Sometimes when you read a book, you think to yourself, "Man, I would love to be this character." And other times...you'd really rather pass.
In no particular order, the top ten characters you would NEVER EVER in a million years want to trade places with:
[Spoiler Warning: Mild spoilers, but considering most of these are classics I don't feel that bad]
Odysseus from Homer's "The Odyssey"
Getting lost at sea in the first place is never fun, but when your “voyage” includes deadly sirens, a whirlpool with a monster inside it, the magnetic Circe, getting shipwrecked and then held in captivity…yeah. No thanks, I’ll pass.
Gregor Samsa from Kafka's "The Metamorphosis"
Gregor has an awful job as a traveling salesmen to support his family, then wakes up one day to find that he’s a disgusting, foul insect. And everyone despises him. Poor guy gets the crappy end of the stick, that’s for sure.
Pi from Martel's "Life of Pi"
Sure, I may like looking at tigers in the zoo, but no way would I want to be stuck with one on a lifeboat. Sounds terrifying. I’d probably just give up and let him eat me, honestly. Even worse, his entire family drowned. And he probably has severe hallucinations.
Theon Greyjoy from R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones series
Who wants to be flayed alive? Enough said.
And by the way, not a spoiler. That's just a tip of the iceberg of Theon's life. You don't want to know what else happens to the poor dude.
Severus Snape from J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series
He’s bullied, the love of his life married his bully, and their kid is the bane of his existence. He also has to be a double agent, and never gets to keep that damn Defense Against the Dark Arts position! Sorry, dude, wouldn’t want to be you.
Any one of the Baudelaires from Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events
The poor kids’ house burns down and their parents are killed. Then there’s Olaf. Creepy, creepy Olaf.
...Can you tell I really don't like Olaf?
Katniss Everdeen from Collins’ Hunger Games series
Okay, it’s bad enough to grow up poor. Then you lose your dad, and your mom ignores you and your baby sister in a fit of grief, so you’ve got to take care of everyone. Then it gets worse! Your sister is picked for the Hunger Games, so you take her place in a contest to fight to the death. That’s what it’s like to be Katniss. I’ll pass.
Fantine from Hugo’s Les Miserables
The title of the book says it all, really. Before Anne Hathaway won an Oscar for portraying Fantine’s sad, sad life, Hugo complimented the girl like crazy, then WHAM BAM horrible things start happening, and before you know it, Fantine’s become a prostitute who dies of tuberculosis, leaving her poor orphaned daughter behind.
Winston Smith from Orwell’s 1984
Poor Winston’s life is just depressing. He lives in a totalitarian state under surveillance, and then gets “questioned” or interrogated by the government for resistance ties. I can’t say more without ruining the book, but I’m really not interested in trading places.
Tess from Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles
One of my all-time favorite novels, but that still doesn’t mean I want to be the eponymous Tess. She’s raped, her baby dies, and the man she loves is a total asshole. It only gets worse from there. :/
Other characters that almost made the list: Othello or Desdemona from Shakespeare's Othello, Neville Longbottom, and pretty much anyone else in Game of Thrones.