Cover image for Zen and now On the trail of Robert Pirsig and the art of motorcycle maintenance
Title:
Zen and now On the trail of Robert Pirsig and the art of motorcycle maintenance
Author:
Richardson, Mark, 1962-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Grand Haven, Mich. : Brilliance Audio, [2008]

℗2008
Physical Description:
9 audio discs (approximately 10 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
Summary:
In 1968, Robert Pirsig and his eleven-year-old son, Chris, made the cross-country motorcycle trip that would become the inspiration for Pirsig's book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, a powerful blend of personal narrative and philosophical investigation that has inspired generations. Author Mark Richardson commences his own motorcycle pilgrimage, traversing the same roads and meeting the same people as Pirsig did, but also uncovering some new personal truths. Zen and Now is a vivid chronicle of a journalist's heartfelt and determined journey to reconnect with a beloved American classic.
General Note:
Compact disc.

Unabridged.
Language:
English
Personal Subject:
Genre:
ISBN:
9781423373582

9781423373599
Format :
Audiobook on CD

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CT275.P648 R53 2008C Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks
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CT275.P648 R53 2008C Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks
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CT275.P648 R53 2008C Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks
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CT275.P648 R53 2008C Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks
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Summary

Summary

In 1968, Robert Pirsig and his eleven-year-old son, Chris, made the cross-country motorcycle trip that would become the inspiration for Pirsig's book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, a powerful blend of personal narrative and philosophical investigation that has inspired generations. Among the millions of readers to fall under the book's spell was Mark Richardson, who as a young man struggled to understand Pirsig's provocative and elusive ideas. Rereading the book decades later, Richardson, now a journalist and father of two, was moved by its portrayal of Pirsig's complex relationship with Chris and struck by the timelessness of its lessons. So he tuned up his old Suzuki dirt bike and became a "Pirsig pilgrim," one of the legions of fans who retrace the Pirsigs' route from Minneapolis to San Francisco. In following this itinerary over the lonely byways of the American West, Richardson revisits the people and places from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, pondering the meaning of Pirsig's philosophy and the answers it may offer to the questions in his own life. Richardson's dogged reporting also gives new insight into the reclusive writer's life, exploring Pirsig's struggle with mental illness, his unwanted celebrity, and the tragic, brutal murder of Chris in 1979. Published to coincide with the fortieth anniversary of Pirsig's original trip, Zen and Now is a stirring meditation on a classic work and a passionate inquiry into the lessons it continues to teach us in the complex and bewildering world we inhabit today.


Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Forty years ago, Robert M. Pirsig, his son, Chris, and two friends rode their motorcycles from Minneapolis to California on a journey made famous by Pirsig's best-selling Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974). Pirsig pilgrims and Zen riders have been following the Pirsig trail every since, and now journalist Richardson takes his shot, laptop lashed to Suzuki. His travelogue is dull, mesmerizing, and provocative, just like a long road trip. There's plenty of motorcycle maintenance, an accounting of what has remained the same on the route and what has changed, and the intriguing discovery of the journey Pirsig's book has taken, reaching the unlikeliest of readers. Richardson meets folks who appear in Pirsig's book and their descendants and presents an incisive portrait of the reclusive guru, a difficult man of uncommon intelligence who has weathered mental illness and his son's murder. Richardson is companionable, but he is no deep thinker. His chronicle lacks historical context and metaphysical understanding, yet, like a well-maintained motorcycle, it carries you forward into shadow and sunlight.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2008 Booklist


Excerpts

Excerpts

Minnesota I can tell from the sign by the bank, without turning my head from the road, that it's nine thirty in the morning. The sign flashes to show it's 80 degrees, and the heat's already coming through my jacket. It's going to be hot today. That's okay -- on a motorcycle, heat is always welcome. The small town passes, and I'm back among the fields. The bike's running well this morning, and both of us are stretching out a little, starting to relax on the road now that this trip's finally under way. You'll have to excuse me if I think of her sometimes as if she's a person. It's just me now, me and my old bike. I'm on Highway 55, the original road that runs up from Minneapolis toward Minnesota's northwest. This is an old road, made from concrete with flattened stones in the mix for hardness and ridges every few dozen feet that set up a clickety-clack sound like a locomotive on its tracks. There aren't many cars on this stretch of highway because anybody who's really trying to get somewhere is on the interstate that runs alongside a couple of miles away. Sit on the interstate and you don't need to stop till you run out of gas. In fact, on the interstate, if you didn't have to pull over every few hours and pay at the pump, there'd be no reason to ever slow down or even speak to anyone. Truckers do it all the time. Stay awake for long enough and you'll be at the coast by Wednesday. Not on this road, though. Trucks stay off this road. Clickety-clack . There's been a track here for centuries, paved sometime in the 1920s or '30s to better link farmers with their markets, Bible salesmen with their customers, children with their schools. This is the kind of road on which life happens, connecting other roads and streets and driveways and communities, not a thruway that picks you up here and throws you off there. It meanders around properties and makes way for the marshes that breed the ducks and red-winged blackbirds that take flight as I ride past. Clickety-clack. The only way to truly experience a road like this is to be out in the open -- not shut up in a car but riding along on top of it on a motorcycle. It's tough to explain to someone who's only ever traveled behind a windshield, sealed in with the comforting thunk of a closing door. On a bike there's no comforting thunk . The road is right there below you, blurring past your feet, ready to scuff your sole should you pull your boot from the peg and let it touch the ground. The wind is all around you and through you while the sun warms your clothing and your face. Take your left hand from the handlebar and place it in the breeze, and it rises and falls with the slipstream as if it were a bird's wing. Breathe in and smell the new-mown grass. Laugh out loud and your voice gets carried away on the wind. At least that's how it is on a warm, sunny day like this Monday morning. Some rain a couple of days ago was a struggle, but I won't think about that now. There'll be plenty of time for that later. Clickety-clack. Somewhere beside the road near here should be a rest area with an iron water pump. Nearly four decades ago a couple of motorcycles stopped here, and their riders took a cool drink from the pump. Should be coming up on the left and -- here it is. Just like in the book. This road really hasn't changed much at all. There's a place to park the bike near some picnic tables under a shelter, and the grass drops down to a stream behind the trees. To one side is the iron hand pump that's mentioned in the book. It still draws cool water. The spout is opposite the pump, so I have to dash around with my hands cupped to catch the gushing water. I capture just a trickle -- I have no prop Excerpted from Zen and Now: On the Trail of Robert Pirsig and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Mark Richardson All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.