|A Truly Likable Guy|
Not long ago I was criticized for citing the un-likability of a protagonist for my lukewarm reception to a book featuring that character. Apparently if you don't find a character likable then you, yourself are flawed and most likely unlikable. As I am widely regarded as highly likable (in my own mind but where else is it so important to be liked?), I disagree with the assertion that we must all like or dislike alike, to be capable of offering an opinion on a book. Face it, reviews are opinions. I have tried over the years to characterize my "reviews" as recommendations rather than reviews. If in my opinion a book ranks high against other books I have read, I tend to rate it with a five star rank. Since I am not certified or accredited by any pseudo-scientific organization to write book reviews then there should be an immediate assumption that I am posting an opinion.
It should be noted that likability is very subjective, I liked Darth Vader for his spooky evilness. I liked Thomas Covenant, Stephen R. Donaldson's character for his desperately flawed self esteem. I liked David Feintuch's Seafort due to his despairingly depressing self loathing. Character likability may be due to despicable behavior rather than laudable acts. So, in my opinion, it is perfectly fine to like or dislike a character and since the characters in a book either drive the plot or are driven by the plot, it is not unrealistic to dislike or like a book depending on the likability of the characters.
BTW I do find it highly unrealistic that expressing a like or dislike of a fictional character represents the personal likability of the reviewer.. You may like or dislike that point of view to your heart's content.