Scathing Book Reviews of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert Pirsig

Zen and the Art of Motorcyle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig is a book that I read on a beach in Italy, drinking a lot of jug wine, at the age of 18. (No, I wasn’t rich – I was in the Army, stationed in Germany and on leave.) That’s probably the ideal age, location and nourishment for the book – which is a very “70’s” quasi-exploration of philosophy enclosed within a memoir of a Motorcyle Trip. I haven’t read it since but it sure seemed good at the time, but then again, with as much wine as I was drinking on that beach, reading the Italian Newspaper Classified section would have seemed life changing. These reviewers give me reason to wonder if it was good as I thought – dare I read it cold sober?

I can find nothing of value here, either philosophically, spiritually, or psychologically. And I still know nothing about maintaining a motorcycle.

…and:

Some say ZaMM was autobiographical. I hope to God that it wasn’t

…and:

Do you enjoy the intellectual depth that greeting cards provide? How about the careful thought that bumper stickers demonstrate? Are you excited by windbags, braggarts, pedants, and Mr Know-it-alls? Do you drool at the thought of yet another dispatch from the me generation, the baby boomers? If so, this book will thrill you.

…and:
Looking for enlightenment, I read it a couple of times and finally realized that there is nothing in it that a thoughtful ten-year old could not come up with.

…and:

This book is obsessive, condescending claptrap, and a self-indulgent attempt to justify obsessive, condescending behavior.

…and:

Zen and the Art of Crap: Yeah: it all makes sense when you get to the part about the author getting shock treatments.

..and this from the “I hope he didn’t actually go through with it” department:

I have thirty pages to go, and I then I’m going shoot myself in the mouth.

Scathing Book Reviews of The Road, by Cormac McCarthy

The Road, by Cormac McCarthy, certainly made quite an impression on many book reviewers in 2007, but was a bit hard to find around the bookstore until Oprah Winfrey blessed/I mean chose it for her book club, coincidentally named “Oprah’s Book Club”. For the most part, readers enjoyed “The Road”. Or at least as much as you could enjoy the tragic journey of a dying man and his boy across an apocalyptic landscape. However, for some readers, those qualities failed to charm. These critical reviews of “The Road” are all downhill:

You may need to go on Prozac after reading this book….DOW-NER!

…and

What I thought: Gryke. Discalced. Mastic. Meconium. Rachitic. Siwash. Parsible. Woad. Kerf. Chary. Firedrake. Palimpsest. Middens. Pampooties. Salitter. Dolmen stones. Crozzled.

…and

I just started reading The Road by Cormac McCarthy and if I didn’t know better I would say that it was written by a 10th grader who has done too much glue.

…and

Indeed, it must be nice to be a recognized, award winning author and get away with anything you write.

…and

The perfect book for literary sadists.

…and

I don’t read a lot of fiction; this book does not make me regret it.

…and last but not least:

I don’t think I’ll read anything marked “Oprah” again. If she really read this and STILL recommends it, I don’t think I’ll be watching her show anymore either. Someone that twisted shouldn’t be giving life advice to anyone.