One of My Top 5
I first read this book as a recent college graduate when it came out in the 70's. I understood less of it then than I think I understand now. It is compelling for the author's internal dialogue and honesty. Pirsig traces his life's journey, including the management of mental illness, his troubled children, his rocky marriage, and his struggle with his life work, by analogy to the joys and mishaps of riding across the American Northwest on his motorcyle. He rarely, if ever, mentions Zen, which is the best way for the reader to experience it, but Zen is the energizing power behind his story telling and the philosophical framework of the quest. I have re-read it now at least a half dozen times. As I have grown older it has clarified more and more of my own quests and joys in work, family, spiritual questions and answers. It has been central in framing my view of reality. The first edition copy I found on Alibris is nearly perfect and is a treasure in my library. I recommend this work as a classic, and as a friend to return to every few years. It is worth the intellectual stretch it may take to grasp the author's philosophical dialogue. I would love to be able to encounter it for the first time again.