What are some popular books that feature a protagonist you route for and want to succeed, but can’t stand?
Some that come to mind:
Gone With the Wind- Scarlett is an extremely admirable heroine in terms of strength (of will and physical), work ethic, survival instinct, intelligence, etc., but absolutely despicable in her total selfishness and the way she uses other people (all three husbands, Mammy, her father, etc.) without regard for what it may cost them.
Confederacy of Dunces- Ignatius is perhaps the funniest character in American literature but also one of the least likable: lazy, pompous, egomaniacal, a pathological liar, completely unconcerned with the feelings of others, etc… Strangely, it only helps the book.
Maus/Maus II- Spiegelman’s father is one of the most miserable human beings ever depicted as the main character in a novel, graphic or otherwise. Even his son states that he personifies every negative stereotype of Jews (stingy, racist, selfish, callous, etc.), and his second-wife points out when some blame his personality on surviving Auschwitz that she and several of her friends also survived it and they aren’t like that.
The Shining- the protagonist is an alcholic self-indulgent author who has nearly destroyed his family.