My query was rejected upon the reasoning that (among other things, such as it probably being too long) the protagonist was not admirable or sympathetic enough for readers to like or care about him.
Now I have to wonder; what makes a reader care for the protagonist? It is based upon the fact that s/he is a 'good person' (ergo, in some strange pattern of thought, equalling him to be the 'good guy'). Must there be complete definition of good guy/bad guy? Must the protagonist ride a white horse and the antagonist a black? Is this saying that current readers reject real people, as of course, none of us are really the 'good guy' in a novel sense. Do we look for stock characters? If one desires their novel to be somewhat true, or at least not feel completely fictional and unreachable, should they use these cookie-cutter characters? I believe they should not, there should be a touch of reality, no matter how much mysticism/fantasy/aliens/other worlds &c. there is in the novel. But is it mandate for the reader to love the main character? Is that the purpose of the novel? to become best friends forever with whoever the author chooses to tell the story from? Could we not find friendship and sympathy, admiration and loyalty to another? Is that too much to ask from a reader?
And is 226,000 words far too long?
Darkly Dreaming Dexter