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Friday, December 30, 2011

Horrible Protagonists

Can an author make a protag too objectionable?

I say, yes.

I just finished the last book of a series by one of my favorite authors.

‘Former’ favorite authors, I should say.

The protag had a choice and in the words of a character in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, she chose poorly.

This woman began a relationship by lying to a worthy man. A. Huge. Whopper. Trust was very important to her when she was on the receiving end. But being truthful to the man she intends to spend the rest of her life with was inconvenient.

The ending of this four-book series made me want to throw my Kindle across the room. I refrained at the last minute.

The protag must grow, have human frailties, and make mistakes. But the author can’t make the protag so offensive that a reader is incoherent with outrage as I was.

I want to walk in the author’s world but in this case, with this writer, I have no common ground.

4 comments:

mshatch said...

I can so relate. I just finished a book by a well-known author which I really liked a lot except for one thing. The main character didn't change at all. She ran from stuff at the start of the story and she ran at the end. Worse yet, I never found out why. Everything else about the book was lovely but because the character never evolved/changed, I was disappointed.

tfwalsh said...

That's totally not a good thing... I've read books like that, and I usually put it down and never pick them up again.

defcon said...

Sounds like the protag is a complicated character. :)

I don't mind less-than-pleasant protags so long as they're interesting. Like I recently read Paolo Bagigalupi's short story Pop Squad, set in the future where it's illegal to reproduce (because everyone is practically immortal), so the protag's job is to kill children. Pretty offensive. Yet, the character does have a conscious, starts to wonder why exactly do women (and men) continue trying to have kids, and even spares the life of one woman and her child.

But yeah, I'm moreso annoyed when the author 'cops out' or fails to develop the character.

Huntress said...

I ranted about this book already over at GoodReads. Probably too much.

But here is a bit more *rolls eyes*.

This was a good series by an author I adored. But she blew it in the last few pages. EpIc FaiL doesn't begin to cover it.