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I read this book over a 11.5h flight from Munich to San Diego. I say this because I don’t think I would have been able to finish this tome outside of the distraction free zone that is a long haul flight, at least in the timespan where the contents would be fresh in my mind. I don’t mean that the book is boring — it’s actually a very cleverly structured book that intersperses a motorcycle cross-country journey with very intense philosophical discussions. It’s just a very long book about serious material that demands concentration from the reader: concentration that has mostly left my brain in the age of push notifications and endless doomscrolling.

I thoroughly enjoyed the exploration of Quality as the force that makes life worth living, the glimmer of brilliance in a deft twist of a skilled welder, or the quiet interest that a seasoned mechanic would train onto his motorcycle. This is a book that came out in 1974, but its ponderings on technology and the human experience feels pertinent as ever in the smartphone age.