As I’ve mentioned a million times before, I’m  challenging myself to read Robert Jordan’s Wheel Of Time series in one year. The world Jordan created spans years and countries, endures wars and invasions, and has some of the most compelling and enduring characters I’ve ever read. But I really hate the main character.

A quick Google search turned up this Yahoo Answer’s question asking if it is possible to like a book without liking the main character. The Best Answer makes a good point–as long as the main character is hated because his personality is written to be controversial and not just poorly written or boring, it is possible.

Rand Al’Thor is the legendary Dragon Reborn, born for the sole purpose of fighting the Dark Lord in the Final Battle to save the world. And I’m almost pulling for him to lose because I can’t stand him! My problem with Rand has nothing to do with the overall story line or the writing style–the books are fun read and I love many of the other characters. My problem is with Rand’s personality and the way he handles failure. He obsesses over how wrong it is to kill women, even ones who are trying to kill him, but callously kills men because it was necessary. He overreacts to mistakes made because of missing information, yet refuses to tell anyone his plans so they are constantly making the wrong choice. He is selfish, rude, and unwilling to listen to others–but he is powerful, willing to make tough decisions, and the world’s only hope.

As much as I hate Rand (and sometimes skim when entire chapters follow him, but don’t tell anyone!), I love the books. And I love almost every other character. Have you ever liked a book but disliked a main character? If you don’t like the main character do you continue to read the book, or is a lovable main character a requirement for a good book? Please share your thoughts in the comments!