The Weekend Read – Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig

A great work of the genre known as “popular philosophy” I believe. I read this many years ago and it left its mark on me, if only for a desire to ride a motorcycle through Montana. The author died this week at the age of 88, coincidentally I had been searching without success for my copy of the book last weekend.

The lasting impression was the author’s pursuit of the meaning of “quality”. Bought during my impressionable “hippy” days in the mid 70s, I thoroughly enjoyed the tale of  the author and his son who together with a couple of friends make a 17 day motorcycle journey from Minnesota to Northern California. There is a great contrast between the author’s approach to motorcycles and that of his friend John. The author drives an old bike and maintains it himself whilst John has a newer cycle and doesn’t want to learn how to look after itself instead he relies on paying mechanics to keep it going.

It took me until I was an experienced dentist and practice owner to better understand the differences between the classical and romantic approaches to life as explored and explained by Pirsig.

Worth a read, unfortunately I wasn’t able to get along with his next book Lila – I’ll try again.

Available from The Book Depository HERE.

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