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The Review Man

Formerly of Goodreads, now of both words, in the coming times only here?

Currently reading

Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature
Margaret Atwood
Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals
Robert M. Pirsig
Simulacra and Simulation (The Body, In Theory: Histories of Cultural Materialism)
Jean Baudrillard, Sheila Faria Glaser
Leaven of Malice
Robertson Davies
The Salterton Trilogy
Robertson Davies
Effi Briest (Penguin Classics)
Theodor Fontane
Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World
Nicholas Ostler
Cases And Materials On The Law Of Torts
Robert M. Solomon
Public Law : Cases Materials and Commentary
Philip Bryden, Craik, Neil, Craig Forcese, Forcese, Craig
A Property Law Reader
Bruce H. Ziff
Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values - Robert M. Pirsig

This book came to me at a strange time. Normally I would give a book like this two stars and be done with it. But not now. I am going through something of a minor existential crisis, and as a result, I am taking some time off so as to focus on things of import.


The plot of this book is not really key—it's about a guy who rides his motorcycle around America and is not so nice to his son and talks a lot about a philosophical notion of Quality that is quite possibly too vague for my math-addled brain to appreciate. But the act of reading something intentionally (normally I speed-read, but here I took my time), and something that was at least tangential to philosophy and self-actualization at that, kick-started my brain.


Maybe Pirsig's notion of Quality is incredibly useful; maybe it's not that helpful. At first glance it does a good job of resolving the old subjective–objective aesthetics debate that's plagued me for a while, although I haven't really made my mind up as to the particulars. But at least it has me thinking, and I'm excited to see the results.