I felt the same way about Confederacy of Dunces – I don’t need a likeable main character, and I don’t mind unreliable narrators, but I don’t think awful people with superiority complexes are in and of themselves funny.
The humor in this book seems to revolve around Eleanor’s judgemental attitude about everyone around her save herself (I’ll save the spoiler but even at the “big reveal” that wasn’t all that shocking, she doesn’t really reflect on how damaging her attitude is or how her actions affect those around her. Her self-deprecation is all about who she is rather than what she does, and it’s the latter that makes her difficult. Being a terrible person devoid of self reflection isn’t that funny to me, but it’s all the stranger when we’re thrown serious abuse at the hands of her mother as an explanation for eleanor’s eccentricities. It felt like the book was trying to have it both ways – laugh at the pompous narrator, but know that she had a rough life so don’t be too hard on her.
Raymond, the coworker who drags Eleanor out of her shell, is well drawn as a Boy Scout type who wants to help everyone and anyone, but I can’t for the life of me understand why he’d continue to socialize with Eleanor past the point of simple kindness given how unpleasant she is to him for most of the book.
This was well written, but I can’t get past the logical deficits in the plot, or to care about the main character. She’s insufferable, but her trauma renders her too sympathetic to wish her ill; she’s a victim, but one who refuses to see herself as the aggressor she often is.