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She's A Bad Motorcycle: Writers on Riding written by Geno Zanetti

 

She's A Bad Motorcycle: Writers on Riding written by Geno Zanetti

Overview:

Why do people ride motorcycles? Thomas Krens, curator of The Art of the Motorcycle, the most popular exhibition ever mounted at the Guggenheim Museum, writes: "For much of society, the motorcycle remains a forbidden indulgence, an object of fantasy, and danger." And of envy. No other machine is thought of as the vehicle—"the perfect vehicle" Melissa Holbrook Pierson calls it—of rebellion, lawlessness, and freedom. She's A Bad Motorcycle collects the writings of those who have sought that freedom. From the genre-defining—and exploding—Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance to Chasing Che the motorcycle has inspired a startlingly rich, unabashedly romantic body of writing that celebrates the risks and exhilaration of the journey to self-discovery. The book includes selections from Eric Burdon, Harry Crews, Harlan Ellison, Robert E. Fulton, Jr., Che Guevara, Fred Haefele, S.E. Hinton, Dennis Hopper, Richard La Plante, Erika Lopez, Horace McCoy, Allen Noren, Robert Pirsig, Gary Paulsen, Melissa Holbrook Pierson, Patrick Symmes, Keith Tye, Hunter S. Thompson, Lois Wilson, Daniel R. Wolf and Tom Wolfe, as well as photographs by Bruce Davidson, Martin Dixon, Ann Ferrar, Danny Lyon, Helge Pedersen, and Irving Penn.

Synopsis:

Why do people ride motorcycles? Thomas Krens, curator of The Art of the Motorcycle, the most popular exhibition ever mounted at the Guggenheim Museum, writes: “For much of society, the motorcycle remains a forbidden indulgence, an object of fantasy, and danger.” And of envy. No other machine is thought of as the vehicle—“the perfect vehicle” Melissa Holbrook Pierson calls it—of rebellion, lawlessness, and freedom. She's A Bad Motorcycle collects the writings of those who have sought that freedom. From the genre-defining—and exploding—Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance to Chasing Che the motorcycle has inspired a startlingly rich, unabashedly romantic body of writing that celebrates the risks and exhilaration of the journey to self-discovery. The book includes selections from Eric Burdon, Harry Crews, Harlan Ellison, Robert E. Fulton, Jr., Che Guevara, Fred Haefele, S.E. Hinton, Dennis Hopper, Richard La Plante, Erika Lopez, Horace McCoy, Allen Noren, Robert Pirsig, Gary Paulsen, Melissa Holbrook Pierson, Patrick Symmes, Keith Tye, Hunter S. Thompson, Lois Wilson, Daniel R. Wolf and Tom Wolfe, as well as photographs by Bruce Davidson, Martin Dixon, Ann Ferrar, Danny Lyon, Helge Pedersen, and Irving Penn.

Library Journal

The disparate writings gathered here by freelance journalist and motorcycle rider Zanetti include thoughts on the nature of riding, travel narratives, and stories from various segments of motorcycling culture, notably the Hell's Angels. A few are by familiar names, such as Tom Wolfe and Hunter Thompson, and some are a pleasure to read, as is a lyrical piece from Melissa Holbrook Pierson. Aside from the references to motorcycles, however, Zanetti's choice of pieces seems arbitrary in both selection and organization. A large number of them are extracted from much longer works, losing context and perhaps even sense. In the selection from Robert Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, for example, the reader will have no understanding of the references to Phaedrus and why the difference between "classic" and "romantic" is so important. Background notes about the writers and the works from which pieces have been excerpted would have been helpful. Despite some interesting material, the book as a whole contributes little to the history and culture of this compelling machine. David Van de Streek, Pennsylvania State Univ. Libs., York Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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Title: She's A Bad Motorcycle: Writers on Riding

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