Zen And The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

25 years on and it’s still one of the most exciting books I’ve ever read. In our humble opinion that is. Yes we are a little bias, because this book (or should we say bible) is in fact the very inspiration behind the creation of Xen Couriers. Would we actually exist without it? It’s tough to say.

For those who don’t know, ZMM as we affectionately call it, is modern epic became an instant bestseller upon publication in 1974, transforming a generation and continuing to inspire millions (ourselves included). It’s the narration of a summer motorcycle trip undertaken by a father and his son. A personal and philosophical odyssey into fundamental questions of how to live.

Ok, it’s about existence and is a touching and transcendent book of life.. but enough about that – it’s also got a lot of excellent information about motorcycles in it. Needless to say, a passion for motorcycles isn’t all you need to enjoy the book, but if you ride and you like a bit of philosophy then it’s worth a read.

We loved it because it’s knowledgeable on the ins and outs of Kierkegaard. Plus, it will get your grey matter leaping for joy if you love metaphors and the big questions in life.

Interlaced with stories from an across-the-west motorcycle trip with his son and some friends, Pirsig tells the story of his past in an almost former life before being admitted to a mental institution after going crazy in his pursuit of Quality. Got your attention yet?

He uses the motorcycle as an analogy, as well as climbing mountains. With what many would see as too much depth and detail, he dissects the ideas of rhetoric, quality, the scientific method, technology and many ideas of the ancient Greek philosophers and tries to take down an entire academic department in the search of a unifying truth/god/connecting force.

At this point I find it’s hard to do the book justice in a mere blog review. I mean, for a road trip book it loses points because it’s just so flippin’ deep.

Part road novel, part philosophy, ZMM still enjoys huge critical and commercial success. ZMM is not just beliefs: it is also a fine piece of travel writing, and a history of Pirsig’s teaching career.

Don’t take our word for it, google it.

Pirsig we salute you sir. Happy 25th Birthday 2014.

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