Over at the BBC Culture page, Hephzibah Anderson has a worthwhile article on "The Cult Books That Lost Their Cool". I don't usually find such agreement with these types of lists, but of the eleven books described here I've read several and am at least familiar with the rest. And while I might argue that these books never had any cool to begin with, it is nice to see their shortcomings pointed out. In particular I have loathed The Catcher in the Rye, Atlas Shrugged, On the Road, and Jonathan Livingston Seagull (read only for its risibility, as it was the favorite book of a person I knew in college), and disliked several of the others, The Old Man and The Sea (someone I knew called it, appropriately, The Old Fart and the Fish), Iron John, The Outsider (Colin Wilson at his pinnacle of glibness), and Infinite Jest. I've never read The Beach, nor ever been even slightly tempted to read it, for I am familiar with the Leonardo DiCrapio and Tilda Swinton film.
Anyway, a tip of the hat to Hephzibah Anderson (no relation).