Faulkner and other Southern Gothic writers--yes. Brutal, sharp, sinister, even depressing writing--yes. Unlikeable characters--not a problem. O'Connor? Fraid not. I'm from well above the Mason-Dixon (and now far west of it) where it isn't so rare to find versions of her characters in poor, rural, conservative areas, so I can't buy that her heavy-handedness is simply some Southern thing that she's getting across.
While her writing technically is good and she's had a great influence on the American short story, she's just not my thing. I like less of a sneer and far more mercy with my fiction.
After getting through Wise Blood
and Everything That Rises Must Converge
, I decided I'd had enough.