Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – Final Review

I am not very educated in the ways of Zen or Buddhism or by any means think of myself as much of a philosophy student. On April 27th  I started reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – An Inquiry into Values and have just finished the book today. As an overall generality I have to say that I like some of the insight that the book provides in the mindset that it takes to make things better and I did find myself identifying with the main character(s) quite a bit. I would also not mark it as one of my favorite books ever or even seek out to find other philosophy books to start reading but I did enjoy the read and am glad that I finally read it especially since my blog is named after it. Generalities out of the way I probably will end up having some spoilers in this review so please if you are wanting to read the book please do not read it because I don’t want to ruin it for you.

The book follows the journey of a father (the author) and his son as they take a cross country motorcycle trip. During the trip the author searches himself for a previously lost part of himself in order to learn more of his past. This is probably the main reason that the book can be extremely hard to follow at times. The author refers to his previous self as Phadrus and in the beginning either doesn’t mention that is his previous self or I just happened to miss it. So the book constantly bounces back and forth between the journey and the memories of his previous self that is no longer there due to a physiological trauma. Of the 2 bounces I prefer when the author is talking about the ride and speaking in the now, but as the book went on I found that the bounces seemed to make his present self make more sense as well.

Some of the things that I really enjoyed about the book were these things: Watching the father try and figure out his son throughout the book. Watching him try to figure out if he was going crazy again. Following the strange process of thinking that oddly reminds me of my own. Reading about the journey and the little things that mattered during it. The last thing that comes to mind is the way motorcycle (scooter) maintenance is explained. One of my favorite passages: “Trials never end, of course. Unhappiness and misfortune are bound to occur as long as people live, but there is a feeling now, that was not here before, and is not just on the surface of things, but penetrates all the way through: We’ve won it. It’s going to get better now. You can sort of tell these thing.”

Was it my favorite book… nope, but was it worth a read… YES!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: