Obligatory Your Favourite Book Sucks comment:
Zen & the Art etc is one of very few books that I have stopped reading before the end, and it is almost certainly the only book I have actually thrown away (as opposed to keeping, selling or giving away). It went into the garbage. And when I say I stopped before the end, I am talking about ten pages before the end - I couldn't see the point in persisting for even the final ten.
It could be that I expected too much from it, due to its reputation. It might be that I had been studying too much “real” metaphysics. It might be that I had also been reading a heap of actual Zen literature (not that it really has anything to do with Zen). Maybe I was just in a bad mood. The overall effect, though, was that I just couldn’t see the appeal, at all. The prose was that of an airport novel, and the “philosophy” seemed about as profound as, say, Hermann Hesse. “Between the subjective & objective, there is a third element, Quality”. Spare me!
I think the only other book that I could put into the same class of grossly overrated, embarrassingly earnest pseudo-intellectual drivel would be The Dice Man.
I’m still keen, however, to find out what the fuck people see in the novel, so, yeh, thanks for the post & all the comments.
 The Metaphysics of Quality