At the moment, I am reading Wilkie Collins's No Name, a book that I plan to use in the last chapter of my dissertation. Granted, I am not very far into the book, but the heroine of the novel, Magdalen, is driving me crazy! She is so annoying, and, if she was real, I would want nothing to do with her. Everything about her is exaggerated, from her commitment to "getting into character" for a friend's birthday play to her annoying relationship with her father and other men. I really want to throw the book against the wall!
I have been trying to think about other characters that annoy me...luckily, the list is short. I never liked Dorothea, from George Eliot's Middlemarch. I also can't stand Catherine from Wuthering Heights (though I must say that this is a fairly recent development). Felix Carstone, from Anthony Trollope's The Way We Live Now, is another one. And, from Dracula in Love, Jonathan Harker. Ugh. There are others, I am sure, but these are the ones that come to mind right now.
I don't mind a character like this, as long as he or she doesn't take up much space...but, as you see from the list above, the characters I take issue with are generally very important to the story. It isn't that I simply don't like them. There is something even more horrible about each of them that goes beyond dislike for me. Oh, well.
The bad news: I still have over 500 pages of No Name to go...and Magdalen isn't going to disappear soon.