book. I threw my copy after reading. No deeper meanings or plot twists - just a normal story book.
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on 31 May 1999
Sometimes a book achieves a status way beyond its merits. 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance' is for me the archetypal case of such a phenomena. Its a dreary, pretentious monologue with little literally merit. The title's cool but that's about the limit of its value. If you're the type of person that likes to have a bookshelf full of the 'must have read' titles of the twentieth-century, most of which you've not quite got around to reading yet, then buy this book. If you intend to read a good book then try something else.
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on 23 November 2016
Got as xmas gift
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on 10 November 2013
Imagine you're at a cafe/bar/park/pub etc. Someone strikes up a conversation with you and at first seem pleasant but, as the largely one sided conversation progresses, you realise you are stuck talking to the sort of small minded, self convinced and self absorbed person who thinks they have found "the one truth" and understands it well enough to preach to the unenlightened. The sort of person who mixes facts, pseudo science and opinions as if they were the same thing. Who dismisses other schools of thought as opinions while professing their own as truth. Who thinks their long, rambling stories and self reflection are endlessly fascinating. Who mistakes facetiousness, word play and circular logic as great arguments. Now imagine they wrote a book.

This is that book.

It's largely a painfully detailed and rather dully written travel monologue inter-spaced with random and unfocused musings on life, the universe and everything. It also contains some rather unpleasantly candid and rude descriptions of people who are meant to be the authors friends and travelling companions. For someone who's found his Zen the author is still rather judgemental, uptight and unhappy. He doesn't even seem to be particularly enjoying the motorcycle journeys which he initially describes as his own personal nirvana.

He does, however, seem pretty self convinced and to get a certain enjoyment out of winding up and feeling smarter than other people, including his long suffering son. An example of his logic is as follows; as something has not always existed it must contain all the hallmarks of in-existence (apparently) and therefore cannot truly be said to exist (urrrr, what?) What's more, the passage in which he espouses this viewpoint to his lucky travel companions makes it clear that, as far as he is concerned, they are extremely impressed with his cleverness and creativity. One wonders what they actually thought.

If you're still curious I'd advise borrowing before you buy.
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on 17 August 2000
Take away the snazzy title and this book would never have seen the light of day.
It's pointless to review this book. It has become accepted, conventional wisdom that it is a 'monumental masterpiece', and therein lies the real tragedy - anyone daring to voice anything other than this standard opinion is simply inviting scorn and opprobrium to be heaped upon them. Which says more about the stormtroopers of politically-correct book opinions than anything else.
I've waded my way through this book twice and, frankly, it is one verbose, rambling disappointment from start to finish, the outpourings of an obviously disturbed mind. All I can say is thank goodness I never had Mr Pirsig - or anyone like him - as a lecturer at university.
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