Hardcover. New York: William Morrow & Company, 1974. First Edition. Near Fine / Near Fine.
First edition, first printing. Publisher's black cloth over gray boards, with metallic silver lettering to the spine, author's initials to the front board in blind; in the original dust jacket designed by Paul Bacon, with an illustration of a wrench growing out of leaves to the front panel. Near fine book with a touch of fading to edges, light soiling to edges of text block, very slight lean to spine; in a near fine dust jacket, with some light soiling to rear panel, a few creases to spine ends, shallow dampstain to foot of spine (only visible on verso), corners lightly rubbed, remnant of bookseller's sticker to front flap. Overall, an attractive and near fine copy. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is a work of philosophical fiction and the author's first published novel. It tells of the author's road trip from his Minnesota home to California, which he completed with his son on a motorcycle. Throughout the journey, the narrator tells his son a series of parables with moral lessons, or a Chautauqua - "an old-time series of popular talks intended to edify and entertain, improve the mind and bring culture and enlightenment to the ears and mind of the hearer." While he claims it should be read as factual despite any artistic silence, Pirsig cautions the reader in his introduction that Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance "should in no way be associated with that great body of factual information relating to orthodox Zen Buddhist practice. It's not very factual on motorcycles either." Interestingly, before over 5 million copies were sold worldwide, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was rejected by 121 different publishing houses, earning it a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as being the most initially rejected bestselling book.