Frontlist | Top 10 most dislikable characters in fiction
At reader events to promote my novels, I find that one question crops up more often than any other: ‘Why do you write such dislikable characters?’ Well, I usually reply, swallowing my defensiveness, don’t all novelists write characters who are dislikable to someone, given that likability is entirely subjective? If niceness is a spectrum, then we’re all on it, for better or worse.
Take Kit and Melia Roper in The Other Passenger. The debt-ridden millennial friends of wealthy Gen Xers Jamie and Clare, they are envious of the older couple’s lifestyle and prepared to take all sorts of risks to raise their own status. You might be sympathetic to their plight (I know I am) or you might take a harder line, but chances are your view on their likability is far more to do with their personalities than their social standing – or even their criminal actions.