The book came highly recommended to me several years ago by a Villanova prof I have great respect for. He told me he had been assigning it to his students to read in his Philosophy classes for many years.
It’s hard to get a better recommendation than that, so I soon went to our local library and borrowed a copy. I started to read it, and then for whatever reason, I did not get too far.
That pattern has repeated itself perhaps three or four more times over the past few years, and I just started reading it again a couple of days ago. I think I’ve already read further than I have ever have before, and I am hoping that at some point I get to that critical stage where I just can’t put the book down.
The book is certainly famous enough, and seems to have received a great deal of critical acclaim. Here is an excerpt from its Amazon page:
One of the most important and influential books written in the past half-century, Robert M. Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is a powerful, moving, and penetrating examination of how we live . . . and a breathtaking meditation on how to live better. Here is the book that transformed a generation: an unforgettable narration of a summer motorcycle trip across America’s Northwest, undertaken by a father and his young son. A story of love and fear — of growth, discovery, and acceptance — that becomes a profound personal and philosophical odyssey into life’s fundamental questions, this uniquely exhilarating modern classic is both touching and transcendent, resonant with the myriad confusions of existence . . . and the small, essential triumphs that propel us forward.
Seems like the type of book I would want to read, so I’m not exactly sure why I’ve had trouble finishing it. Usually once I start a book, I’m pretty committed to finishing it. The only other book I’ve had the same problem with is The Three Musketeers.
I’ve started that book three or four times in the past year or two, and then I put it down for a few days/weeks. When I go to start reading it again, I realize I have to start from the beginning, since the names are quite hard to keep straight.
Fortunately, this does not happen often. In fact just this past month, I’ve read three great books: The Upstarts, Thank You for Being Late, and How Google Works. We are trying to decide on a book for our Read to Lead program at VSB.
“Zen” is certainly a nice change of pace from those books, and I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read so far.
And if I finish that soon enough, I plan to give Mr. Dumas another shot, since summer is when I typically get a lot of my reading done.
After all, there’s not many things better than sitting outside on a summer day with a good book and a green smoothie…