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Guidebook to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Paperback – November 19, 1990

16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The authors of this gloss on Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance assert that the popular 1974 novel/travelogue/autobiography "offers the beginnings of a new metaphysical synthesis" fusing East and West, intuition and reason, aesthetic and technical approaches to life. As they track Pirsig's narrator and his 11-year-old son, Chris, on their road odyssey from Minnesota to San Francisco, DiSanto and Steele (who teach at Regis College in Denver) unload the narrator's philosophical backpack of Buddhist, Confucian, Taoist, Hindu and Western ideas. Frequent use of the second person singular ("How do you learn to let go?") lightens their academic discourse, which serves as a thoroughgoing introduction to Pirsig's bestseller. This primer includes reviews of the work and an entire chapter, cut from Pirsig's original manuscript, which puts the relationship between the narrator and his troubled son in a more positive light.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

“The Guidebook illuminates Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and heightens one’s appreciation of Mr. Pirsig’s remarkable book.” (New York Times)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (November 19, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688060692
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688060695
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #210,055 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

100 of 104 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
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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72 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Ed H. Chi on November 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
For fans of ZMM, this is an incredible book that summarizes various aspects of the ZMM book. First and foremost, it gives you the necessary background on philosophy to get a better understanding of where the Pirsig is coming from.
Secondly, it is great studying material for those of us who're interested in getting deeper into the issues that Pirsig gets to in the ZMM. Particularly, I liked the section in this book that relates Quality with Taoist principles.
A must have!
It can be read without reading ZMM, BTW.
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34 of 40 people found the following review helpful By H. Row on January 25, 2003
Format: Paperback
The inclusion of edited material from ZAMM was welcome. I found I was distracted when I was actually reading ZAMM andreferencing the guidebook. My suggestion - read ZAMM completely then refer to the guidebook to explore a section more deeply. The reviews of ZAMM were of passing interest, from the early reviews published after the book's release to later ones and their criticism.
I'm not a deeply devout person of any given persuasion, so the religious comparisons and references were of lesser importance. I think they would be helpful if one were looking to delve deeper into Buddhism or other philosophy. This Guidebook DID ADD to my overall understanding and enjoyment of ZAMM.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Ed H. Chi on November 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
For fans of ZMM, this is an incredible book that summarizes various aspects of the ZMM book. First and foremost, it gives you the necessary background on philosophy to get a better understanding of where the Pirsig is coming from.
Secondly, it is great studying material for those of us who're interested in getting deeper into the issues that Pirsig gets to in the ZMM. Particularly, I liked the section in this book that relates Quality with Taoist principles.
A must have!
It can be read without reading ZMM, BTW.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jay Poon on July 8, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book opens up a lot of insights that were in ZMM. It gave me a fuller understanding of what ZMM was all about. Like another reviewer said, I'd read ZMM first, then read this book. It further explains the Eastern religions and Western philosophies that Pirsig talks about, or alluded to.

Fans of ZMM will not be disappointed with this book.
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful By David D. Unger on November 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
I love the book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. It was one of those books that I tried to read years ago but was simply not ready for it. After a recent conversation with a friend that mentioned the book, I decided to pick up a copy and read it. This time I was ready.

After my second reading Of ZMM, I decided to purchase Guidebook to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. My hope was to deepen my understanding.

I gave up on reading Guidebook to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance about half way through Section 8 (Critical Reviews). This book seems obviously written by intellectuals for intellectuals. Maybe it will be one of those books I will pick up again when I'm ready. For now, I'm not ready.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It was good, it was deep, The guidebook helped explain things. But I still like "Happy Yoga", by Steve Smith for it's simple guidelines to a happy life.
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By Loretta on February 11, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Didn't understand that it was a guidebook but using it anyway.
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