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Publisher's Summary

James Purefoy stars in this BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of Robert M. Pirsig's multi-million best-selling philosophical novel. One of the most important and influential books of the past half-century, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance tells the iconic story of a father and son's motorcycle trip across America in the 1960s. Yet it also describes a personal and philosophical journey, asking questions along the way about how to live a meaningful life.

Now dramatised for the first time by Peter Flannery (Our Friends in the North, George Gently, The Devil's Whore) and starring James Purefoy (Rome, Injustice, Ironclad), this full-cast drama adds a new and original dimension to a true modern classic.

©2012 Robert Pirsig (P)2012 AudioGO Ltd

What listeners say about Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Dramatised)

Average Customer Ratings
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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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Quality Read

It's a beautiful way to understand how the Ideas of the East and the West might find it's harmony into oneness. The ability to understand this age old dilema through a Bike its rider and the event of riding is just such a treat.

1 person found this helpful

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Different story

The dramatised version was fun to listen and brought out strongly the authors point of view

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Terribly frustrating

The performance was excellent, no doubt about it. However it’s completely devoid of the soul and spirit that one will experience while reading the book.

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    4 out of 5 stars

A book of quality on Quality ! Masterpiece :)

Definitely a book worth reading and making a journey across America With phaedrus , Uncovers a sense of self buried deep within !

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • SAW
  • 11-08-15

I should have bought the book.

pro: I liked that it was dramatized
con: it was too abridged.
To sum it up: create a dramatized unabridged version because what I heard was good.

27 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Juncao Li
  • 16-11-17

It is not the story it claims to be! Avoid!

It is not the story it claims to be! Avoid! Had to buy the real version again ...

The story in this audible is wired

22 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Jeff
  • 21-04-18

WARNING!!! Not the book.

It's an audioplay based on the novel. I wasted a credit not knowing. FYI, the other version on Audible is also NOT the book. (wasted another credit). It's a heavily edited shorter version. Audible doesn't carry the complete novel. Bummer.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 13-09-18

Book is way better (no surprise)

You cannot boil a great book down this much (especially not a book as dense as the original) and maintain the QUALITY of the full story.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Sabith
  • 17-02-14

Very Engaging and though provoking

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

yes, the book is dramatised and it makes it very interesting to listen. The use of mild music is also soothing and adds to the drama

6 people found this helpful

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  • Juan Arroyo
  • 26-03-15

amazing! great to hear this book again

really good. I listen to this book a while back while visiting Spain. I feel like I understand the setting of the book a little more by listening this short part dramatized. def worth listening too if you like the book or audio.

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • alex bruns
  • 23-03-20

Garbage

Garbage. Nothing like the actual book, what a mistake, don't make the same as me.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ferdi
  • 25-01-18

A good story perhaps too dramatized

What made the experience of listening to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Dramatised) the most enjoyable?

The dramatization is done quite well, and at times you can feel the emotion coming through the characters voices.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I wish I could say the child was my favorite character, but he seemed to be a brat. The father in present sense was perhaps not likable, due to his roughness, but you could empathize with him.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It's very short making it a easy to listen through in a couple of hours.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Marcus k Robinson
  • 28-04-21

attempted to distill it. but just watered it down

it was okay if you had already read the book.
but it lacks so much depth and complexity

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  • Jj Alvarez
  • 17-11-20

Dont get this. not the same with the book

not the same with the book. dont get this. dramatization gets annoying. voice is annoying. wasted a credit on this...

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Ian
  • 24-07-13

disappointed

I have read the book a number of times and enjoyed it. Sadly this dramatised version is far from the original text and left me feeling very disappointed. If you have never read the book then it might entertain, but if you have any knowledge of the book I would avoid this at all costs. The emphasis was completely wrong for me, possibly I missed the point when I previously read the book. This version seemed to focus on one aspect of the story and almost completely ignore, what was for me, the point of the book.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Mack
  • 06-04-17

Disappointed

Bore little resemblance to the written book. Not at all what I expected...dramatisation was not at all in keeping with my recollection of the original.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Mr. C. Tod
  • 23-08-13

Oh dear!

It was a mistake to get the dramatised version i.e. huge chunks and half the point missing.

I have fond memories of this book and it would have been perfect as a reading.

It's my own fault for buying in a hurry and not spotting that it was a dramatisation.

12 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 27-08-19

I loved the book but...

The dramatization missed a lot of the depth and poetry of the original text. I'd love an audio version of the full text.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 26-05-20

Very disappointing

Does not nearly live up to the original book as I remember it. Very disappointing.

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Emily
  • 13-05-20

Not what I expected

Unfortunately this isn't the book I was looking for. I'm not entirely sure what this version is trying to achieve.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Pete
  • 19-03-20

Disappointed.

I read this years ago and as our plans for this years Bike Tour were dashed decided to have a listen, to cheer me up.
It didn't work. The narration was good but it could not portray the book successfully when it was so abated.
Full story and plot next time please.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mr A
  • 05-05-20

Don’t bother

The over acted voice narration is jarring. Whoever thought the sons voice was appropriate needs a new job.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 16-04-20

need the unabridged version

just seemed too short and superficial
really need a full text unabridged version
probably not really worth it to get this

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • sin sin minkin
  • 09-04-20

A decent approximation of the book

The thread that binds the novel, the father-son relationship and the narrative deliberations about quality are intact - barely intact.

I missed some of the imagistic sequences about quality and freedom that stuck with me from the book.

Then there's the sound of the bike. No one drove across country on the hoover engines you can hear on the recording. I don't know. It just really put me off. Can't say why. There's just something about the crumby sound of that engine I don't believe in.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Alice
  • 11-09-15

This is immersive.

I've listened to this piece after I was done with the original text, but it can be well enjoyed on its own. In comparison, the plot has had some rearrangements and has been made compact to create this abridged edition. It is still much more than a typical audiobook. And, by the way, the best narration I've ever come along.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 19-04-18

Gets to the point but misses the language

Narration was great, but there was a lot left out from the actual book which I found disappointing. The message is still there though, if not a little short.

2 people found this helpful

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  • James M
  • 27-08-17

Disappointing dramatisation

Any additional comments?

This dramatisation completely destroys the purpose and story of the original book.I really loved the book and was very disappointed with this audible book. If you have not read the book you should not listen to this audible dramatisation

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 20-05-20

Not for me

I have listen to this book in full to realise that I’ve listened to this book before and returned it. Which is funny considering the context of the story. It’s a firm not for me twice now.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-05-21

Films never as good as the book but …..

To be honest I thought I was downloading the complete book

Performances are excellent- well crafted

Films never as good as the book and this adaptations captures most but not all of the themes and messages

If I hadn’t read the book many years ago I don’t think I would have understood why this book is so highly thought of

The book reveals at a slow pace whereas this adaptation is a précis with the conclusion seeming accelerated

I’m glad I listened as it recalled for me what was a particularly important book

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  • James
  • 09-03-21

listen again and again. ZEN.

good for the heart and good for the soul. like to see a movie made about it or is there one.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • gyane
  • 15-10-20

Not a good representation of the book

Although this draws minor story elements from the book the tone of this is very different focussing heavily on elements of conflict. These elements were not a significant element of the book which had a serene tone that was most enjoyable. The voice actors were good at presenting the script that they were given , such as it was. I wouldn’t recommend this if you have read the book.

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  • joel collie
  • 04-08-20

Read me, its the rational thing to do.

Had no idea what I was getting in to as this book was suggested to me but wow... Awesome story, very thought provoking. I am Faedris.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Sebastian Villa
  • 15-05-20

not what i expected

i was recommended this book at work when talking about software quality. has no idea what the heck i was in for. it's definitely a bit weird for me.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • DJHDD
  • 25-02-20

Zen & the Art of Night Time Listening

I had read this book a number of times in my teenage years & loved the philosophical didactic rhetoric & the traveling story line but if memory serves me, surly it took me longer than an 1 hour & 40 minutes to read. As a matter of fact, it actually took me longer to listen to it as nodding off & had to go back a few times. However I'm sure this was condensed, as it was a dramatization & missed a fair bit of the classical intellectual musings that were part of his internal dialogue. Still a great romantic listen concentrating more on the human relationships & the proposition of insanity whist still conversing on the dualism of classical & romantic quality.