Top 5 Wednesday: Favourite “Unlikeable” Protagonists

Hi everyone!

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday prompt is ‘Favourite “Unlikeable Protagonists”‘. This is really difficult because I love most protagonists, but I managed to think of five! Although I do still dislike basically all of them.

People always tear down “unlikeable” protagonists. But tell us the ones you pulled for!

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey (Gingerreadslainey) and is currently hosted by Samantha (Thoughts on Tomes). For more information, check out the group on Goodreads.

1. Cath from Flowers in the Attic by Victoria Andrews

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Cath is very frustrating to read from her perspective and I think it is mainly because she is an idiot. I liked the book and the unlikeable protagonist was probably intended, although not very obvious because all the other characters sucked, too. My review.

2. Briony from Atonement by Ian McEwan

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I read Atonement in my literature class when I was 16 and everyone absolutely hated Briony. I sympathised with her a little bit because she was only a child when she did what she did. I don’t like her but I don’t hate her as much as some of my classmates did.

3. Rachel from The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

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I enjoyed The Girl on the Train and all of the three main characters were unlikeable in different ways. One thing that was annoying about Rachel was her alcoholism and her attitude towards other people, most of the time caused by her drinking habits. She was an okay person when she was sober. My review.

4. Humbert Humbert from Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

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I obviously think Humbert is a crazy and gross man, but if I didn’t like his personality completely then I wouldn’t have been able to finish the book. Although there’s not really anything I like about him, reading from his perspective was doable. My review.

5. Dorian Gray from The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

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I had to read this when I was 15 so it was a bit of a drag to read. I only really understood the story when I watched the film, and did not have a problem with Dorian’s personality or character. He of course is very vain but not entirely terrible to read about.


  • What do you think about my T5W picks?

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25 thoughts on “Top 5 Wednesday: Favourite “Unlikeable” Protagonists

  1. I totally agree with your summary of Humbert from Lolita. He is such a terrible person with obvious issues, however it was fascinating to read the book form his perspective. It was one of the hardest books I have read.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a great list! I forgot all about Briony, but that’s such a good choice. She was so frustrating but equally compelling. And great rationale for Humbert – he’s a loathsome character but I still love that book. And high fives for including Rachel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Rachel! You’re right, Briony was really frustrating, but I still liked her. I love Lolita too, and it is hard to read from his perspective at times because of his character.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so glad you put Briony on there! I’m sitting an exam on her tomorrow, and all year, my class has been brutal about her character, but I would say on reflection she’s not completely awful, and there are some reasons why I feel pity for her! Great post! 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s such a coincidence! I hope your exam goes well. My last Literature exam was on Atonement. And yes my class were really brutal towards her too, and I did sort of pity her! Thank you 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes I’ve read Gone Girl, definitely one of the best twists I’ve ever read! I’ve been meaning to read Dark Places for a while, it sounds really interesting. I love psychological thrillers 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I have not read The Girl on the Train and Flowers from the Attic, but I agree that for the rest your list is spot on. Regarding Humbert, even though I knew he was a pervert, I somehow felt some slight sympathy lurking around inside me for him.

    Liked by 1 person

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