When I first left art college I commuted between Portsmouth and London to the studio where I worked, spending many hours each day on the train and tube. I read a great deal at that time. One of the books I started to read was Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig. This was something of a cult hit, enjoying critical as well as public success, but required deeper concentration than the commute allowed. I eventually set the book to one side for when I would be able to give it due attention, but about the same time I moved to London, the commute stopped, and I never did finish it. My copy disappeared.

I recently read Moby Dick, and for some reason it made me recall Pirsig's book. A few months ago I decided to try to track a copy down - and my daughter gave me a copy for my birthday. I smiled to myself when I saw a quote from 'New Yorker' on the back: "... The analogies with Moby Dick are patent." I'm looking forward to a few quiet days with the book before too long.

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