Some books stay good. No, they stay gold!
But seriously, it really is still good, even down to the Robert Frost bit. Sodapop and his beautiful hair, Johnny and Gone with the Wind, Dallas collapsing under the streetlight… It’s a double time capsule: me in eighth grade, Ponyboy in the 1950′s when even cheerleaders barrel-raced at the rodeo.
I heard or misheard somewhere that there’s a Jewish doctrine that there must be 20 righteous people at all times or else God will destroy the world (permutation of Sodom?). Along the same lines, there are certain books that make me feel humanity has a chance, and The Outsiders is one of them.