To take it a little further, the major theme of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is about an academic who literally drove himself insane doing the work of answering abstract questions. No mention in the book of Epicurus, who could have saved him a lot of grief. There is a little in the book about the pressures and "standards" of academia which very much agrees with the idea that Epicurus' philosophy is way too simple for the "pros."
I haven't read Hermotimus so I can't compare them. I'm about halfway through Zen &c. I think Joshua described it as steeped in Plato and I agree with that. It's basically three interwoven threads: a father-son motorcycle trip, ruminations on the virtues of understanding technology, and a "Chautauqua" attempting to tie together and advance the academic development of philosophy (minus Epicurus, of course). That, and the first person narrator is piecing together the life of Phaedrus, who is himsel…