And I don't mean villain-protagonists who are supposed to be bad people and who you're supposed to think of as 'evil' (even if they themselves do not).
I mean protagonists who are just...normal people being a little mean and selfish. Y'know, so it actually feels immoral and wrong. ^^
I remember this little novella-thing I wrote a while back where the MC basically begins the story hoping that the new student in school gets made fun of for being a minority. ^^; Sure, it's a fantasy story where you kinda have to figure that out from context, but that's pretty much what she's thinking.
Now, the point is that she's doing this because being a social outcast is starting to make her bitter. Bitter enough to hope for the downfall of a sweet, innocent angel (who will eventually become her best friend~); anything to distract the other students from herself.
And as it happens, this 'angel' ends up becoming very popular and well-liked, which accomplishes the same outcome, so she doesn't really mind either way. Mere paragraphs into the first chapter, it's established that these characters feel neutrally enough about each other to begin a mutual friendship.
In fact, you might even say I don't need to have the MC thinking those rude thoughts in the story at all...I think about that often, whenever I go back and re-read the story. After all, why make a character look like a bad person when you don't have to, and risk turning off a potential reader??
So far though, each and every time I think about it, in the end I decide to leave that part in anyway. ^^; Yeah, she sounds like an insensitive, overly edgy 12-year-old...but that's what she is. If it should be okay for any type of character to be a bit of a jerk, it should be a kid who's literally too young to see the big picture yet. Especially when the kid in question is clearly trying and failing to process their own pain.
Still, I recognize that trying this with an MC (especially a child MC, as backwards as that seems) isn't normal...this is not a novel that I would try to publish. ^^; I mostly started writing it for my own enjoyment, and if I ever did finish it and post it online at all, it would be as an accessory to the main story that inspired it (where the two main characters are still best friends as adults, and when you work backwards from there a lot of MC's behavior is more forgivable).
But am I making the wrong assumption here? :T What do you think about unsympathetic protagonists? Have you read or written any that you really like? Do you see value in using their perspective to tell a story...?