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Zen and Now: On the Trail of Robert Pirsig and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenanceby Mark Richardson
Synopses & Reviews
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.
Richardson revisits the people and places from "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance," pondering the meaning of Robert Pirsig's philosophy and the answers it may offer to the questions in his own life. Unabridged. 7 CDs.
In 1968, Robert Pirsig and his son, Chris, made the cross-country motorcycle trip that was the basis for Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, a book that has inspired generations with its searching personal and philosophical narrative. After rereading the book at the onset of middle age, reporter Mark Richardson tuned up his old Suzuki dirt bike and became a Pirsig Pilgrim, one of the legions of fans who regularly retrace the author's route from Minneapolis to San Francisco.
Richardson, like Pirsig before him, traveled the lonely roads of the American West, where he encountered many of the same people and places that inspired Pirsig. Richardson also corresponded with the reclusive author and his legendary editor, James Landis, and uncovered new details about Pirsig's mental illness, his unhappy celebrity, and his struggle to put his life together after the brutal murder of his son in 1979.
Published to coincide with the fortieth anniversary of Pirsig's trip, Zen and Now is an intellectual adventure, a meditation on the values of a classic book, and an inquiry into its relevance to the complex and bewildering world we inhabit today.
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