It's hard for me to read a novel-length work about a main character that I don't like. I want to root for the main hero/protagonist in a book. I want to feel that I'm on the side of right against the side of wrong.
I also find it hard to write a protagonist who I don't like. (C. S. Harris said much the same thing on her blog recently.) Why is this a problem? Because I know that first impressions are as big in novels as they are in real life, and I worry that the protagonist in a piece I'm working on now will make a bad first impression. I like him myself, but I wonder if a reader, not knowing him as I do, would toss the book aside before giving him a chance. You see, he murders someone in the first few pages of the book. He murders them brutally after making them dig their own grave.
I wonder, could you read on about such a character? If so, what would it take to keep you reading? What would it take to make you forgive such a murder? Could you forgive it?