Why I Don’t Read Books with Unlikable Characters

/ posted in: Reading

This week’s topic for Top Ten Tuesday is Ten Characters I Didn’t Like.  I can’t really list ten.  Sure, I could list ten villians but you aren’t supposed to like the villians in books.

I’ve read a lot of posts lately about why we should read books with unlikable characters.  I guess it is supposed to be good for us like eating broccoli or something.  I don’t require main characters to be someone who I can relate to.  They don’t have to be like me for me to enjoy the book.  They do, however, have to be likable and I’ve figured out why.

I deal with enough jerks in my day to day life without wasting my leisure time on them.

Here are the characteristics of a main character that will make me hate a character or DNF a book without a second glance.

Mean to animals

I’ve discussed this one in depth already.  I never got past the first few chapters of The Knife of Never Letting Go for this reason.

Stupid

If you repeatedly make mistakes because you are too stupid to listen to anyone else, I don’t care to spend time with you.  Charley Bordelon in Queen Sugar had this issue.  Luckily she started to get over it so I could finish the book.

Queen SugarQueen Sugar by Natalie Baszile

 

 

 

Clueless and/or Entitled

GuyanaGuyana by Élise Turcotte

I read this book because I’m trying to read more set in South America.  This was also translated from French so it seemed perfect.  I finished this book just to see if it eventually made any sense.  It didn’t.  It was set in Montreal.  The hairdresser of the main character’s autistic son died.  The main character wants to know why.  She has no connection to this woman other than paying her to cut her son’s hair.  She starts harassing the woman’s friends.  She goes to her house and barges in on her roommate.  She makes these people who actually knew the dead woman stop dealing with their grief in order to attend to her.  She was completely clueless that she was behaving badly.  Her reasoning?  The hairdresser was from Guyana and one time, when she was in the hospital, the main character saw stories about Guyana on the news.  I’m not even kidding about that.  I wish I was.

What Characteristics Make You Hate a Main Character?