What is an appropriate term to use when describing a polarising book (or other work) which has received widespread attention, indicating both its importance and controversial nature without "taking sides" about its merits.
influential, notable, important, significant - All seem to imply a positive evaluation or an established consensus about its merits.
widely-read - May or may not factually apply in such a case.
controversial - Does not clarify whether it's merely a work's content or its reception that are the subject of controversy, e.g. "A controversial, little-known book."
One can get by with some hedging combination of the above, but I wonder if a more precise term doesn't exist.