Latest Review

Seven Life Lessons of Chaos

The Impulse Factor
Nick Tasler

Other Book Reviews

The End of Certainty
Moonwalking with Einstein
Sync
Wind, Sand and Stars
At Home in the Universe
What's Mine is Yours
Organize with Chaos
We Are What We Think
The Impulse Factor
The Perfect Swarm
A Guide for the Perplexed
Understanding Comics
Dead Poets Society
Bad Science
Motionless Journey
The Five Day Course in Thinking
Small is Beutiful
The Quantum and the Lotus
Into the Wild
Man on Wire
Never Have a Bad Day Ever Again
Turning to One Another
Multiplicity
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time
The Little Prince
Bradbury Stories
For One More Day
Finding Our Way
Leadership and the New Science
Secrets of the People Whisperer
Mind Set
The Five People You Meet in Heaven
Boost Your Creative Intelligence
A Simpler Way
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Run Lola Run
Snow Cake
Design and Layout
Creativity Today
Graphic Design School
The Explorer's Eye
The Pig that Wants to be Eaten
Ideas
The Empty Raincoat
Business the Richard Branson Way
Re-imagine
Exercises in Style
A Short History of Nearly Everything
How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci
Oulipo Compendium
POD People
Flash Fiction
Review of How to Change Your Life in 7 Steps
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff
Screw it, Let's do it
Freakonomics
Blink
How to Get Ideas
The Art of Travel
Introducing Chaos
Deep Simplicity
Introducing Quantum Theory
Introducing Fractal Geometry
Review of Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth
Nature's Chaos
Zen in the Art of Writing
The Art of Possibility
Experimental Tarvel
The Art of Looking Sideways
The Power of Now
The Alchemist
The monk who sold his Ferrari
Review of Man's Search for Meaning
Review of Einstein's Dreams
Review of The Ultimate Book of Business Thinking
Review of What Do You Care What Other People Think?
Review of The Tipping Point
Review of Who Moved My Cheese?
Review of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Review of Zeno and the Tortoise
Review of Chicken Soup for the Soul
Review of Emergence
Review of Pooh and the Philosophers
Review of Business The Ultimate Resource
Review of Shackleton's Way
Review of Chicken Soup for the Soul at Work
Review of Reckoning with Risk
Review of Field of Dreams
Review of Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway
Review of 101 Philosophy Problems
Review of The Spirited Business
Review of Genius
Books available in association with Amazon.co.uk
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Robert Pirsig

View Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on AmazonThis is not an easy review for this is not an easy book. One thing I think Iím sure of is that itís not about Zen or motorcycle maintenance.

On the surface the book is the story of the author and his son with some friends travelling across America. However this provides the environment for the author to share and explore a range of questions and issues including rationality, attitudes to technology, philosophies of life and the meaning of quality. What the book does is create the opportunity and invite the reader to explore these questions and others that they are stimulated to identify themselves. Itís a book that provokes and requires the reader to think. In a sense the book becomes and is what the reader makes of it.

What I made of it, and what makes the book exciting for me, is this approach through the vehicle of a novel of creating an environment in which the reader is teased into thinking through a range of extremely challenging philosophical questions. Many readers unwilling to engage in this process may see little in this book of value viewing it as being over complex and lacking in immediate gratification of a standard novel. Others looking not for questions but answers will be disappointed that the book has not the rigour they are looking for and provides no solutions.

However for those who want their thinking stimulated and their understanding challenged this is a demanding but very rewarding read that will probable warrant being reread several times.

I realise that the above says little about what the book is. I take comfort by quoting a passage from the book that I think releases me from having to describe what it is and invite you to find out what it becomes for you.

ďThe trouble is that essays always have to sound like God talking for eternity, and that isnít the way it ever is. People should see that itís never anything other than just one person talking from one place in time and space and circumstance. Itís never been anything else, ever, but you canít get that across in an essay.Ē

All I can say is that whilst this isnít everyoneís cup of tea, itís the kind of book that just might change the way you see yourself, your world and your future. If you decide to read the book I recommend the 25th anniversary edition as this has some additional explanatory information by the author and also an interesting exchange of correspondence between the author and publisher which gives an insight into the creative process.

I should first credit a then colleague Dave Price who I recall was the first to mention this book to me, but it took over 20 years and the prompting of a friend I met at the Quality Congress in Harrogate, Shyam Kumar Gujadhur, for me to get around to reading it in its 25 anniversary form.

December 8 2003

View or buy from View Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on Amazon