Likeable Characters

Have you ever read a book and realized that you just didn’t like the main character? I recently read “Gods in Alabama” by Joshilyn Jackson and I appreciated her ability, her craft and her style, but I did not like Lena. And although I found her boyfriend Burr likeable, it annoyed me that he put up with Lena’s nonsense. The story was great–a mystery that unraveled slowly and unexpectedly even though, at one point, I thought I had it all figured out. I finished the book, but I’m not sure I’ll read the two that follow it.

On the other hand, it can sometimes be delcious to not like a character. In Ron Rash’s novel “Serena” the title character is awful–but spectacularly, wonderfully so. I wanted to see her punished, but her awfulness was thrilling to me. I could hardly put the book down because I couldn’t wait to see what unbelievable thing she would do next. I liked how unlikeable Serena was.

Q4U – Have you ever stopped reading a book because you didn’t like or care about the characters? Have you finished a book in spite of not liking the characters? How important are likeable characters to you?

Categories: Reading

1 Comment »

  1. The only times I have stopped reading a book have been due to not liking the writing. Yes, I have finished books in which I did not like the characters, but can’t call specific ones to mind right now. I like characters I either can identify with, admire or envy (actions), or are people I would like to know in real life for reasons good OR bad… characters who stay with me long after I have finished the book.

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