... like Camus' L'Etranger so much? What is it about Albert Camus' The Outsider? asks Marcel Berlins, who reports that "a whole swathe of English male media types, academics and students" are deeply attached to the book. I think it's the same reason such types are fond of noirish things in general - the vicarious experience of being a tough guy. Genuine tough guys - I've known a few (one of whom is doing life) - are usually quite different in reality from how they are portrayed fictionally. For one thing, they don't tend either to talk or to act tough. They just are tough. Media types, academics, and students take Meurseault as a model for a fashion statement. In real life, Meurseault wouldn't give them the time of day - and they probably would go out of their way to avoid him.
Update: Here's A tale of two genders: men choose novels of alienation, while women go for passion , which has the list of books men found inspiring and a link to the women's list. I must be very weird myself. I greatly admire a number of the books, but only Ulysses has exerted any real influence over me. Not because of its style or literary innovativeness, by the way, but because it teaches one so well how to pay attention to the details of every day life.