The First Ten Focus Group Feedback for McDowell
Because McDowell was Book of the Day, some of our most trusted members have carefully looked over the cover, the description, and other aspects of this book as a part of purchase-intent focus group. We then asked each participant in the focus group if they planned to buy and read the book, and why they planned to buy and read the book or not. Their answer to that question and reasons are displayed below. We call this awesome feature The First Ten Focus Group.
Keep in mind, the responses from the members are not reviews. This is purchase-intent focus group which means the participants are people who have NOT yet bought or read your book. A purchase-intent focus group is an important and extremely useful marketing tool for any product, not just books. For other products, you might walk on the street and show people an item in a package and poll them about whether they would buy if or $X or not. These kind of focus groups are one of the ways big marketing companies find the ideal price points for products and test the effectiveness of different packaging. The focus group can help you identify your market so you how to target ads of your book, and it can (but may not) provide you new useful info about your "packaging" (e.g. your book cover, your book synopsis on Amazon, etc.). The point of the focus group comments is to give you information from people who have not bought or read your book about why they plan to buy your book which will help you in marketing the book. These are not reviews or critiques of your book because they are not from people have read the book. This is a marketing tool, not reviews. The trick of book marketing and book advertising is that you have to convince people who have not read your book yet that your book is worth buying and reading. For marketing, it doesn't matter much if people love your book after reading it if you cannot convince potential buyers before they read it that they will love it.
IMPORTANT: Any score over 10% is considered very good. And any score above 0% is acceptable. This is because we only poll about 20 or so readers, and all readers have to say "no" to almost all books. Over a million books are published each year. Even a very active reader cannot come close to even reading 1% of books out there.
This is also why publishing books is such a tough industry.
At first glance, I like the cover of this novel. The plot sounds intriguing. After reading the first ten pages, I can say that this book is professionally edited and well-written. I like that there is a picture in the beginning. Unfortunately, I do not have the time to read this book now.
First Ten review added on July 30, 2017, at 1:29 pm by Sarah_Khan.
Based on the blurb, I don't really think this book is for me. Although I think the premise is unique and interesting, I personally wasn't really hooked in by the plot line. I don't think I am the target audience for this.
First Ten review added on July 30, 2017, at 1:36 pm by CrescentMoon.
I probably wouldn't have sampled the book, as it isn't the sort of book I normally gravitate to. The cover isn't very appealing, but the blurb is concise and informative. The sample opened with a bang, Hiram leaving his hiking partner to die in the mountains, but then the pace slowed down. I didn't connect with the protagonist and found the writing a bit flat. I won't read the book, as the story didn't intrigue me enough to want to continue to read it. I didn't see any OBC review, but having one would not have changed my decision.
First Ten review added on July 30, 2017, at 1:36 pm by gali.
Had I not sampled the book, I would not have read it. I usually read pure romance books. Having read the sample, I liked the author's writing style. The sample was easy to follow and understand. Further, I liked the simple yet interesting cover. The book seems professionally edited. However, I did not come across an official Onlinebookclub review and the absence of one may have affected my decision. Since I prefer pure romance books, I do not think I will buy the book today.
First Ten review added on July 30, 2017, at 1:49 pm by AA1495.
The cover is very well-done. I chose to read the sample on that alone. Based on the sample and the blurb, I will buy the book. The sample shows that the main character is very ambitious and willing to leave his friend to die. I hope to hear of his comeuppance in the book. I did not notice major typos or grammar errors.I really like the gorgeous artwork. I will read even without a review.
First Ten review added on July 30, 2017, at 2:03 pm by Izesicle.
From the book cover and description I had no idea what this would be about (cover is generic and literary is a very loosely-defined genre.) I might have looked at it a little just to determine content. The sample I read was professional, neat, and well-written. But the main character was a horrible person and after 10 pages I got tired of reading. This book probably couldn't be improved on--it's just not to my taste. I didn't see an Online Book Club review, but it wouldn't have influenced me anyway. I felt strongly negative about the hero and content.
First Ten review added on July 30, 2017, at 3:12 pm by busycat.
After reading the first ten pages of, McDowell by William H. Coles, I can say that I will be purchasing and reading this book. Before I read a sample of this book, I was not interested in purchasing. The cover didn't interest me, but when I read the blurb, it made me curious. Reading how the main character could so easily leave his fellow climber behind shocked me. After reading that I wanted to know more. Based on what I have read so far this book does appear to be professionally edited. While I was surprised that this book does not have an official OnlineBookClub review, the lack thereof did not affect my decision.
First Ten review added on July 30, 2017, at 4:38 pm by BunnySTx.
I find the cover and title interesting and so I would have sampled this book without the first ten program. The comments on Facebook and LinkedIn let me know the idea of the book - to fall and attempt to rise again. The first ten pages only touch the beginning of this idea. They are well written and the characters are drawn clearly. At the moment, I am not a big fan of McDowell but the comments suggest that this book could be quite interesting. However, I do not plan to read the rest of this book at this time. It just didn't catch my interest enough.
First Ten review added on July 30, 2017, at 4:45 pm by Snowflake.
I like the simplicity of this cover page and how it ties in with the title. I'd be interested in seeing what this book was about. Unfortunately there was no Onlinebookclub review available to give more of an outline of the story. The pages which I read were well written and edited. The story sets the scene well with focusing on the main character. I found myself instantly disliking him as he seemed arrogant and egotistical. Even though this is an indication of a good author, to make a character realistic, I don't think this book is for me. I have no ideas for improvement.
First Ten review added on July 30, 2017, at 5:24 pm by micoleon13.
The cover is really well put together and the book got some good reviews leading up to book of the day. It manages to be abstract and entertaining. The opening is clean and well put together but I won't be picking up a copy today because I won't have time to read it.
First Ten review added on July 30, 2017, at 5:26 pm by James Craft.
I would have chosen to read or sample the book based on the editorial review primarily; the cover is well executed too. I'm not going to buy or read the whole book because reading such fiction isn't a priority for me at the moment. The first ten pages did set the scene well. I did not see any typos or grammar errors so this looks professionally edited. I liked the way it introduced an anti-hero; the pace was swift though, this could be improved through more lingering in the scenes. I have not seen an official OnlineBookClub review. This might have affected my decision by giving me some more information about how the book pans out.
First Ten review added on July 30, 2017, at 5:44 pm by ButterscotchCherrie.
McDowell by William H. Coles today's book of the day peaked my imagination. I love a character that I can hate. Hiram McDowell has all the great qualities that any reader will love to dislike. He is a cheater, dishonest, conniving, untrustworthy, person who only cares about himself. He is on his third wife who is about to serve him divorce papers. Michael O'Leary is looking for revenge after serving up the votes to get the president's position for Hiram McDowell of the International College of Surgeon's. Looks to me like Hiram is about to get his comeuppance. I did purchase the book based on the preview. It is on my to read list now.
First Ten review added on July 30, 2017, at 6:03 pm by Vermont Reviews.
I particularly like the illustration within the book and the cover as well. Had I not read the sample, I would not have paid to buy this book. This is because the sample provides a much thorough taste of what I am going to be reading. I will be buying this book. The book is professionally edited. I liked the care that was taken into this book. It appears the author has researched the story very well. It has a sad start to the story.
First Ten review added on July 30, 2017, at 8:14 pm by Jeyran Main.
There's incredibly little information to be found from the cover of this book, so I went in not knowing what to expect at all. The mountain climbing scene was a bit short but definitely accomplished its goal; the rest of my sample really did a great job of naturally showing what a jerk Hiram McDowell was. While I'm glad it sounds like he'll get his comeuppance, I don't think I'll be finishing the book to see it.
First Ten review added on July 30, 2017, at 8:32 pm by CataclysmicKnight.
It looks like a book of board politics and infidelity. The narration is okay, but the subject is not exciting for me to pursue. The character development is good, but again, this book is not something that I will be looking forward to read. Thanks.
First Ten review added on July 30, 2017, at 10:52 pm by va2016.
McDowell is a well known novel. I have read it's sample and did not find it interesting enough to read the entire book. I did not like the way, the family of Hiram treated each other. I found this book quite depressing. Moreover, I did not find it's review on OnlineBookClub, which further strengthened my decision of not reading the book. Also, the cover of this book is not very catchy.
The book is well formatted and I did not find any grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. But, still I would not read this book.
First Ten review added on July 30, 2017, at 11:38 pm by Naval Aulakh.
Hiram is a sexist pig, so no way will I be buying this book. The first chapter isn't over and he's on his third wife already, and may have to look for a fourth. He's one of those dysfunctional people who taints all he touches.
First Ten review added on July 30, 2017, at 11:59 pm by Miche Sora.
If I had not read the sample I would not have read the book; I was not taken in by the blurb. After reading the sample I have changed my mind. I personally loved the addition of art in the book, and I thought the dialogue-centric writing style made the story fast-paced and interesting. I did not read the official review. The sample was professionally edited.
First Ten review added on July 31, 2017, at 12:16 am by psychopathycathy.
The description of this book was not very clear as to what the storyline is about or what to expect from this book. As there was no review either, I couldn't judge how the book was going to be. The book seems to be edited properly. From the sample, it seems that the protagonist is a self-serving man, who is also at some level in dilemma about the choices he has made in life. This seems an interesting concept. However, there is a lot happening in the book. This also makes the book pretty long. Since, I'm not currently looking for a new book to read, I think I'll skip this one.
First Ten review added on July 31, 2017, at 12:27 am by ananya92.
I like the simplicity of the cover and the title. The blurb is short, but I'm not sure that it tells me enough of what the book is about. There aren't any customers reviews for this, but the editorial reviews give me an idea of what the book is like and the writing style. I most likely would not have sampled this book without this program. It appears to be professionally edited. An OnlineBookClub review would have been helpful in deciding if I was interested in reading the book. After reading the first ten pages, I'm not sure that I would enjoy this read.
First Ten review added on July 31, 2017, at 1:59 am by Kitkat3.
This is one of the few books where I would read the sample before deciding if I wanted to purchase it. Usually I've decided one way or another after read the blurb and the reviews, but I'm unsure of this one. First, I love the cover. I think it's beautifully done. The art is simple, but impactful. It's not ugly or cheesy or tacky like many other self-published books I've seen. It's definitely something that would catch my eye when I was browsing. Second, the blurb was sort of interesting, but I wish there had been a little less vague. It wasn't really as compelling as it could've been. The overall topic did interest me, though.
I really enjoyed the sample. The artwork at the beginning is beautiful and made even more chilling after reading the prologue. It does seem to be professionally edited and I really enjoyed the author's writing style. There is no official OnlineBookClub review. If there was one, it would really only sway my decision if it revealed huge flaws in the writing or execution of the story. I will be purchasing this book and reading it (eventually)!
First Ten review added on July 31, 2017, at 2:26 am by classicaltwist.
McDowell by William H. Coles certainly has an intriguing cover - mostly because it is unlike one that you normally see. This is a story of a surgeon who gets tangled up in a felonious crime. Personally, the book description was not enough for me to be truly interested in this story. So, based on first impressions, I would not read this book.
The first ten pages read well. I like the writing and didn't note any spelling or grammatical errors. However, the story did not appeal to me. This may be a novel that subtly builds on itself, but I would be hard-pressed to stick around and find out.
First Ten review added on July 31, 2017, at 11:09 am by DDunstock.
The summary blurb appears to be professionally edited, but the explanation of the story is a little vague. There weren't enough specifics to spark my interest. The beginning pages are well written, but there was nothing that made me want to continue reading the rest of the book.
First Ten review added on July 31, 2017, at 12:20 pm by bookowlie.
I didn't notice any errors, but found the style a little formal at times. This isn't my type of book, so I would not have looked at it. I would suggest changing the cover art. At first glance it makes ne think western, and a second glance just makes it look generic. I honestly can't stand the MC, but I'm guessing that's the point, so well done!
The sample kept me reading, if only to see what he'd do next, and I can say I (mostly) enjoyed the author's style. However, it would not be something I would choose to read, as I found nothing redeeming about him. I don't plan to read this.
First Ten review added on July 31, 2017, at 12:33 pm by Gravy.
I didn't have a lot of clues about this book from the outset. The cover is intriguing, but it tells me little concretely. There was no review, so I had to depend on the first ten pages to give me a picture of the story and writing style to come. My initial impression was that I very much disliked nearly every character. That can definitely indicate skill in the author because he could elicit a strong emotional response in only ten pages. However, without a review to offer a picture of the book as a whole, I don't think I want to spend any more time in McDowell's mind or house.
First Ten review added on July 31, 2017, at 2:13 pm by L_Therese.
The simplicity of the cover made it appealing to me. However, after reading the first ten pages and the Amazon description, I have concluded this book is not for me. The sample did not keep me interested, and the Amazon description did not make me anxious to read more. Therefore, I will not be purchasing this book.
First Ten review added on July 31, 2017, at 10:19 pm by Kdonegan91.
Coming in highly recommended by Amazon readers with glorified reviews, this one certainly sounds like a memorable read. Taking the main character into thought, he sounds like one that one pull readers in with all types of opinions. Having the personality of a egocentric narcissist, I feel like its this character personality alone that could draw readers in. I am interested, but I have too many chosen to add lately.
First Ten review added on July 31, 2017, at 11:02 pm by klbradley.
From the cover, blurb, and review I probably would not have picked this one up. Although the characters sounded neat, it really want of a subject that send to interest me. After reading the first ten pages, I was on the fence. It started out very strong with some excellent conflict that let me wanting more. That being said, I really don't think I'll be buying the rest of the book and reading it. It really didn't suck me in enough to bump the books on my current TBR list. It did, however, seem well written and edited.
First Ten review added on July 31, 2017, at 11:08 pm by Scerakor.
The book cover is very appealing.However, after reading the first ten pages I realized that McDowell is not the type of character or book that I am interested in. It seems like it would be good for people who are interested in stories that are intrigued by family drama.
First Ten review added on August 1, 2017, at 12:00 am by Jaime Lync.
I would not have sampled this book based on the genre, blurb and the fact that there is not an OBC review. I don't usually read books that don't have a review, and the blurb didn't draw me in. After reading the first ten pages, I will not be buying this book. Right away, I did not like Hiram as a character. I couldn't handle reading about him. It did seem to be professionally edited.
First Ten review added on August 1, 2017, at 1:03 am by anneloretrujillo.
I don't think I will finish reading this book. The sample wasn't interesting enough for me. While reading the sample, I didn't notice any major grammatical errors either.
First Ten review added on August 1, 2017, at 1:19 am by ZenaLei7.
From the cover, it seems like a mystery book with the man on the cover being the detective, which makes me want to read this book. I will be reading this book because the first ten pages starts off with mountain climbing, then to normal family life. It seems to have much of a mystery especially the mountain climbing part of the story. It seems professionally edited, I like how the author included italicized paragraphs and showed what the setting was. I did not see a review, and I don't think that would affect my decision.
First Ten review added on August 1, 2017, at 3:27 am by jungkookblog.
I like the cover of this book. The black and white is unusual these days, which makes it more interesting and eye-catching. However, the blurb doesn't make the book very appealing. It sounds like it's trying too hard. The reviews give much more interesting blurbs/summaries of the book. After reading the sample, I don't plan to read this book. The main character is just far too unlikable for my taste. I know that's intentional, but it's not a type of story I enjoy reading. The book seems professionally edited though, and I didn't notice any mistakes.
First Ten review added on August 1, 2017, at 4:54 am by CarrieMe.
I love the layout of this book. It opens with a really cool illustration. I enjoyed the sample and was able to form an opinion of the main character. It was interesting but not something I would gravitate to or would want to read more of.
First Ten review added on August 1, 2017, at 5:31 am by chocomeiske.
Based on the cover and description I thought this would be a good read for me. A man loses everything and comes back to rebuild it all. The cover fits the book well. After sampling, I am not sure I would want to finish it. The beginning is exciting and then it just goes flat for me. It does appear professionally edited. But I am not interested in reading st this time.
First Ten review added on August 1, 2017, at 6:40 am by Cjgarland89.
I would not have chosen to read/sample this book had it not been part of this program. The main character sounded very morally bankrupt and the synopsis of the story didn't really draw me in. Unfortunately, I'm not going to buy and read the whole book. I simply could not stand the main character, Hiram. His criticism of girls and women was infuriating. "Tasha teetered on the cusp of overweight with legs shaped like ice cream cones...She'd splat any cheerleader she landed on...she was a tragedy with a pretty face and a ballooning body" and "He didn't like the size of her nose with dark deep wells for nostrils. She was a little overweight but she had breasts the size of two ripe cantaloupes..." Really? Ugh. Not to mention his leaving his friend to die on the mountain. Wow. I just don't think I could keep reading this guy's story, waiting around for him to change. It has been a long time since I disliked a character this much. All this being said, the author wrote this well because he really made me despise Hiram. That's good writing. Also, the editing seems professional. I did not notice any typos or grammatical errors. (Note: this book was not reviewed on OBC, but that did not affect my decision)
First Ten review added on August 1, 2017, at 7:00 am by truebookaddict.
This is not a book I would have chosen to read from appearance alone. The cover does little to inspire me but, with that said, there is also something captivating about its plainness. Other than the book description, there are no customer reviews available yet, nor an Official OnlineBookClub review, so I had very limited information to encourage me to read it.
Upon starting this book, I was immediately engaged. Within the first ten pages the author could portray the strong characteristics of the individuals, and the environment of the settings. The prologue described the callousness of someone who can just walk away from a dying friend, a character so focused on self-preservation. The first chapter enabled the reader to sense the hostility in the home environment.
I like the way his inner thoughts are in italics. It provides an aside to what is being verbalised and shows his true feelings. The criticism McDowell internalises about his female family members, and his chauvinistic thoughts and comments, makes this character unlikeable, yet somewhat intriguing. This contrasts to the rapport and comradeship he shares with his son
Grammatically, many of the sentences are missing commas, often making the sentence long-winded. Occasionally I needed to re-read the sentence to gauge the exact meaning. An example of such sentence was, ‘She was a little overweight but she had breasts the size of two ripe cantaloupes that enriched his day when she leaned over the table to swipe a cloth over the surface’.
I now intend to continue reading this book. McDowell is so repugnant it left me wanting to know more. The harshness of his inner thoughts, his obvious hostility, compels me to learn more about this character. I want to understand what makes him tick, and find out what made him the person he has become.
First Ten review added on August 1, 2017, at 7:14 am by jwalker73.
The cover is very bland and the title is unclear. I'm not a big fan of the genre, and there aren't any reviews of this book. Therefore, I would not have sampled this read without this program. Based on what I read, the book does seem to be professionally edited. Wow, the beginning sure was a bit scary - Hiriam leaving his hiking partner to die is very intense. I do feel the transitions to different time periods kind of rushed, and I don't find myself invested in the story. Overall, I do not plan on purchasing this book today.
First Ten review added on August 1, 2017, at 7:42 am by hsimone.
Had i not sampled this book, I would read editorial reviews first because i would not waste my time reading a book that do not have a good review. Now that i have sampled it, I think i would not buy and read the whole book. The first pages, though seemed professionally edited, already introduced plenty of characters, with conflicts on his wife that i do not know if really relevant to the story. Given that, i still commend the author for an interesting and hanging prologue.
First Ten review added on August 1, 2017, at 7:55 am by Harmony Hills.
When I first read the blurb for 'McDowell,' I was interesting in the storyline. The main character seems complex and intriguing. The lack of an OBC review would have me hesitate to buy this one without sampling it. I like to know more about the writing style, pacing, character development before purchasing a book blindly. After reading the first ten pages, I enjoyed the author's use of a graphic at the beginning; I felt like the image really set the mood of the prologue. The writing was interesting and held my attention for the sample; but ultimately, there wasn't anything in the prologue that really hooked me or made this one stand out. I don't plan to purchase this one or read any more of it at this time.
First Ten review added on August 1, 2017, at 8:22 am by MarisaRose.
The cover art on this book is really neat and I was excited to sample the book. The opening mountain-climbing scene was pretty cool and grabbed my attention. However the following scenes at home left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I didn't like the way the main character talked about his step daughters and don't think I'd like a book that was full of such tastelessness. The book appeared to be professionally edited and error-free.
First Ten review added on August 1, 2017, at 11:41 am by Shelle.
The OBC review let me know this was a story of a callous surgeon who falls from grace for committing crimes. Then, he seeks redemption. I was not that interested in the storyline. After I read the sample pages, I decided I will not read this book. Seems professionally edited, but has a few minor formatting issues, at least in Kindle. In addition, I could not stand Hiram. First, he leaves his climbing companion to die like nothing tragic has just occurred. Second, I did not like the way he talks about his wife’s daughters. His character is too nasty for my taste.
First Ten review added on November 15, 2017, at 10:49 am by Yolimari.
I like the image on the cover, but the title is simple. The summary sounded like a decent story, but something I'd normally read. I would probably have skipped this if not for this program. The book felt choppy: we open in a flashback, then a narrator telling us about McDowell's wife, then we go to 1999. I felt jarred and could not get into the story.
First Ten review added on November 15, 2017, at 10:55 am by Christina O Phillips.
I love the artwork on the cover and within the book. However, it doesn't necessarily say "read me." The title doesn't really hold interest for me either. The reviews are very interesting, though. They peaked my interest before reading the first ten. I'll be honest, I read more than the first ten pages. I can't really get a good idea if I want to finish reading the book. The writing is excellent, and the story is intriguing, but I don't really like how evil McDowell is. I know this is on purpose, but I don't like reading books like that. It appears to be professionally edited. For now, I'm going to have to pass on reading the rest.
First Ten review added on November 15, 2017, at 12:59 pm by Afuglsan.
The book appeared to be professionally edited as I did not see any errors in the first ten pages I read. Based on the cover and title alone, I wouldn't have read the book because they didn't appeal to me. However, having read a few other books by the same author before, I would have been curious enough to sample more of his work. I read the official review of the book. And after reading the sample, I wanted to keep reading. I found myself captivated by the plot and once again appreciating the writing style of the author - those are some of the things I liked. And the reasons why I will be reading the rest of the book.
First Ten review added on November 15, 2017, at 4:12 pm by ritah.
Looking at the title and cover, I initially thought 'McDowell' was some type of political book, possibly a biography or personal overview, so I wasn't interested. Once I read the synopsis, I still wasn't interested, as I don't care for redemption stories; I tend to greatly dislike their antagonistic protagonists, so I steer clear of them. Neither the review nor the sample have persuaded me otherwise; I was greatly disliking McDowell (the person) during the sample, so I cannot imagine reading a whole book with him in it. I therefore will not be reading any further ... On a positive note, the book seemed to be professionally edited and it was a pleasant enough read aside from disliking the main character. I DID like Billie, so I hope all fares well for him. I also felt bad for the Mrs and I hope things turn out well for her, as well.
First Ten review added on November 15, 2017, at 5:44 pm by MsTri.
I would have chosen to sample this book previous to reading the first 10 pages due to the simplicity of the book cover and title. It seems friendly, yet mysterious. Coincidentally, I was reading the blurb of this book before I found out it was BOTD. I'm not going to finish the book because of McDowell's character - it's hard getting over the fact that he's done many cruel things. I could barely tolerate him in the first few pages. Also, I can't read through sexual content and a review mentioned there was a bit of that. The book seems professionally edited! I was able to read through without grammatical errors glaring at me.
What I liked most about the novel was how Coles was able to make me react strongly to McDowell. That was interesting! What I liked least was McDowell's behavior - he's cruel, and it may be naive of me to feel that a normal guy can't be that bad. I know those who read will enjoy his downfall, and his redemption as well.
First Ten review added on November 15, 2017, at 7:20 pm by ladycraic.
I would have sampled this book outside of the program because the blurb and reviews, mainly the Official Review on here, really sold it to me. The idea of a complex protagonist that is exceptionally, realistically flawed is always appealing to me. It's also a person who, once agani, REALISTICALLY has to deal with the consequences of his past decisions. It sounds like an emotional rollercoaster which can be exhausting and not worth the ride, but this one sounds worth it. It might just be on Smashwords Online Reader, but the first paragraph of the first chapter is in italics. I don't see this in the second chapter, so I don't know if it's an error. Just thought I'd point it out. The prologue does a great job of setting up what kind of character McDowell is. Cold and pragmatic, but not completely unfeeling given how he gets the crucifix off the other man to send to his family. I love the humor in this novel; this line made me laugh out loud: "Carole practiced clinical psychology and lived in her own caverns of self-imposed hell." I thoroughly enjoyed the first ten pages. He's delightfully awful and I can't wait to see how it all pans out for him. The language is crisp and descriptive, cruel and punchy. It's perfect. Thank you so much for offering this book for free. I can't wait to devour it. I didn't notice any errors.
First Ten review added on November 15, 2017, at 10:50 pm by Mallory Whitaker.
I would have read the novel "McDowell" based on its distinctive and impassioned OBC official review. The reviewer talks of a novel that's so engaging as to appeal to about every emotion known to man. From reading the sample, this is one up my alley. I like the ambitious Hiram who backstabs his colleague, Michael, and Hiram's dysfunctional and large family which tops up the intrigue. The book seems to be professionally edited. Furthermore, the book lives up to the author's reputation for exemplary and award winning fiction. I like the eccentric character of Hiram. He's ambitious and selfish. He doesn't think twice when it comes to the question of choosing between his own safety or saving a dying friend while up the mountain. I cannot think of any weaknesses of this novel.
First Ten review added on November 16, 2017, at 2:08 am by Quinto.
I am not much taken by the cover or the title of this book. I read the official OBC review and only after that was I compelled to read it. I read the first few pages and I will admit that I read more than I intended to. The writing style was very captivating and the storyline moved very quickly. I was completely hooked to it.
First Ten review added on November 16, 2017, at 7:39 am by ReviewerDiksha.
I love the book’s cover. I would certainly have chosen to read the book based on the cover and review. I enjoyed the first ten pages very much. I was drawn into the character of Hiram. I found it interesting that there are so many aspects to his personality. A wife and family in the US, a woman he lives with in Nepal, he is an unapologetic womanizer, a surgeon, and he plays blues harp. Wow, all that in ten pages! I found no editorial issues in the first ten pages. I will be reading this book!
First Ten review added on November 16, 2017, at 8:53 am by Kat Kennedy.
If I'm keeping track properly, I think this is the fourth book by this author featured here. While I did not enjoy the previous ones at all, I have to admit that McDowell is slightly better. I didn't find the reviews helpful, but I actually liked the cover and the premise of the book. I can't help but notice how most books by this author have similar themes or characters. With that aside, the sample itself was all right. The chapters are short and dynamic, the characters are plausible and the storyline is (so far) easy to follow. It's not a thought-provoking, but rather a trivial, light read that some might find enjoyable. Out of curiosity, I'll read the rest.
First Ten review added on November 16, 2017, at 12:20 pm by IsabelMay.
After reading the OBC review, I was excited to sample "McDowell". My interest was definitely piqued by the cover art, the simple title, and the description on Amazon. I'm drawn to dynamic stories that explore the inner motivations of complex characters. Reading the sample, Hiram struck me as the kind of character you love to hate. I was disgusted by his casual sexist attitude toward Carole's daughters. Were it not for the OBC review, I think I would have walked away from this book. However, the reviews I've read promise a book full of redemption. Because I am interested to see how Hiram's character develops throughout the story, I plan to finish this book. I did not notice significant grammatical errors: it seemed that the book was professionally edited.
First Ten review added on November 16, 2017, at 3:39 pm by Ashley Simon.
This book has such a catchy cover. That combined with the title, blurb and official review made me want to read the book.
After sampling the first ten pages, I was disappointed. The story is a little slow paced for my liking. Although these pages are error free, I won't be reading the rest of the book.
First Ten review added on November 16, 2017, at 3:47 pm by Mercy Bolo.
It's a 50-50 chance of sampling the book without the program; the cover is mature but not colorful, the title is cool but not thought provoking. I hadn't checked out the others at the time. However, the sample completely captivated me and I didn't want to stop reading. It does seem to be professionally edited, no errors found. I like the family and work settings portrayed and the hint of revenge being masterminded by Michael. I felt his pain when Hiram completely sidelined him. So far, I find myself rooting for him and Billie as my favorite characters. I give credence to the OBC review for decidedly making me itch to read the book in the very first place.
First Ten review added on November 17, 2017, at 12:46 am by Vickie Noel.
I read the official review of this book and I was much attracted towards the book. Although the book is of superb quality, I still can't read the book because I don't have much time at my hand. I loved the first few pages. A writer's true magic lies in attracting the reader in the first dew pages and William has that magic. I liked how the book gripped me from the start. I didn't find any typo errors in the first few pages.
First Ten review added on November 17, 2017, at 5:01 am by ZeroChill.
I love the cover of the book, it’s so unique and intriguing. The OBC review raised my hopes for the book, and it being free, I sampled it right away. Hiram’s isn’t a likeable character, but I’d love to see how his character develops, and the journey of his redemption. The book was professionally edited as I didn’t see any editing errors in the sample.
I’ll be reading the rest of the book.
First Ten review added on November 17, 2017, at 5:16 am by Radhika_17.
Looking at the cover, I am not interested in reading this book, as it does not interest me. Upon reading the sample, I really liked the overall storyline, and want to read further. This book appears to be professionally edited, with no grammatical errors or typos that I noticed. I liked the main character Hiram the most-he is human, not without faults. He is a self centered doctor trying to be successful, and this story was excellent so far. The writing reminds me of my favorite author, John Updike. I did not like how many places the first part of the book gets to-it was confusing to keep up with McDowell being in Nepal, Chicago, and Denver. I look forward to reading this book.
First Ten review added on October 1, 2018, at 10:14 am by lesler.
While the book seemed fairly well written, I am reading too many other things to buy and read it today. The first ten pages involve Hiram McDowell climbing a mountain and then jumps back to 1999 where Hiram is caught in the throes of having an affair. The writing is fairly well done. I noticed a semicolon that I would have made into two different sentences in "Get your sticks; we'll eat out". I wasn't particularly interested in the characters as Hiram didn't seem to sympathetic. I have not read any other reviews of the book.
First Ten review added on October 1, 2018, at 10:44 am by HRichards.
Hiram McDowell seems to be in a position in life where he is seen by his colleagues as a man of great value to the field of medicine. His home life is in a shambles with his marriage on the rocks, and he isn't happy being in a blended family. His wife's coolness toward him and his affair with another woman don't seem to bother him. He just inwardly justifies his behavior and moves on with life. I liked how the tension was set at the beginning of this book as the readers are introduced to Hiram's self-centered attitude and the idea of how he matters and no one else does. What an irony since he is a surgeon and is in the business of healthcare and helping people to stay well. The prologue is also very telling when he leaves a companion on a mountain to die without trying to help him. He decides this without attempting to try and help but then dreams of his next climb as if this man's life meant nothing. This sets the stage for readers to hate him to the core, which I think is the intention of the author, so this is a job well done. I did not find any errors in the portion I read, so it would seem that this book has been professionally edited. I downloaded this a few weeks ago for free in exchange for a review. I am going to finish it and will be writing a review in the next week. It has been a book of many emotions, and I have no idea where it is all leading.
First Ten review added on October 1, 2018, at 11:12 am by cpru68.
Hiram McDowell is egotistical, self-absorbed, narcissistic, sexist and I can think of a few more adjectives but will abstain from those for now. I had no idea what it was about and when I read the Prologue, that didn't help with my opinion and even after the first chapter I was turned off. It wasn't until I read a thorough review of the book on OnlineBookClub and some glowing reviews on Amazon that helped me decide to read the entire book. I have already purchased it from Amazon and placed it in my currently reading bookshelf. I thought it would be interesting to watch how McDowell changes throughout the story. Does he actually go through enough challenges to make a change? So far I have found no grammatical errors. The thing I like the best is the promise of a good plot and possible life change for an immoral person. The thing I care for the least is McDowell's personality, but hopefully, that will change. There must be something to it to be a BOTD and BOTM.
First Ten review added on October 1, 2018, at 11:27 am by Kareka88.
I would not have sampled the book without this program. Based on the cover and title, I actually thought it was a Western, but then I read the blurb on Amazon and realized it's a crime story about a surgeon. Either way, these aren't my preferred genres, so I wouldn't have sampled it on my own. After reading the first ten chapters, it's quite different than my first impression (most of the pages were about McDowell's love of mountain hiking and his familial situation). The book seems professionally edited as I didn't note any mistakes. I liked the writing style and the way the book took off with a fast pace. I don't think there's anything for improvement. I won't buy the book because again, it just isn't the right genre for me, and I'm not sure I can take McDowell's personality (unapologetically unfaithful to his wife and clearly self-centered) though it does make for a strong character.
First Ten review added on October 1, 2018, at 11:37 am by Camille Turner.
This book’s title and description didn’t hook me. I’m not much for books with political angles. Before sampling, I wasn’t interested. After sampling, I’m still not. The book appears professionally edited. I noticed no errors. I’m not sure what the prologue’s purpose is. If it is to show our main character’s change into someone who wants to be on top of the world in all aspects, it tells us this but doesn’t show it. I was disappointed that I didn’t get a description of the view from the mountain top. It felt anticlimactic. I also had a tough time connecting with the main character, as he left his friend to die. If the point was not to endear him to me, it worked. Once chapter 1 started with a description of backstory, I lost much of my interest. The action of the prologue made me want more that I didn’t get. The OnlineBookClub.org review was glowing but didn’t change my mind about reading.
First Ten review added on October 1, 2018, at 12:06 pm by desantismt_17.
"McDowell" is a fiction work based on a selfish main character. Hiram McDowell is a self-absorbed surgeon who breaks promises and lets people down for his own interests. The book starts with Hiram and Woolf climbing on Mount Everest. The weather worsened the climbing conditions. Woolf was too weak and the oxygen was enough for only one person, so Hiram reached the summit alone. The first pages reminded me of the dark writing style of William H. Coles. It is not a style I prefer, as I see myself as a light-hearted person. I wouldn't have tried this book because of the negative feelings it gave me, and I won't continue reading it because of the same reason. I also feel like such a selfish character would get annoying after a while. I found a missing comma in "Hiram McDowell's second wife died in the summer of 1999 a few weeks after her 45th birthday".
First Ten review added on October 1, 2018, at 12:52 pm by Laura Bach.
The cover of the book is simple and straight-forward. The title is very drawing, so I wanted to find out who McDowell is, and what is it about him (or her) that made the author write the book. So, I would have chosen to read the book. Having read the review and the sample, I found the book to be really entertaining and an interesting read. McDowell is actually a successful surgeon who cares the lot about himself. He is self-focused and aspires to be the best in all he is competing for. Doubting that he will not make it as the president of the College of Surgeons in Chicago, he asks Michael, an important board member of the college, to make a plan for him to become the president. McDowell promised Michael that he would make him the executive director, should he become the president. Michael gives in and makes sure that McDowell is the president. However, he does not get to be the executive director as he was promised. I loved reading this book, and I am planning on reading it entirely. I did not notice any editorial errors with the book, thanks.
First Ten review added on October 1, 2018, at 1:09 pm by mtsnel006.
I would not choose to read this book based on the cover and title; without knowing anything else about the book I need a little more to tempt me than simply the name of a character (though I do like the pencil drawing). Having read the opening pages, I will not be reading the rest of the book.
The book starts well, with a compelling scene near the summit of a mountain. We immediately get the measure of Hiram, as he leaves his companion to die. Hiram is clearly intended to be the character who we love to hate as his rudeness, selfishness and deviousness take on almost parody proportions. For example, parading his infidelity in front of his wife or deceiving his colleague Michael. Unfortunately, his poor behaviour is a little too excessive and shallow (at least, his thoughts do not seem to run very deep), and so I have no reason to want to continue following his story. I did not spot any grammatical errors.
First Ten review added on October 1, 2018, at 1:46 pm by Julie Green.
The cover of "McDowell" by William Coles was ok. I would not have chosen it by the cover because it really did not explain what the book was about. I read the first 10 pages. The prologue introduced us to Hyram McDowell as he was climbing a mountain in Nepal. In the first chapter we discover McDowell's family dynamics. He is a surgeon in his third marriage with 5 children. It is a marriage of convenience only and he is not happy there. Although the first 10 pages were interesting, it really did not grab my attention so I will not be finishing it. It is a slow-paced book and straight fiction doesn't really interest me. I am more of a horror/mystery reader. I don't know how he could improve, short of speeding things up a bit. There were no typos and there was an onlinebookclub review.
First Ten review added on October 1, 2018, at 2:19 pm by CinWin.
I probably would have not read the sample of McDowell even it had not been a part of The First Ten program. The Book of the Day review was positive, but I am not a fan of books with unlikable protagonists. The book seemed like it was professionally edited and I did not notice any errors while reading. I found the opening chapter that detailed what McDowell did to his fellow climber to be conducive in establishing McDowell's archetype. I didn't like the fat-shaming and sexual comment made about Carole's daughters. As a result, I will not be buying the book today.
First Ten review added on October 1, 2018, at 2:19 pm by lavellan.
I know Coles does a lot of literary fiction and generally receives good reviews, but I’m not a big fan of the literary fiction genre in general. The official review of this book was very flattering, but it was clear to me that this was not going to be my style of novel. I found the first ten pages to be quite well written and well edited. While I can certainly appreciate the way that Coles creates his characters, it still did not convince me I wanted to read the story. From the very beginning, it is easy to tell that Hiram is self-serving and self-centered. The physical way that he characterizes the women in the book also draws attention to a sense of misogyny that seems to prevail in Hiram. Overall, I thought he was well written, but it did not make me want to read the book. I didn’t care much for the character and I have even less desire to continue reading about him.
First Ten review added on October 1, 2018, at 5:09 pm by Kendra M Parker.
As I read of Hiram, the doctor with a passion for climbing, I was immediately disgusted with his personality. He is on his third wife, happy to be disrespecting his entire family, regarding his step-daughters as "cows". The author's writing was thought-provoking, utilizing a character that is so foul. I also liked the art at the beginning of the sample. I found no editing mistakes and can't think of anything that the author should change within the first ten pages. I find the title and cover illustration to be gravely underwhelming. I noticed an OnlineBookClub review for full marks, but the premise failed to entice me. Because I am not interested in the plot, I will not be purchasing your book today.
First Ten review added on October 1, 2018, at 7:30 pm by SABRADLEY.
The book cover and the title did not interest me, so I read the Amazon Blurb, which described McDowell as a successful surgeon. However, all was not well since his behavior ignited his colleagues and friends to destroy him. He committed a felonious crime and was knocked down in life. The book is about the possibility of McDowell rebuilding his life. I read the first ten pages of McDowell hiking the Himalayas with a friend. I was shocked to read that after reaching the summit without his friend, he left his climbing partner on the way down the mountain and even took his oxygen tank! McDowell’s relationship with his third wife, Carole is strained because of his affairs. His two-step daughters do not even talk or look at him. He took his son, Billie to a club to see if Billie could play drums with the band and yet McDowell played his harps instead. This introduction showed McDowell’s self-absorption and self-centeredness. He is easy to dislike! The book seems to be edited very well and there are no noticeable errors. The OBC review mentioned that after McDowell was sentenced for 25 years in prison that he escaped, went into the wilderness, met a woman and started changing his values and perspectives. After reading the OBC review and the ten pages, I want to read the book to see if McDowell will change into a better person. I best liked that the way the author showed McDowell’s selfishness through climbing a mountain and through his family relations. This showed that he was thoroughly failing at all relationships in his life.
First Ten review added on October 1, 2018, at 8:03 pm by LV2R.
I would not have sampled this book on my own. I sampled "The Spirit of Want" and was not partial to this author's writing style. The OBC review was very positive and got me interested up to a point. The first ten did not change my mind. I know flawed characters are very popular in literary fiction, but I really despised Hiram right from the get go. His thoughts that his wife was flabby and let herself go, and that his step-daughter had legs like an ice-cream cone and was too fat to be a cheerleader turned me off in the first chapter, and I will not continue to read. . . . What I read appeared to be professionally edited. I did not notice grammatical errors. . . I enjoyed the preface which takes place on what seems to be Mount Everest. It was very compelling. . . . I don't know what could be improved. The author's writing style is just not my cup of tea.
First Ten review added on October 1, 2018, at 9:02 pm by FictionLover.
If I had not read the sample, I probably would have read the book. The artistry on the cover really intrigued me. The review was a volunteer onlinebookclub review but it gave me a good sense of what the book was about. The sample was what made me decide to read the book. The book opens with Hiram callously abandoning his companion on a snowy mountain! It then goes on to display some objectionable characteristics of both Hiram and his wife. He has a tendency to body shame his wife and her daughters as well as cheat on his wife. His wife's main problem is not that he is cheating, it is that he is doing it with 'a woman if colour', which she finds humiliating. With just the first few pages already offering up such interesting characters, I would definitely buy and read the book. I did not spot any errors so I think it was professionally edited.
First Ten review added on October 2, 2018, at 1:00 am by Cher432.
If it hadn't been for the first ten program, I wouldn't have sampled this book because I don't like either the title or the cover. Despite the positive editorial and customer review, I do not think this is a book I would normally read considering the unrelatable character and the schematism of the plot. Although I couldn't find any editing errors in the sample, I wouldn't have continued reading the book if it hadn't been October BOTM. The biggest problem with this book is that it did not manage to send me any emotion or feeling, to move me in any way. I know Coles had to portray McDowell as an ambitious and unscrupulous man who only thinks of himself and his career, maybe his children. However, I was neither moved by his victims such as Carole, his wife, Rima, his mistress, his friends or his own son Billie. In this respect, I do not share the OBC reviewer's enthusiasm for the book. I will be reading it because it is BOTM, though.
First Ten review added on October 2, 2018, at 2:44 am by cristinaro.
Had I not read the first ten pages of the book I would have read this book because of the cover, genre, blurb and reviews. The title was the only thing I think that turned me away from reading because it doesn’t really give the reader insight to the story. The cover is different and makes me want to give this book a chance. The reviews and blurb made this book seem suspenseful and a thrilling read. I am going to eventually buy and read the whole book because I enjoy the writing style of the author and the well developed characters. After reading the first ten pages I found that I enjoyed the story. I was surprised that in the beginning the author has Hiram basically kill off a character, Woolf by abandoning him on the mountain to save himself. Not only that but you find out that he is cheating on his current wife. In the second chapter Hiram is trying to convince Michael to help get him voted as President of the board and in exchange for Michael to become executive director. In doing so Hiram wants to dump the current executive, Tom even though he is supposedly a friend. The third chapter Hiram goes back on his promise with Michael even though he got voted in and then gives the position to Tom. I want to continue reading solely to find out just how much worse Hiram McDowell can become. During the first four chapters of the sample he has left his friend to die, lied, cheated, bribed, and broken a promise. The author drew me into the story with the sample by making it suspenseful and fascinating to read. The book seemed professionally edited and I found no spelling or grammatical errors.
First Ten review added on October 2, 2018, at 3:05 am by ObsessedBookNerd.
Based on the sample I read of McDowell, it seems like an interesting book with an interesting main character. He is not exactly likable, but I want to see what happens to him in the end. After reading the review of this book, I was intrigued by the plot. I have read previous works of William H. Coles and I like his style of writing. In this particular book, there is a section that reveals a lot about the main character: 'In the months since their meeting at the airport, Hiram avoided Michael and gave no words of appreciation for Michael’s help. Michael swung the seven decisive votes for nomination and Hiram successfully gathered support of the membership. Michael waited expectantly for the announcement of his appointment as executive director.' Hiram is clearly not a good guy. I want to read the whole book to see if he gets what he deserves. The first few pages of this book were a breeze to read with no notable errors. I am looking forward to reading the whole book.
First Ten review added on October 2, 2018, at 3:57 am by liftedbooks.
The black and white cover peaks my interest, so based on that I would have read the sample. From the sample, Hiram McDowell left Wolf on the mountain to die without a second thought, content that he would not die as he took Wolf's oxygen tank from him. Hiram was married to wife number 3 (Carole Mastriano, a widow) and was having an affair with another woman. Carole found out about the affair and confronted him about it. He didn't deny it, saying that she should accept him the way he is. She told him she was contemplating divorce and he replied, 'your choice'. I am intrigued by the novel and would love to read the rest of it if I get the opportunity. The book seems professionally edited as I did not find any error in the bit that I read. The OBC reviewer gave it a perfect rating, which just seals the deal about me reading the book.
First Ten review added on October 2, 2018, at 5:22 am by OloladeO.
For the sake of full disclosure, I have to admit that I have already read this book, because of it being the Book of the Month. Even though I enjoyed it, if it was not the BOTM, or without the First 10 program, I would not have wanted to read it.
I liked the cover picture. My first impression of the cover and title was that it was a western about a man named McDowell. I believe it was the hat that gave the western impression. I wasn't too thrilled about the synopsis. A story about a wealthy, greedy, self centered man didn't appeal to me. Even though he seemed to have a change of heart, after going through some hardships, it did not appeal to me as something I would enjoy.
Reading the first ten pages would have changed my mind. I found it easy to envision and was caught up in the story immediately. I can't really say that there was any particular part of those pages that I liked best, but I did think it was a little funny when Carole was preparing capellini, that Hiram thought was "always too bland" for him, yet "...her girls eat anything... a banana-topped-with-peanut-butter-and-mayonnaise diet mentality."
(location 129). I know someone who eats those.
The book seemed professionally edited. I have no suggestions for improvements. There was an Official OnlineBookClub review which did not influence my decision. I have already read this book and would enjoy reading it again.
First Ten review added on October 2, 2018, at 8:41 am by Tiny_Turtle.
The cover is highly appealing and so is the author. The prologue unexpectedly betrayed nothing about the actual plot. I liked Coles' writing style. But the chapters read like a memoir of sorts, and there were a lot of pronouns used to refer to the main character, which I didn't really enjoy. The editing was done perfectly well since there were no errors. I won't be reading this book soon since I've already read a book by the same author, with similar themes.
First Ten review added on October 2, 2018, at 2:37 pm by Fuzaila.
I am not immediately drawn to the book by the cover or the title. I don't think there is anything eye-catching. The blurb and the reviews for this book were good, and the book seems interesting, but they were not enough to make me very intrigued. I would not have chosen to review this book if it were not for this program. Hiram McDowell is in the Himalayas in Nepal when the book begins. I was struck when Hiram took the oxygen tank from his comrade, Woolf, and left him to die. I think this was kind of a foreshadowing of how self-serving and self-centered Hiram was and would still become. Later, in Denver, Hiram is a surgeon on his third wife. It seems like he is pretty judgmental of his current wife, especially as the book refers to her as flabby, calls her food bland, and shows disdain for her daughters' eating habits. I begin rather angry when he referred to them as "cows." Later, his wife confronts him about his infidelity, and he shows no remorse. I thought the glimpse into his family life was a good way to start the book and to show Hiram's personality. I did notice some technical errors, mostly in the way of some extra spaces between periods, but there was nothing major. It does seem like this book has been professionally edited. It does seem like a decent story, but I do not plan on buying the book and reading it, partly because the protagonist is so unlikely and because of how demeaning he is toward women. It is a turn-off.
First Ten review added on October 2, 2018, at 3:25 pm by JuliaKay.
I don't know what to think about the book cover or title. It looks like a comic book cover to me. I would have probably passed by it. The double spacing errors in the Amazon blurb makes me doubt the quality of editing in the book. When I read the OnlineBookClub review, it interested me a little because I was curious about how this self-centred surgeon would change his values and perspective in life after meeting a certain woman. When reading the sample, I immediately liked the illustration on the first page. However, I disliked the constant dialogue without any action in between. The dialogue stretched on for many lines without any break. I would have liked to read about their reactions to the conversation. The sentences were also very short at times. It felt too stilted and I found myself reading it like a robot in my head. Overall, I will not continue reading this book.
Error 1, 2, & 3: 3 double spacing errors on the first page.
First Ten review added on October 2, 2018, at 4:27 pm by Allyseria.
I really like the writing style. The descriptions are excellent and I really felt like I was climbing the mountain with Hiram and his friend, Woolf. I like the cover image, but I don’t typically read this genre. The review was very positive and made me interested in checking out the book. I really like that it’s character driven. Little things like Hiram’s wife dying of breast cancer bring a lot of realism to the story. I didn’t notice any editing errors, so it looks very professional. Even though I wouldn’t have found this book on my own based on the genre, I would consider reading this book at a future date.
First Ten review added on October 2, 2018, at 6:55 pm by Momiji1987.
The cover has a beautiful design that is very appropriate for the theme that the blurb proposes. The official review highlights the depth with which the topics are treated and the study of human nature in the plot. The first ten pages open with a prologue that establishes the nature of the protagonist (he abandons his partner in an expedition in the Himalayas), followed by the first chapter, where his family circle is introduced. Then, he has a conversation with his son about sex on the way to school. The prose is fluid and very appropriate for the genre, while the editing work looks almost impeccable. If it were not for the fact that the story revolves too much around the world of healthcare and journalism, maybe I would consider reading this book for the characterization work of the protagonist, so I'm afraid I'll decline it.
First Ten review added on October 2, 2018, at 10:06 pm by KRay93.
I like the artistic cover however it doesn't reveal much about what the story is about. I would have sampled McDowell based on the description, genre, and positive reviews because it sounds like a good story about redemption. The official review was encouraging as the reviewer mentioned the story delves into important issues such as sexism. After reading the first ten pages, I decided while like elements of the story, I didn't feel the desire to buy or read the book anytime soon. What I liked most about the story was the how quick paced it was. First, Hiriam is leaving someone to die, then his ex-martial affair is discovered and he is plotting to become president of the College of Medicine. However, I found the characters to be completely unlikeable. While I believe I would be able to enjoy the story with the main character being unlikeable, I am not sure I want to read a book where all the characters are unlikeable. For example, Hiriam's sexism would be bearable if he is held accountable later in the story. But Carole's racism where she was shamed by his affair with the woman of color made her a completely unsympathetic character. It is hard to care about Hiram misdeeds with the people around him are just as bad. With that said, I really don't think there was anything that needs improving, I am just not sure this book is for me. I didn't find any errors and it seemed professionally edited.
First Ten review added on October 3, 2018, at 1:24 am by Sicily Joy.
Based on the title and cover, I think I would have sampled this book. It's simple, intriguing, and clothed with mystery. I have also read the works of the author before, so despite whatever cover and title, I think I would have sampled the book nonetheless. As for the first few pages, Coles never disappoints. The prologue showed the character of Hiram as egoistic and selfish. His attitude towards everyone is such a tragedy, but there's always two sides of the coin. Regardless of how he treats people, even his third wife, he is still a supportive father to Billie, which makes room for curiosity to his character. McDowell is that villain you cannot hate despite his actions. They're disgusting at times but they make him more human and relatable. With that said, I might finish the book if I can buy it. Coles is a superb author and his writing style is definitely my cup of tea. I found no noticeable errors and the official OBC review promised for no disappointments, and it stood true to it's word.
First Ten review added on October 3, 2018, at 4:52 am by briellejee.
The sample of this book had me feeling very irritated. I don't like Hiram McDowell. In fact, the thought of reading more about him makes me uncomfortable. I didn't like the way he treated Carole, and the way her daughters treated him alluded to them having no respect for the man. Obviously his god complex after summiting Mount Everest and leaving people to die contributed to the type of man he is. I'm not a fan. After reading the glowing OBC reviews, I realise that the story does develop, but not enough for me to want to read further. I found no errors, so it seems well edited.
First Ten review added on October 3, 2018, at 4:55 am by Bianka Walter.
I have read several reviews of McDowell, and despite that fact that most give it high praise, the story line and the focus on an unsavory main character are just not for me. I'm not really interested in books that are so heavily character driven.
After reading the sample, I am glad I was not interested in this book to begin with. Hiram McDowell is a disgusting pig. I can see that is the point, but I just can't bring myself to read any further. There is a plethora of comments about women being overweight. I would definitely not enjoy reading from Hiram's perspective if that is how he is always thinking. I believe McDowell has been professionally edited. I only noticed one error where Coles wrote, "His third wife Carole" with no commas around Carole.
First Ten review added on November 8, 2018, at 9:01 pm by kfwilson6.
I was drawn to this book after learning of its content from the OBC review. I thought that a story of an arrogant man re-evaluating himself after a fall from grace must make for a rich tale, raising questions of morality, justice and self-delivery. By the end of the third page, I was already full of hatred for the McDowell character, and looked forward to reading on and discovering his fate as well as learning if, and how, he could possibly redeem himself. The author's description brought the surgeon and his family to life, and I could almost feel his suffering wife's despair and frustration. The sexism bothered me, but I believe that such opinions are those of the character, rather than Coles himself. There were no grammatical errors in this section other than some sentences starting with, "and." A bigger problem was a continuity error, as McDowell's second wife is supposed to have died in 1999, yet by 1999 it is also stated that he has been married to his third wife for three years. Overall though, despite the error, I was gripped by the first ten pages, and chose to finish the book.
First Ten review added on November 9, 2018, at 3:06 am by a9436.
Total ~ 33%
McDowell earned a score of 33%.
In other words, out of the top-level reviewers who read at least the first 10 pages of this book, 33% plan to read the whole book.
IMPORTANT: Any score over 10% is considered very good. And any score above 0% is acceptable.
Over a million books are published each year. Any given person could not even read .0001% of the books out there. This means readers have to be very selective. Even taking the time to look over reviews and blurbs, let alone read samples, is more time than most readers can afford for most books. The First Ten is a powerful focus group that addresses those issues. It creates a helpful tool for authors, publishers, and other readers.