Hephzibah Anderson of the BBC has exposed a selection of books that have traditionally been highly regarded but nowadays fail to evoke the interest and accolades they once deserved.
When I was studying literature at the university I was introduced to a similar phenomenon. At that time authors such as Charles Dickens and Theodore Dreiser were quite low in the academic esteem department. Hemingway is another well known author that tends to go up and down through the years (he should stay down).
Hephzibah Anderson provides a more contemporary list and you should read the original article to more fully understand her reasoning (notes in parentheses are mine). Here is the list:
The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger, 1951
(Not only has this whining narrative aged poorly but it never has been considered … well, ask a woman or a girl in this case, what they think of Catcher In the Rye.)
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, 1957
(Anyone ever actually considered Ayn Rand even a decent author?)
The Beach by Alex Garland, 1996
Iron John by Robert Bly, 1990
The Outsider by Colin Wilson, 1956
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, 1952
(That they still foist this pile of fish guts on unsuspecting juveniles is a crime.)
On the Road by Jack Kerouac, 1957
(I still read Ginsberg but Kerouac has had his day. If you really want to experience the silliness of this sort of beat fiction, listen to it on tape, out-loud.)
The Rules by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider, 1995
(I remember this as a book to avoid three days after it was published.)
Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach, 1970
(You couldn’t even use this one as a doorstop).
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, 1996
(Ah, a doorstop.)