The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

by Wojciech Adam Koszek   ⋅   Sep 11, 2012   ⋅   East Palo Alto, CA

Not ready to review it yet, I guess. This is a deep book, with a lot of dual meanings of things, and this book is not the best choice for an audiobook..

Being over-ambitious is the worst of all sin. I promised myself to seek for recommendations for good books and stick to them and listen to nobody’s rules and consume books one at a time. I forced myself to not switch between book to book, even though book doesn’t seem to be a perfect match with my interests right away.

Most of the books which got recommended to me were very interesting. However, listening through “Zen and Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” was like a walk through hell, specially that in one third of the book I just couldn’t understand who the Phaedrus is. Even though pretty obvious to some, I just didn’t grasp it first time.

I regret what I’ve done next – I cheated. I went and learned more about Pirsig from the Internet. His biography and history was pretty depressing. Still, however, I kept going through the book as I was walking in a dark room without expecting too much.

I started writing this article just after I read the book. I wanted to start it with “I went through the terrible pain lately”, since the book didn’t “feel” comfortable, as I was reading it. However I decided to postpone the review notes and come back to it after some time.

Now, couple of weeks later, the experience on the book feels much, much better somehow. I look at our dripping kitchen and bathroom sink differently now.

I’m actually surprised how little connection between deeper levels of technical craft and the real-life activities for mere mortals there were. Most of things mentioned were actually not quite technical. True, science was mentioned often. True, psychology showed up. But I expected book of different sort. Basically now that I think about the book I think: psychology.

Lastly, the after-word of the book adds more to the specific understanding of Pirsig, and I keep coming back to the story quite often. This is how I can conclude that this book made an impact on me. Especially the fact that, after all, Pirsig kept going.

“The science of getting rich”
“I hate people”

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About the author: I'm Wojciech Adam Koszek. I like software, business and design. Poland native. In Bay Area since 2010.   More about me