One of the things that gets me through my daily commute is audio books. I’ve made it through the Harry Potter series, Orson Scott Card’s Ender/Bean novels, the Da Vinci Code, and the first of the Discworld series. Right now I’m listening to Zen and the Art of Motorcyle Maintenance, by Robert Pirsig.

Orson Scott Card gives an afterword at the end of most of the Ender and Bean books, which is really pretty cool. He talks about where some of his ideas came from or later on about the various attempts to get a movie made out of Ender’s Game.

One time he talked about what he liked about audiobooks and how in all honesty that may be the best media for a novel. It allows you to sit back and enjoy it. Though, he said, if the listener is anything like him he’s listening while driving behind some truck on the Interstate. He shared that one time he was listening to an audiobook and he got pulled over in a specific barren western state because he was more interested in the novel than the speed limit.

As luck would have it, I started listening to Ender’s Game on the move from Deseret to Estacado… and I got pulled over in the same barren western state for speeding. I didn’t get a ticket, though.

Most of the time, though, he’s talking about the novel and what it means to him. In the end it really adds to the story and sometimes helps me appreciate something that I missed. That’s what happens when they tell you about the book after the book has been read.

Some fellow with either Pirsig’s publishing house or Fantastic Audio, who produced the audiobooks (for both Zen and the Ender/Bean books), decided that they would instead have a foreword. I wasn’t worried at first because I figured “What kind of idiot would ruin a book right as someone is about to read/hear it?”

Apparently, some idiot from Pirsig’s publishing house or Fantastic Audio.

Now I already know what the last lines of the novel are, what their significance is, what I’m supposed to think of the main character, what I’m supposed to think of the antagonist, and what various characters are thinking throughout the book. All in a short five minute intro. Stupendous.

Category: Road, Theater

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3 Responses to Foreword & Afterword

  1. Abel says:

    You know what this is? Karma.

    MG and I have been slowly catching up on Battle Star Galactica via DVD (we’re half way through season 3) and in your previous post you dropped the bombshell about Ty and other being Cylons. Thanks a bunch

    Thankfully Karma came in and spoiled Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance for you.

    Now we’re even. 🙂

  2. trumwill says:

    Yeah, I forgot that they took their sweet little time releasing the DVDs. Sorry about that.

    Ironic that the two posts would be side-by-side, isn’t it?

  3. Linus says:

    Bummer. I first read Zen 4-5 years ago, and I honestly don’t think I was ready for it. By last year, I felt I really got something out of it. But I have no idea if what I got out of it would jive with what the idiot on the audio book said.

    The extent to which we are told what to think these days just astounds me.

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