LIVING

Modern Literature's Greatest Anti Heroes And Unreliable Narrators

04/15/2015 10:57 EDT | Updated 04/15/2015 10:59 EDT

No one is perfect, not even fictional characters.

In fact, our favourite protagonists often tend to be the most flawed. Characters who make questionable decisions and have conflicted ethics are the most interesting to read about (if not necessarily sympathize with), as they make us reflect on ourselves and ask challenging questions.

As Claire Messud, in an interview with Publishers Weekly about her book "The Woman Upstairs," said, "If you’re reading to find friends, you’re in deep trouble. We read to find life, in all its possibilities. The relevant question isn’t 'is this a potential friend for me?' but 'is this character alive?'"

Life isn’t black and white so why should it be in books? By falling into that gray area, these unreliable narrators and antiheroes keep us dramatically flipping pages and, more often than not, result in us throwing things across the room. Sometimes they have us gasping a little too loudly on public transit.

These protagonists may be frustrating, but they are also intriguing and complex while at it.

15 of Literature's Greatest Antiheroes And Unreliable Narrators