Robert Pirsig's profound philosophical novel, Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance, is a study on the relation between three pillars of thought on which humanity stands- art, science and religion. The novel is an account of a long trip taken by the unnamed protagonist, presumably the author, with his kid on a motorcycle. Lot of philosophic discussions exploring the way human mind thinks, termed Chautauquas are wound in the novel.
At the starting of the novel, the protagonist is shown as a man of reason. His interest to do all the maintenance works of his bike is the point made to demonstrate this. Basically he categorizes people into romantics, who only looks at the beauty of things and classical, who has a more practical approach and loves analysing and problem solving. Also there is the presence of a mysterious ghost whom he calls Phaedrus, who the reader realise on the course of the journey to be the disturbed past of the hero.
The story deals with the philosophical journey on which Phaedrus embark insearch of the meaning of Quality. He goes deep and deep into the subject to the point of insanity. The novel ends with the hero identifying with Phaedrus at the end of the journey. He identifies the link that connects art and science- religion.
Though the book contains exhaustive philosophical discussions and may prove tough and deterring for some one who wants entertainment in his reads, it will be interesting and even rewarding for a patient and serious reader.